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.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review and can confirm all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Maggie Hoskie was a monster hunter on a break after being abandoned by her tutor the god Neizgghani. It’s only when a young girl goes missing that Maggie gets dragged back into the world of slaying and what she finds isn’t like any monster shes seen before. This one looks almost human and Maggie is worried about the magic it would take to create something like this. When she goes to visit Grandpa Tah, the closest thing she has to family, he insists that his Grandson accompanies Maggie on her mission to find the witches responsible. Only Maggie works alone, and Kai, the pretty boy training to be a medicine man, seems like he would be more of a hazard than a help. Everyone has their secrets though, Maggie most of all, and it takes a whole host of characters, Gods and humans alike before they will learn to trust one another and find the person responsible for creating the monsters.
You know me and mythology! I jumped at the chance to review this book so fast as soon as I found out it was focused around Native American folklore. Part dystopian, part urban fantasy this book had me hooked from the first few lines and I found myself flying through the pages. The world has been taken over by ‘Big Water’ and after the floods there are certain areas that managed to survive. Maggies world is safe only by the grace of four large walls that encircle the reservation, each made of a different material and the only thing standing between them and sure death. When big water happened, something changed within the reservation that allowed the creatures of old to walk the earth again, which is where Maggie comes in, because though some of them are God’s and relatively harmless to humans there are those, monsters, who seek to destroy. Maggie isn’t the only special one though, each Dine has powers passed down from their clans, Maggie’s are speed and a lust for the kill, but there are others and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about all the different clans powers. I found the whole premise really intriguing and was swept away learning all about Native American culture and mythology.
Maggie is a really intriguing character. Slow to trust, and who can blame her after the tragedy she lived through. After the horiffic death of her grandmother, her only remaining family, she is taken in by Neizghani, the Monsterslayer himself. He see’s promise in Maggie, especially when her clan powers give her exceptional speed and blood lust, and takes her under his wing. However, a god is not the kind of person who should be raising a child, the only love he shows is through praising her ability to kill. Neizghani, left when he started to believe that Maggie was becoming more monster than human and left her with some major trust and self esteem problems. She has amazing character growth in this book, and I loved seeing her build relationships, tenuous as some of them where. Headstrong, powerful and fully able to look after herself, even if she jumps into fights not realising the consequences.
Maggie’s relationships was a part of the book I found myself really invested in. We see this girl at the beginning, putting on a brave face while inside she feels dead, and her progression through the book is hugely based on the bonds she forms. Not just romantic relationships, but familial and friendships. Kai is a massive part of her journey, and you just knew you were in for a ride when he called her ‘mags’ on their first meeting. I loved seeing their relationship progress from timid partners to friends and then to the potential for something more.
The world-building in the book is minimal, though we do get to see a large part of the reservation through Maggie and Kai’s journey. The writing style and plot had me hooked from the very beginning, and I loved playing the guessing game the author gives us, who should we trust? Who is looking out for Maggie? And who is playing her? There were plenty of twists and turns, and the book ends on a heart breaking and yet promising cliff-hanger that had me eager to get my hands on the sequel. An easy 4/5.