Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Saga Press
Length: 287 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Publication Date: June 26th 2018
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.
Set in a future where rising seas levels and storms reshaped the world, changing the dynamic of powers on Earth, Trail of Lightning is set in Dinétha, the former Navajo reservation. Before the world collapsed, the Dinée sensed that something bad was coming. They built a magic wall with the aid of their gods to seperate themselves to the rest of the world. Thanks to the wall, they weren’t touched as badly by the horrors happening outside in Mexico or the former USA. However, when you built a wall, you also trap some monsters on your side, and you cannot run away from them.
That’s why you need to hire people like Maggie Hoskie, a super badass monster-hunter. She was trained by the best: Neizgháni an immortal monster slayer. He found her when Maggie lost everything during a bloody event that led to the death of her entire family. This event changed her and awakened her clan powers. Clan powers are abilities that appear in certain Diné and allow them to have superpowers. Your powers depend on your ancestors: Maggie is extremely fast and she’s also very good at killing things, monsters or humans. Because of that, she often wonders if she’s any better than the monsters she’s constantly killing.
At the start of the novel, Maggie is called to help a girl who was kidnapped by a monster. The Diné are afraid of Maggie but, after Neizgháni’s disappearance, she’s the only one around who can help. During her hunt, she realizes that the monster she’s hunting is a new kind of monster and that he might be way more dangerous than she first imagined.
To understand what’s going on, Maggie is going to need an acolyte: Kai Arviso, a gorgeous medicine man that looks a lot more like an actor than a warrior. Maggie isn’t very happy to be working with a new partner but, it’s not like she has any choice in the matter, she has to work with what she has.
I really, really liked this book! The worldbuilding was fascinating, it’s my first time reading a urban fantasy story set around Navajo myths and legends and I loved that aspect. The characters were also amazing, Maggie is a very strong female character but she’s also very flawed. She’s so afraid of her own powers that she prefers to live on her own far from any people because she doesn’t want to hurt anyone.
Even if she likes to appear tough, she’s actually very self-conscious and afraid of how whe’s perceived by her community. I found myself rooting for her from the beginning because, even if she doesn’t always made the best decisions, I could always see where she was coming from.
The other character that I also liked quite a bit was Coyote: to be honest, he’s an asshole, he’s unreliable, always working for his own benefit but still, he was great. Some discussions he had with Maggie and Kai were frankly hilarious.
And Kai, oh Kai, I love Kai. He’s the best. He’s the complete opposite of Maggie in many aspects, he’s calmer, very friendly and he prefers to use words rather than weapons. He’s very supportive of Maggie but he’s also not afraid to call on her bullshit when she’s making dumb decisions. I also loved discovering his motives and his powers (even if his “huge” secret was obvious from the beginning). I loved how the romance slowly developped, I’m not always the biggest fan of romance but here it worked very well. It might have been helped by the fact that I had a huge crush on Kai myself.
My only issue with the romance was that it moved very quickly, the entire story is set in just a couple of weeks so, I personally things their feelings developped a bit too quickly for me. However, it didn’t feel like insta-love and I was too in love with the characters to complain!
I flew through this book, I read it in a day when I went on holidays. It’s a great plane-read, I was completely immersed in the story. I’m pretty sure I was smiling the entire time I read it.
My only complain with it is that the plot was fairly predictable, I loved reading this book but I saw all the twists and turns coming miles away. It wasn’t a huge problem with me since I loved the characters and the world so much but it definitely felt like the first book of a series. A lot of time was spend setting up the world and in my opinion, it was almost like the plot was put in the background for the first half of the book and, since the book is so short, it didn’t leave a lot of time for it.
However, even if it’s not the best book I ever read, I enjoyed the ride so much that I would still highly recommend it and I cannot wait for the sequel! 😀