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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

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Review: Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (Native American - Huzzah!)

Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

Killer of Enemies
Joseph Bruchac
Publication Date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Tu Books
Reviewer: Sophia

A post-Apocalyptic YA novel with a steampunk twist, based on an Apache legend.

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.

I never thought I would ever come across a book that dumps information on you AND like it.

With a post-apocalyptic world where people are ruled over genetically modified people who are barely human anymore, Joseph Bruchac has obviously planned this book very well and vividly, even with the amount of information he dumps on you for most of the book. I find that the information dump actually goes very well with the amount of action there is. Take away all of the information, and you'll be left with an empty husk of a book that is just full of nonstop action, which would definitely backfire big time on the author because it would be pretty undeveloped.

Bruchac is very detail-oriented throughout the book – it's not just the information being dumped. Lozen, our main character who is a monster hunter for the genetically modified people ruling over her home, apparently goes into excruciating detail about some things, such as talking about someone's body odor or eating a monster's heart (that was gross).

Killer of Enemies also promotes diversity in the young adult genre – Lozen is a Native American, and I can honestly say I have never had a Native American in any book I've read so far until now. There are hints of Native American traditions and culture woven throughout, and I find that it's probably one of the reasons why I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I would have without the Native American aspect.

Despite how awesome and diverse Killer of Enemies, there were just some things that knocked down some points. Throughout the information dumping, I don't think Bruchac actually mentions why or how the four rulers of Haven actually got their names. The Dreamer and Lady Time make sense, but the Jester doesn't really make sense, and Diablita Loca (how do you even say that?) makes no sense whatsoever.

There also doesn't seem to be a purpose, and while there does seem to be one, I just can't really tell at all. The entire book is pretty much described in less than ten words: hunting weird monsters, telling stories, flashbacks, and information dump.

I did, however, like how Bruchac ends Killer of Enemies by saying something along the lines of, "Just because this story is over doesn't mean everything is now peachy and happily ever after. It's just uncertain, but right now, everything is great."

3.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.