Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World)

Rebecca Roanhorse
“An excitingly novel tale.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series and Midnight Crossroads series “Fun, terrifying, hilarious, and brilliant.” —Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Star Wars: Last Shot “[C]rafts a powerful and fiercely personal journey through a compelling postapocalyptic landscape.” —Kate Elliott, New York Times bestselling author of Court of Fives and Black Wolves 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. Welcome to the Sixth World.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-12-14

Trail of Lightning is a Native American inspired post-apocalyptic urban fantasy novel. When I read that I just couldn't wait to get started on this book. The world Rebecca Roanhorse created for this series is absolutely amazing and unique. I was happy that the world-building wasn't complicated, the author did a great job in explaining the reader what was going on in this new world. This book is set in Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation), and the main character is Maggie Hoskie, a Dinétah monster hunter/a supernaturally gifted killer. I felt a connection to her right away and wanted to know more about her. She is strong but also deals with trauma she hasn't got over. She doubts herself and fights the powers that reside inside of her. I really liked that she wasn't this perfect heroine. She has a lot to work through, and I really look forward to how she will develop further throughout this series. This book was action-packed, mysterious, funny, and emotional. I really enjoyed it and I can't wait to get started on the next book in this series.

Reviewed: 2018-11-29

While this book may have at least some of the outward trappings of a "native american mad max" (all things that I'm into, and how it was sold to me on twitter), it is definitely more fantasy than science fiction, and is less about institutional power and more about vulnerability and working through trauma. Not that I have anything against that, and it's definitely a story that needs telling, but I definitely came into it expecting one thing, and got something that looking similar on the surface, but was completely different underneath.

All of that being said, this book is solidly written, the characters are deep and the sort of flawed and vulnerable in the ways that only make you like them more. There's a little bit of romance, a lot of action, and plenty of grit, so if you want all of that in one package, this is the book for you. Plus the premise is wonderful and totally worth your time. Definitely check this one out.

Reviewed: 2018-10-08

Book Reflection:"Hard and fast and merciless like I've been taught." The first in a new series, this book is... well at times it leaves me breathless. To see these oral traditions brought to life in a new story makes my heart so happy. I hope to see this book and the rest of the future series in YA collections everywhere. Read this book if you like dystopian futures with magical elements.
A Note: This book is not without it's controversy. Some believe that Roanhorse shared too much sacred information. However Roanhorse is Ohkay Owingeh and her spouse and daughter are Navajo. This gives her access to traditional knowledge. That alone is not enough to support her sharing of scared things, but until I see Tribal Council speak against her writings I will assume that she has both blessing and authority to write as she does. I am not a member of the Nation involved and unless I see disrespect (which I super don't) it's not my place to say what can and cannot be shared of another Tribal Nation's culture. From my reading I found language and some religious stories to be the only specifics shared and those are easily accessible to most people, should they wish to learn.

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