Revolution burns brighter than ever in We Unleash the Merciless Storm, the sequel to last year’s We Unleash the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia. Happiness, love, fear, dread, anger and hope — expect to feel every emotion in this action packed finale.
In We Unleash the Dark on Fire, we are introduced to the world of Medio, a Latinx inspired dystopian society, closed off from everywhere else by a giant wall. In order to “succeed,” girls are placed into a school where they groomed to become one of two wives for the elite and powerful men of Medio. Primeras are trained to be skilled, meek and smart while Segundas are the child bearers and home makers.
We meet Dani and Carmen, two girls who are bitter rivals that are chosen to be the wives of Mateo, the son of a powerful man in Medio. As the book progresses, hate turns into love and the girls fall for each other. Through Dani, we learn about the rebel group, La Voz, who are on the brink of de-establishing the corrupt society that they live in.
We Unleash the Merciless Storm begins where its predecessor left off—but with a twist. Instead of picking up the story from the perspective of Dani, we are taken deep into the heart of La Voz through the eyes of Carmen. While We Unleash the Dark on Fire focused on the world of the elite and wealthy, in this book we see how the poor and those on the other side of the wall live. Mejia gives depths to characters and places only mentioned in the first book and gives the world of Medio new depths for readers to enjoy.
In We Unleash the Merciless Storm, Mejia crafts a darker, more urgent story, but one that is still filled with the magical prose and real life parallels that made her debut stellar. There is a particular scene involving crossing the wall that is especially heartbreaking to read; it reflects the tragic reality that so many people go through in order to have a chance at a better life.
Corruption runs deep in Medio, so good and bad aren’t always so clear cut, and this book thrives when it explores the murky waters in between them. Dani and Carmen both learn to question everyone, even those who they think they can trust. This leads to a few plot twist moments that help soar this book’s momentum and will make the reader’s heart beat with anticipation. The stakes are higher than ever. and the tension built in every page feels like a critical step towards a new future for Medio.
Timely, powerful, and moving, We Unleash The Merciless Storm is a stunning conclusion to a dynamic duology.