Trail of the Dead
In the sequel to Killer of Enemies (2013), Lozen, an Apache teen, continues to lead her family through the post-electronic-age Southwest, fighting genetically modified monsters, struggling with her sometimes fuzzy mind-reading abilities, and coming closer to understanding her feelings about Hassan. While a slower pace and greater emphasis on development in the second of a trilogy is often lamented, this shows how it’s done right. Battle scenes are still vibrant with ricocheting action; but between the action, a dreamlike, lore-filled backdrop emerges that informs the present day and increases both the emotional heft and the stakes of the action. Even more notable is that in this dystopian near future, the characters in this diverse cast haven’t lost their ties to their cultures of origin. Instead they are infused with them, and use them to the benefit of the group, from Lozen’s Native American heritage, to a Scotsman’s, to Arabic Hussain’s. A promised third installment is highly anticipated.