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Avatar: The Last Airbender: North and South, Part Three by Gene Luen Yang
Books of a Feather by Kate Carlisle
Caleb and Kit by Beth Vrabel
CatStronauts: Robot Rescue by Drew Brockington
Country Matters by Michael Korda
The Dashwood Sisters Tell All by Beth Pattillo
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Flaming Iguanas: An Illustrated All-Girl Road Novel Thing by Erika Lopez
The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring
Froodle by Antoinette Portis
Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs
House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser and Jon Klassen
Inside Hudson Pickle by Yolanda Ridge
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Love Lies Bleeding by Susan Wittig Albert
Love, Penelope by Joanne Rocklin
Melena's Jubilee by Zetta Elliott and Aaron Boyd
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
The Once Upon a Time Map Book by B.G. Hennessy and Peter Joyce
Poisoned Pages by Lorna Barrett
Questions Asked by Jostein Gaarder
The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble
Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil, Vol. 1 by Jeff Lemire
Spy on History: Victor Dowd and the World War II Ghost Army by Enigma Alberti
Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley
Thornhill by Pam Smy
Tim Ginger by Julian Hanshaw
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
Winter Wonders by Kate Hannigan

Favorites of the first half of 2018
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 02, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 09, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 16, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 23, 2018)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 30, 2018)
June 2018 Sources
June 2018 Summary

Road Essays
Are small towns uhoric or utopic?
An update on the road narrative reading
Road Narrative Spectrum
What isn't a road narrative: towards an ontological understanding of the road's importance

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Beat the Backlist 2024

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Trail of Lightning: 07/14/18

Trail of Lightning

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse is the first of the Sixth World post apocalyptic urban fantasy series. In the vast majority of these types of stories, even ones that take place in a desert situation, never seem to have any people of color or indigenous people. This one, though, is set after a global flood, "The Big Water" in landlocked Dinétah — the Navajo Nation. In this post flood reality, the cataclysmic event has brought to life the magic and stories and along with it, the monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a monster hunter. She is the last resort, hired by families when loved ones go missing. After a disastrous hunt where she ends up fighting a monster she's never seen before, a tsé naayéé, a "creature fashioned from a mixture of flesh and something organic. Wood, stone, even corn. But without the power of speech." (p. 41) The rise of these things requires Maggie to seek help.

Maggie is normally a loner — something unusual for a culture that frames everything around clan affiliations. She is also too focused on staying alive and staying good (believing she has been infected by evil). If Maggie were to work solo, the focus would be entirely on the monsters she sent to kill and her relationship with both Neizghání and Ma'ii.

So instead, the story of what happened and how Dinétah survived the Big Water is outlined through her collaboration with Kai Arviso, a young man who has been living in The Burque but has returned home for reasons all his own.

I read this book for fun but it does fit beautifully into my road narrative project. In terms of the road narrative spectrum, the book is either a #3366FF (a couple, traveling around home, though a cornfield (or in this case with the aid of sacred corn) or it's and #FF66FF if we count Maggie and Kai as orphans working their own separate magic around the homeland with the aid of sacred corn. For this first installment, I'm inclined to go with the former and wait and see how their relationship evolves over the remaining books.

The next book is Storm of Locusts which comes out April 23, 2019.

Five stars

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