Basically, the best paranormal/urban fantasy book I have read in years.
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
The world drowned in the Big Water and now only a few places are left, including
Dinétah (formerly, the Navajo reservation). Now Maggie Hoskie, bereft and listless after her hero and mentor deserted her on the Black Mesa, is being pulled back into monster slaying. See, when the world crashed, the monsters from folklore and legend came back. Maggie is asked to save a young girl from just such a monster, stirring memories she’d rather let fester and die. She soon finds herself on something of a hero’s quest, with a new partner by her side, Kai Aviso, a man with big medicine and even bigger secrets.
The worldbuilding is superb. The mythology explored in the book is fascinating and vivid. Roanhorse doesn’t bog you (the reader) down in exposition, she actually kind of dumps you in the deep end and requires you to swim. But it is so worth it. There’s so much action; the pace is relentless, the plot dense and twisty. Maybe I saw one or two things coming, but I was also totally surprised by other narrative choices.
Maggie is an interesting character. Like a lot of UF heroines, she’s powerful and damaged, with a horrific backstory. But Maggie is also so much more than that. She’s smart and savvy, self-sufficient to a fault, but when pushed into accepting help from others, comes to accept it and rely on it. Roanhorse allows Maggie to change and grow as the novel progresses. She’s still a badass monster killing machine at the end, though, don’t worry.