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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 (16 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

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 its 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 reservation, 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.

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

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

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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    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.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thank you.]

48 of 52 people found this review helpful

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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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dennis
  • 2018-08-15

Worth Reading

The story was very good, very harry dresden esk in the way the mystery builds. The characters are good. I would definitely get the next book if there is one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • LMG
  • 2018-11-11

unique world, strong MC

Not an "easy" read, but a fun, fascinating, fast read.
Cool MC. Interesting side characters. Cool world.
Immediately went out and read everything I could get my hands on by this author.
All good. This one was the best.

#FemaleProtagonist #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-01-16

Good read. good narration

the author has some really great use of plot twists and tension. it was an interesting and mysterious apocalyptic setting.

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  • Katrina Brown
  • 2019-01-15

Excellent read- Indigenous brilliance!

This is such an engaging book. I loved every minute. I can’t wait to teach it in my classroom!

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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.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-04

Fantastic original fantasy!

I finished this book in one sitting. It was compelling to listen to and the Native American setting was refreshing and original. The author obviously knows her culture and is an excellent storyteller.