Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Release Day Review: Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Trail of Lightning
(The Sixth World #1)
Rebecca Roanhorse
Release: June 26, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
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.

When I first heard about Trail of Lightning, I was immediately sold on the fact that it's a post-apocalyptic urban fantasy that revolves around Native American culture and history and was written by a Native American author. For that reason alone, I'm glad I read it. It's a really good story! Roanhorse deftly weaves Navajo mythology into a Mad Max meets American Gods world with a dash of Buffy and the result was refreshingly unique and exciting.

There were things I loved about it and some things I didn’t. Thankfully, the things that irked me weren't a big enough issue to ruin my enjoyment of the story even though one part made me madder than hell. I sat down and read the whole thing in one sitting which says a lot about the writing. Also, can we just appreciate the cover art for this book for a second? It is seriously epic!

Let's talked about the things I loved first. As always, I was enthralled with the worldbuilding! The mythology and the post-apocalyptic setting were amazing! Everything about the worldbuilding and the magic system are deeply tied to the Navajo culture. Clan members sometimes develop powers that are unique to their clan and theirs alone. And I really loved how the author integrated current politics as well as climate change into how the apocalypse happened. The earth flooding because of our negligence was a nice touch.

I did have to stop a few times at the beginning while reading to look up things about Navajo mythology so I wasn't lost. It was fascinating but distracted from the story a bit as it was assumed that the reader has a basic knowledge of Navajo history and culture. I read an ARC so I don't know if this was added to the final version but I kind of needed an appendix for terms and a who's who for the gods and heroes.

The characters that inhabit this world are strange and vibrant. From mercenaries to medicine men to gods that now walk the earth, there's a little of something for every one. The main character, Maggie, is kind of the Navajo version of Kate Daniels only she's a bit more emotionally walled off than Kate was at the beginning. I couldn't help but like her though. She's not good with people and kind of enjoys killing to a certain level. Her clan power and upbringing have played a big part in making her that way. She’s a monster hunter cursed (or gifted depending on who you ask) with supernatural speed and the ability to kill. Most of the book revolved around her struggling to control her power and keep its blood lust from consuming her.

I loved a lot of the other characters in the story like Kai, Tah, and Clive but I really enjoyed seeing Coyote show up. The trickster god is one of my favorite characters in urban fantasy because no two authors will ever write him alike because the stories and the interpretations about him vary so much from culture to culture. Roanhorse’s version of his character really fascinated me though and I can't directly pin down why.

As for the things I didn't like, it's been hard to pinpoint what exactly irked me about it. This book is definitely a road trip story that feels episodic. The characters are always running into trouble and only get to react to it instead of preparing for things. It was entertaining to read but the big climax felt abrupt and was wrapped up way too quickly for my liking. Honestly, I'm not exactly sure how we got to the big showdown. It kind of just popped out of nowhere after one of the events and didn't have a smooth build up to it.

There's a twist at the end that was rather ingenious but made me so angry and I think that's where a lot of my ire with this book lies. I'm not going to say what it was but if you've read the book you know the twist I'm talking about. It does say a lot about Roanhorse's writing that I'm upset about what happened but I can see why she did it.

Overall, I really liked Trail of Lightning. It caught my attention and I was hooked before I knew what happened. I’m super intrigued to see where this story goes. I'll definitely be reading the next book when it comes out next year.

ARC provide by the publisher via Edelweiss.

  4 / 5 Stars

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to read comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...