Book Review: Trail of Lightning

trail of lightningTrail of Lightning
by Rebecca Roanhorse
285 pages
Published June 2018

Okay, first off, this cover is AWESOME. I’ve been following the author on Twitter for a few months now, and was extremely disappointed when my library didn’t order this book. But one of the other libraries in the state did, so this showed up recently as an interlibrary loan and MADE. MY. DAY.

The story and writing is EXCELLENT. The reader is thrown into the world of the Diné, with little to no explanation of what the Dinétah words mean. I think that only comes across as weird because it’s a real language; if the words were some made up fantasy language’s words, we wouldn’t think twice about it. I saw someone on Twitter mention that they really enjoyed the book because they spoke the language, so having the Dinétah words meant something to them. I think I like that they’re not explained; so much in this world is created for white people’s consumption. It’s nice that this isn’t. It’s no less understandable to those that don’t understand the Navajo language, it’s just a little extra thrown in for those that do.

I do know a little bit about Native American mythology, so to see Coyote show up made me grin. What we learn about him through the course of the book doesn’t surprise me at all. I knew about Changing Woman and the Sun, but I’d never heard of their son, so I wonder if he was made up for the novel or if he actually exists in the mythology too.

Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It has a sequel, Storm of Locusts, due out next year, and an unnamed third book already planned. I can’t wait!

From the cover of Trail of Lightning:

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—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

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

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

Welcome to the Sixth World.

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