Saturday, December 15, 2018

Book Review: Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning
Author: Rebecca Roanhorse
Series: The Sixth World (Book 1)
Publication: Saga Press (June 26, 2018)

Description: While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel the rez, unraveling clues from ancient legends, trading favors with tricksters, and battling dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive.

My Thoughts: This post-apocalyptic novel in set on the former Navajo reservation which is one of the few parts of the United States that are still above water. Magic also came back with the rising waters enabling the Dine to build magical walls around the reservation. Of course the magic brought back all kinds of monsters too.

Maggie Hoskie became a monster hunter after the home she shared with her grandmother was invaded, her grandmother killed, and she was rescued just before the invaders could kill her too. The trauma caused her Clan powers to manifest. Maggie has two - super speed and the ability to kill. Her talents are honed by her rescuer Neizghani who is an immortal warrior. She spent a few years with him hunting the monsters.

When the story begins, Neizghani has abandoned her and she fears it is because of her ability to kill. She has to reinvent her life but she doesn't know anything else but monster hunting. She is heartbroken because she has fallen in love with Neizghani. She is also really isolated. Her only friend is an elderly medicine man whom she hasn't seen for almost a year. When she goes to see him, he wants to introduce her to his grandson Kai who has come to learn from him. Maggie doesn't want a partner but both the grandfather and Coyote, who pops in and out of Maggie's life sowing confusion, want Kai and Maggie to work together.

They have a problem to solve. A witch is creating monsters and the witch needs to be found and stopped. Both Maggie and Kai have secrets which are gradually revealed as they begin to work together.

This was a story about a young woman deciding what way her life was going to go. She faces betrayal and finds friendship. I loved the emphasis on Navajo mythology but found the Navajo names with so many double vowels and accent marks something of a challenge even without trying to read it aloud.

Favorite Quote:
"Words matter," he says. "The name you give things, it forms them when you speak. You must always be careful with your words."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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