Trail of the Dead

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Trail of the Dead
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
October 01, 2015
ISBN
978-1620142615
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In the sequel to the award-winning Killer of Enemies, Apache teen Lozen and her family are looking for a place of refuge from the despotic Ones who once held them captive and forced Lozen to hunt genetically engineered monsters. Lozen and her allies travel in search of a valley where she and her family once found refuge. But life is never easy in this post-apocalyptic world. When they finally reach the valley, they discover an unpleasant surprise awaiting them―and a merciless hunter following close behind. Hally, their enigmatic Bigfoot friend, points them to another destination―a possible refuge. But can Lozen trust Hally? Relying on her wits and the growing powers that warn her when enemies are near, Lozen fights internal sickness to lead her band of refugees to freedom and safety. Alongside family, new friends, and Hussein, the handsome young man whose life she saved, Lozen forges a path through a barren land where new recombinant monsters lurk and the secrets of this new world will reveal themselves to her . . . whether she wants them to or not.

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(Updated: August 29, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

Trail of The Dead

Bruchac once again casts a spell of magic over readers with this engaging sequel to KILLER OF ENEMIES. There's so much to love about this novel! Readers follow seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen as she now guides her family and allies to the valley where her family once took refuge. But along the way there are yet more monsters and enemies, both human and paranormal, that want her death. She also carries a darkness from her former killings that make her ill and threaten to destroy everything she has fought hard for. Even then, she fights on to find safety in a harsh, cruel world.

What worked: Once again Bruchac shows us a post-apocalyptic world with a Native American protagonist who is strong, courageous, and very human. Lozen at first might seem to be harden way beyond her seventeen years. Her former duty was to kill recombinant monsters that are the nightmare result of technology. What I love though is how we see inside her and how each killing weighs on her to the point it sickens her. Another name for this is PTSD. Lozen's friends and family try to help her with this which includes using her ancestor's stories and methods. Each one is told in such a way that is authentic and very gripping.

One huge plus has to be how Bruchac weaves in Native American folklore in such a way that it doesn't jar a reader out of the story but have you spellbound by the beauty. Love! Bruchac nails this as I didn't feel like class was in session at all. The stories are woven into the story line and add to the tension and suspense.

I'm not usually a fan of multiple points of view but Bruchac does a great job here too. I especially love how he adds weaknesses and vulnerabilities in even the toughest character which adds to their appeal.

Gripping story that has readers re-enter the harsh post-apocalyptic world with a tough Native American heroine who's struggles to overcome her own pains, while guiding others to a place of refuge, make her a character all are sure to rally behind.

Good Points
1. Authentic voice that pulls you right into Lozen's world
2. Gripping story line
3. Bruchac weaves in Native American folklore in such a way that doesn't jar the writing but rather feels magical
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