Book Review: ‘The Year of the Locust’ by Terry Hayes

A gripping thriller that defies expectations at every turn

Book Title: The Year of the Locust
Author: Terry Hayes
Publisher: Bantam Press
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 978-0593064979
Date Published: Nov. 16, 2023
Price: INR 500

The Year of the Locust by Terry Hayes Book Cover

Book Review

Terry Hayes’ “The Year of the Locust” is a compelling and sweeping thriller that captures readers’ interest from the opening page. Following the triumph of his debut novel, I Am Pilgrim, Hayes returns with another remarkable story, an epic that surpasses the weight and passion of classic Tom Clancy novels. However, Hayes’ narrative departs dramatically from Jack Ryan’s familiar territory, with CIA officer Kane serving as the story’s dynamic first-person narrator. Kane is tasked with unraveling a complicated web of threats to the United States, and his mission leads him deep into the heart of danger, setting the stage for a high-stakes showdown with a reincarnated terrorist commander, Abu Muslim al-Tundra.

Hayes expertly balances action and suspense throughout the story’s four chapters, transporting readers to an exciting series of events that transcend continents. As Kane navigates dangerous territory and faces tough foes, the tension grows with each page turn. However, it is the unexpected twists and disclosures that truly distinguish “The Year of the Locust,” compelling both Kane and readers to reassess their preconceptions and expectations. Hayes’ daring writing defies categorization, fusing aspects of espionage, thrillers, and speculative fiction into a unified and captivating plot.

The Year of the Locust” is centered around a painstakingly created universe full of nuanced personalities and moral conundrums. Hayes provides a complex and thought-provoking portrait of the CIA and its agents, exploring power, morality, and the effects of secrecy from a variety of angles. By following Kane’s travels, Hayes explores issues of identity, agency, and the dynamic terrain of international warfare, creating a vivid and engrossing picture of a world on the verge of collapse.

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The book is a hefty read, reminiscent of classic spy novels but with a modern and innovative twist. Hayes incorporates elements of thriller, sci-fi, and mystery, creating a narrative that is as complex as it is captivating. While some may argue for tighter editing, those willing to embrace the novel’s cross-genre nature will find it to be a truly immersive and enjoyable reading experience.

In summary, “The Year of the Locust” is a masterwork of narrative that surpasses expectations and is a gripping read from beginning to end. This book stands out as a noteworthy contribution to the thriller genre because of Hayes’s daring narrative choices and painstaking attention to detail. Hayes’s next book, “The Year of the Locust,” is expected to fascinate readers with its unique combination of high-stakes action, clever storytelling, and thought-provoking topics.

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