Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac
Publisher: Tu Books
Release Date: September 2013
Summary: Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones-people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human-and there was everyone else who served them. Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones’ pets-genetically engineered monsters-turned on them and are now loose on the world.Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen’s powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun. As the legendary Killer of Enemies was in the ancient days of the Apache people, Lozen is meant to be a more than a hunter. Lozen is meant to be a hero.
Review: I liked the book but I didn’t love it. I liked Lozen but I didn’t love her. If she was real, I don’t think we’ll be friends though we’d be nice to one another. Though I wasn’t quite indifferent to the story or characters, I also didn’t sigh a big sigh of love and exhilaration after I was finished.
The story was interesting. The details of how each monster came to be I found intriguing. Lozen cares a big deal about her family and it shows in her attitude and her mental musing. Lozen is frank with her abilities to kill and unlike a certain other girl character in a certain other book who is a professed assassin, Lozen actually kills. Her personality and sense of humor is odd… and doesn’t quite mesh well with mine and I would probably annoy her too. She has a distinct voice. And thus, I like her, but don’t quite love her.
The setting… is a strange one. This story is told more in fashion to folklore and fairy tales… the how and why the world came to be are hazy and convoluted at best. If you are looking for an exact explanation and reasons as to why the world ended up the way that it did in the book, you may be disappointed in how the reveal is portrayed. After some musing, I decided to read the book like folklore as the story itself seems to refer to folklore for juxtaposition. Read in this fashion, it worked for me. But I still want a why and how in the back of my mind.
There is no instant love. The love interest is not annoyingly love sick and neither was Lozen, the main character. I liked how the love interest was also not a typical white guy (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
This book, like referenced above, refers to mythology of Native Americans and as such also has some touches of fantasy. So… the genres in the book are: post apocalyptic, dystopian, science fiction, fantasy… though for some reason it’s touted as steam punk and I didn’t ever got a steam punk feel. For me, this was not a steam punk novel at all. If having aviator or bike goggles makes something steam punk, maybe we should attach bike or aviator goggles to more things to make them more interesting.
As you can tell by now…. I’m very in the middle about this book.
Oh and I did like the ruling Ones. They were interesting in some respects.
Oh and it’s a stand-alone… For now…
(Picture is hyper-linked to their Goodreads’ page.)
This one is hard to think of read-a-likes because I can’t really think of any books (coming to mind immediately) that share any similar qualities past the generics and into specifics except for one.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Why the Recommendation: Not because they both are dystopic novels. No. But because the protagonists are two strong and determined young women. They aren’t alike besides the fact that they are young women, but their personal drives and need and want to stay alive are of equal caliber.
Why the Recommendation: Both are dystopian in nature, though the reasons are different. Both feature two young women trained to kill. Though I cannot guarantee the like-ness of the protagonist of the girl in this novel to Lozen as I hadn’t read this book yet.
Why the Reommendation: Girl killer – meet boy killer. (Though this novel is modern day in nature.)