Trail of Lightning is the first book in a new Urban Fantasy series by Rebecca Roanhorse, author of the multiple-award-winning short story “Welcome To Your Authentic Indian Experience (TM)”. Trail of Lightning is her debut novel and what a debut it is!
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.
Trail of Lightning was absolutely fantastic. Even brand-new to the field Roanhorse’s writing is easily on-par with Urban Fantasy veterans such as Seanan McGuire, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs and Jim Butcher. I can’t help but compare Trail of Lightning to other UF series – and when I do, I’m comparing it to the cream of the crop, because that’s the level of quality here.
Roanhorse’s Sixth World is a vivid dystopia, beautifully built and will appeal to fans of the Kate Daniels series. I loved exploring the world of the Dinétah. Set on the Navajo reservation in the Southwest, the community and landscape we’re introduced to is something new. Readers unfamiliar with Navajo customs and beliefs will definitely walk away having learned something new. I know I sure did.
I would have liked a pronunciation guide for the many Navajo words Roanhorse uses throughout the book. I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce some of the words with double vowels and accent marks I haven’t encountered before.
The main character, Maggie Hoskie (or Maggie Hostile as I began to call her in my head) will feel both familiar and fresh to UF fans. Maggie is a badass with baggage. She’s had a rough road to get where she is, and she’s not happy with her current situation. Things go from mediocre to worse as she follows the trail of monsters to their source. She is just the kind of character that Urban Fantasy fans love to love, but with fresh spins on everything so she doesn’t feel recycled, which is hard to do.
There is a LOT of Urban Fantasy out there, and there’s a lot that feels recycled and tropey. Trail of Lightning dodges all of that to stand out from the crowd. I was simultaneously sucked in and blown away by the story. I can’t wait for the second installment, Storm of Locusts in 2019.
Trail of Lightning hits shelves June 26, 2018 from Saga Press and should absolutely be on your radar if you’re a fan of UF.
Thank you to Saga Press for providing a review copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.