Storming: K. M. Weiland’s Prairie Dieselpunk

Mish-and-StormingMichelle and I take turns reading to each other, usually at night just before bed. Our reading tastes don’t always line up perfectly, but there’s enough overlap that we rarely have a problem finding a story we’ll both enjoy. It’s rare, however, that any story stirs and maintains our joint enthusiasm with quite the barrel-rolling intensity of K. M. Weiland’s Storming.

Hitch Hitchcock, the devil-may-care stunt pilot who has abandoned his family for the lure of adventure and a love of flying, has other, darker reasons for his departure from home. Curiosity over just what those other reasons might be is but one of the engines driving this adventure. Another is the fact that bodies have been falling out of the sky in the vicinity of his home town of Scott’s Bluff, Nebraska. Hitch means to find out why.

There are antagonists enough to fuel three novels, but Weiland’s a skillful master of ceremonies and manages to synchronize their cross-purposes with a deft hand and in a thoroughly credible manner. Storming offers a tightly choreographed dieselpunk performance that never feels predictable or forced. Weiland’s attention to the needs and frustrations of a diverse cast accounts for both the mysteries and the satisfactions of a complex tale told in a deceptively down-to-earth manner.

Your heart will break, your spirit will soar and sink, your stomach will turn somersaults. But you’ll land, satisfied, back on your feet again. And you’ll be wishing the ride didn’t have to end quite so soon.


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