Book Review: The one person monsters are scared of

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

The apocalypse wasn’t bad news for everyone, and every end of the world is a new beginning. When the world was wracked by earthquakes and floods, Dinétah, formerly known as the Navajo reservation, was spared due to its remoteness, being inland, and surrounded by mountains.

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According to Diné history, there had been five worlds already, so what most considered to be the end of the world, they believed to be the beginning of the Sixth World. And with that beginning, their gods returned, and not just gods, but also heroes from myth. And monsters.

Trail of Lightning is the story of Maggie Hoskie, a Dinétah monster hunter, with few friends and a lot of old scars. She has supernatural gifts that make her a ferocious hunter and killer, but it makes for a lonely life. Haunted by her own past, she is reluctant to take on help even when events threaten to overwhelm even her exceptional abilities.

She reluctantly accepts the aid of Kai Arviso, a mysterious and handsome medicine man. Together they attempt to save a young girl’s life and unravel mysteries that threaten everyone in the former reservation.

 In the process she finds not all heroes are heroic and just because the gods have returned, doesn’t mean they are on your side.

This is a fast-paced, high-energy thriller from beginning to end, packed with detail of reservation life and memorable characters. You can smell the dust on the wind and taste the tang of dried blood. Rebecca Roanhorse treats reservation life, and the Dinétah adaptation to life after the end of the world, realistically and with great respect, while creating characters you will be rooting for long after the book is done.

Dethe Elza is a Digital Services Technician at the Brighouse Branch of the Richmond Public Library. He recently enjoyed the finale of the graphic novel series Paper Girls, and is eagerly awaiting Rebecca Roanhorse’s Star Wars novel, Resistance Reborn.

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