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Trail of Lightning

Written by: Rebecca Roanhorse
Narrated by: Tanis Parenteau
Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse have destroyed most of the planet…yet out of these waters, Dinétah, a former Navajo reservation, has been miraculously reborn. Listen along as Tanis Parenteau's impeccable narration, capturing the rhythms of Navajo speech, fully envelopes you into the Sixth World. 

When Dinétah needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie - a monster hunter and supernatural killer - is its last, best hope. Trail of Lightning follows our heroine as she walks the land alongside gods, heroes of legend, and monsters alike. Reluctantly, she enlists the aid of an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel Dinétah, unraveling clues from ancient legends and trading favors with tricksters. As Maggie discovers the truth behind the killings, she will have to confront her past if she wants to survive - for what she uncovers about the monster she is sent to find is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.   

©2018 Rebecca Roanhorse (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

if you like urban fantasy...

So good. If you like Dresden and Iron Druid; give this a listen. The world is so fascinating; post-apactoliptic, native magic, with all the mystery of gods and double crossing immortals.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

intriguing and violent

This is a brutal world with a complex mythology. A nigh classic story of gods walking the earth.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I'm addicted to well-written urban fantasy

I loved that it's read by a Metis actress! And I can't stop talking about this book, I think my friends are just smiling and nodding as I fangirl at this point.

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  • Annie Slasher (Booked & Loaded)
  • 2019-01-14

AMAZING STORY

I picked up Trail of Lightning on a whim while trying to find something new to use my Audible credits on. This is easily the most pleased with a random purchase since...well...EVER. Trail of Lightning is not only a well-written story, but the characters are dynamic and each page seemed to bring an unexpected turn.

Trail of Lightning follows Maggie Hoskie on a very interesting journey both physically and mentally. As a supernatural monster hunter, she must fight her inner struggles as well as figure out who real monsters are. Listening to this story reminded me of home, which I know sounds weird but let me explain. I grew up on 95% Alaskan Native folk stories as a child. They all brought a scary threat of what not to do and the pretty clear-cut consequences of what not listening to your parents/elders/nature get you..normally dead or maybe your family killed. Hey, it's Alaska and I was a weird child. Trail of Lightning had the same undertone set in an apocalyptic future, caused by rising waters and severe drought. I couldn't help but feel the same type of meaning in Roanhorse's writing.

Every aspect of Trail of Lightning is worthy of praise. I would like to wrap this author up in love and praise for providing such beautiful and creative quality work. It seems like adult dystopian or apocalyptic reads are a rare find with most publishers leaning toward YA in these genres. Roanhorse built a world that held me captive from beginning to end.

The world is grim and this isn't a rainbows-flying-out-of-unicorn-butts type of book, but it still wasn't overwhelming negative. In my opinion, this was one of the best debut novels by an author that I have read in a very long time.  Possibly ever.

If you enjoy a great apocalypse, dystopian or urban fantasy read...READ THIS NOW.

Audio thoughts: Narration takes place by Tanis Parenteau. Parenteau did a pretty decent job. The narration felt smooth and never pulled me out of the story. I always felt like a little something was missing to make it great. A solid 4 rating for narration.

119 of 123 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • YiaYia
  • 2019-02-02

Fresh take on post apocalypse

Loved the world view. The Native American setting was fresh and had a lot of texture. Some of the vernacular was a little difficult to understand as I listened to this book. May be easier if you read the words. The narrator did a great job. The story bogged down in a few places...Magdalena- the protagonist was a little angsty but overall definitely worth a read or a listen.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • kattwmn
  • 2019-01-16

Fantastic new world from a new author!

Post apocalyptic meets Navajo mythology meets not-quite-anti-hero-version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It's no wonder Audible listed this among the top listens of 2018.

My biggest gripes were that there were some characters that the narrator didn't do the way I think they would have sounded (making them sound angry or evil when they probably wouldn't have had that tone while talking) and that it was sometimes a bit tough keeping some of the Navajo words/names straight (there was one word the main character was called repeatedly that I missed what it meant, which was frustrating).

I hope the author continues with the series.

PS: To Audible in the intro/closing: Roan is a color of horse and is one syllable, pronounced rōn; not two syllables ro-an.

43 of 46 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cynthia
  • 2018-08-09

The person you hire when the heroes fail

“I’m the person you hire when the heroes have already come home in body bags.” -MH

Ii like to listen to Audible books when I am hiking and trail running. I got 25 miles in (with a net elevation gain of 3,967 feet) listening to Rebecca Roanhorse’s “Trail of Lightning” (2018). In two days. When the average temperature was 96 degrees, and the air was thick with smoke from the worst California wildfires in recorded history.

