Review: Trail of Lightning | Rebecca Roanhorse

Everything you've done, your past, it's all just a story you tell yourself. Some of it is true, but some of it is lies.

Book Info

Genre: Post Apocalyptic Sci-fi/Fantasy
Number of Pages: 287
Perspective: First
Location: New Mexico/Colorado/Arizona

Trail of Lightning follows the monster hunter, Maggie, after a climate-change-induced flood drowns most of the world. Now, gods, heroes, and monsters walk amongst those who remain on an old Navajo reservation. For a complete summary, you can go here.

 Book Review

TL;DR: A thrilling story with a badass heroine that we all need right now.

Rating: 4/5

Full Review: I read this book as a part of our Judging More Than Just The Cover Book Club podcast [check out the spoiler-filled discussion episode here]. This was our ninth episode, following On the Come UpSo this review will be spoiler-free and the podcast will have more details and thorough analysis. We chose this book because it had a strong female main character.

I typically have a hard time with fantasy novels. But I really enjoyed this book because it didn’t spend the first half world-building. Instead, we jumped right into the action. I hate when fantasy books take so long to get into the plot and introduce too many made-up words that ultimately are more distracting than helpful, such as in Akata Witch. In Trail of Lightning, she built the world as we went.

Anyone who has read my reviews before, [and this article] you know that I hate series. However, I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I also appreciated how short it was for fantasy. It makes me much more willing to read the sequel since I know I will get more plot, rather than just the beginning of the plot after an entire novel of world-building.

The writing did distract me in the first part of the book. There were too many run-on sentences; some sentences had too many uses of “and”. But that’s all nit-picky stuff. I didn’t even notice it once I was hooked into the story.

Just like On the Come Up, this book sparks a lot of good discussion about larger-scale issues. For example, it talks about systemic racism and the horrific treatment of Native Americans. It is not technically YA, but could lead to insightful discussions in high school.

Because of the muddled ending and unclearness, I would rate this a 4 out of 5. It would pretty good, but I still need to read the second book to get the full picture. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Podcast Episode (With Spoilers)

My Rating

4 star review

Words matter...The name you give things, it forms them when you speak. You must always be careful with your words.

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