“Seeds for the Swarm” Review

Book cover for Seeds for the Swarm. a person with shaggy light brown hair and white skin is on the cover sideways looking up in. In the background are various colors and green flying bugs at the top of the cover. Written by Sim Kern
Published by Stelliform Press, March 2023
Number of Pages: 440
Completed: March 26, 2023

Book Description:

Rylla McCracken dreams of escaping her family’s trailer in the Dust States to go to college, but on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, her mother demands she drop out of school to work for Lockburn chemical refinery instead. When Rylla learns Lockburn is planning to dam the Guadalupe River-the last flowing water in Texas-she defies her mother to protest in the state capital. The protest ends in disaster, but her ensuing viral infamy gains Rylla an acceptance to the mysterious Wingates University.

First I want to say I really enjoyed this book. However I wish I had known going in that it was actually part one in a series and the ending doesn’t actually resolve any of the various plot points that come up in the story. It’s not a hard cliffhanger where someone is about to die horribly, but it is a story that needs resolution that won’t happen until the next book. This is more about me though – when I read a series I like it best when each book mostly stands on its own with a resolved plot at the end. Anything else is just frustrating – especially when I don’t know when the next part is coming. I may have gone ahead and read the book anyway knowing this but I would have liked to know what I was getting into.

However all that said – the book is worth reading, especially if you don’t mind unresolved endings, because the characters are great. Sure they’re teenagers and the main character Rylla, makes some ridiculous choices but she is a teenager, and going through a lot of changes. It should be noted I was always a rule follower so don’t have any awareness of what is actually reasonable when it comes to teenage shenanigans. It’s also a book where kids or teenagers have to save the world which I’ve gotten a bit tired of but it felt realistic given our current world. The book may be set in the future with even worse damage from climate change but it’s a future we could very easily end up in. The emphasis on how rich white people will always able to survive comfortably while everyone else suffers is exactly how it is now.

And yes, it’s likely I’ll read the next book as soon as it comes out…