I’m tired, slightly dehydrated, 3 pounds lighter, and as happy as I can be knowing that I’m going to have to wait another year for the next book in The Sixth World Series, “Storm of Locusts” (2019). What’s even more extraordinary? Audible was my second trip with Monsterslayer Maggie Hoskie; the gorgeous, ethereal Healer Kai Arviso and his grandfather Tah; the trickster Coyote (Ma’li); and the immortal monsterslayer Neizgháni, The print edition was released several months before the Audible, and “Trail of Lightning” was so well reviewed I just couldn’t wait. The Audible did not disappoint, and the cover art for the print edition is so gorgeous I’m happy to have both.

The book starts, “The monster has been here . . . I can also smell the child he’s stolen.” What a chilling way to begin a story. Who - or what - is the monster? And who made the monster? Who is the child, who are her parents, who are her clans? Who has what clan powers?

Coyote is always present, preening and dressed in Western finer. He cajoles, diverts, amuses - and as always, tricks and lies.

Coyote’s adversary is Maggie Hoskie, the protege of Neizgháni. Mags (as Kai calls her) has clan powers that make her a warrior. She’s a killer with a conscience, horrified by what she thinks people think of her because of her abilities. Mags is fully armed and as adept with knives as guns. She’s fierce and unforgettable.

A few weeks before I listened to “Trail of Lightning” I happened to take a trip to Dinétah. I was able to geographically set the locations of The Sixth World. It’s serenely, austerely beautiful now, with soaring red gold mesas; and a sere island refuge after the New Madrid fault and the Big Water created a new coast and a new country in the book.

I thought Tanis Parenteau was a wonderful narrator, but to be fair - I’m not Diné (Navajo) and I don’t speak that language. Ms. Parenteau is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Canada. The Navajo seemed natural in the narration, not forced.

The title of the review is a modified quote from the book.

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138 of 153 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Miachi
  • 2019-02-02

Wonderful world building but a little indulgent

As others have said, the world building is wonderful and has a ton of potential. Some of the plot elements have been done to death (demigods, zombies and monsters, etc), but the Navajo lore and mythology give it all a refreshing overhaul.

The characters are a little indulgent. The main character is a total bad *ss (although with plenty of emotional baggage so as not to make her perfect), and the love interest is straight out of a romance novel. It honestly reminded me of some fanfiction I read when I was younger. Similarly, the writing level starts off a little choppy and amateurish, but it smooths out by the end. I waffled between 3 and 4 stars for the story. The plot never gets very suspenseful despite the mysteries, and the characters have lots of history but not lots of depth. In the end I went for 4 because the book was still enjoyable and exactly the length it needed to be.

Overall this was a very easy listen made easier by the narrator, who fit the main character perfectly. I am looking forward to the sequels and will definitely be picking them up. I think now that the author has some experience and some attention (cough::editors::cough) I think this series will only get better.

24 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • =A
  • 2018-12-31

Outstanding!

This is one of my favorite stories of the year, and the reader does a great job of giving the shero a voice.
Our world ended when the seas rose, and in the wake of the apocalypse legends walk among the survivors. The story is set on the land the Navajo re-claimed, and their legends and worldview shape the land and events.
- I'll grant that something happens in the first chapter i had problems with, but I am really glad i persevered because i very much like the book and can't wait to read the sequel.
I recommend it highly.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Valerie
  • 2018-09-29

Superb world-building, but trigger-warning

This book has an interesting new fantasy setting and I was glad I finished it. I almost didn't because there is an early, violent death of a child. That stopped me and I didn't listen to more until I was desperate for another book. I don't buy books about kidnapped children or abused children, etc. Sorry, but I just can't. The heroine is strong and smart, which I like. Her sidekick has complementary strengths. The underlying mythology is interesting. So, I'll probably buy the next in the series. However, I'm not looking forward to it with excitement like I am to the next in the Akita Witch series.

49 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • phyncke
  • 2018-10-02

Brilliant

Loved this from the opening moments to the final scene. It was one of those stories that you get so caught up in that you don’t want it to end. Fallable heroine, strong secondary characters. I am really glad this is a series as I in for the whole ride. Definitely in! The writing is beautiful and feels great to support an indigenous author. This is an amazing story!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Fives
  • 2019-01-28

Wonderful exploration of Navajo Culture

As a belagona who lived amounh the Navajo for years I loved the depth of this story. This amazing and unique culture is the perfect background for an apocalyptic story like none other. Totally unpredictable and fast paced. I hope there is more to come.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ralph Lee
  • 2018-08-17

It’s a long A.

I loved this story and the way it was told. I don’t know if the individual reading this to me was Navajo or not but it would’ve been nice to have a native tongue speak the Diné words used in this book. I cringed every time the word “Hogan” was said.

26 of 32 people found this review helpful