Trail of Lightning is one of those books where you wish you read it earlier and then kick yourself over not reading it sooner. To say I want to read them all right now is a vast understatement.
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.
The very first thing that struck me about Trail of Lightning is how smart and spirited out main character, Maggie, is. Maggie immediately grips you because of her honesty, her narrative tone, and her development as a character. My experience reading Trail of Lightning is only heightened by seeing Roanhorse speak at BookCon on the need for diverse books.
There were so many lines in Trail of Lightning that just captivated me. Quotes about greed, about the words we use that matter, and more. Not only were the characters people I would want to hang out with – of course maybe not in this world – but the world building was fabulous. It wasn’t one of those things that just hits you over the head, it was subtle. But Roanhorse doesn’t hold our hands. The world building is subtle, painting us a picture of elements that are entirely different, but also familiar. In the same book we find books about trucks that run on moonshine, but also police brutality.
One of the themes that really puts Trail of Lightning above is the theme/exploration of the idea of our own evilness. In some ways, the world makes weapons out of us. Sometimes we get convinced we are evil, that we are wrong, and stupid, or whatever it is. It’s about that place where you’re so convinced and the ways we need to figure out if we can unwrap it. At the same time, there were elements of toxic relationships tied in with this. And just another reason you need to read Trail of Lightning and can find it on Goodreads.