I have no idea where I found Killer of Enemies. Something about the title caught my attention, I think, but by the time I had picked it up (from the library) I had already forgotten why.
Somehow, though, I decided to read it, anyway. Despite a title that probably should have died in marketing (as one commenter already noted), the description promised a little bit of everything: dystopia, magic, Apache prophecies, monsters…
Also, it’s YA. How much time commitment could it require? I’ll take a gamble.
I’m glad I did.
Lozen is a seventeen year old survivor after the end of the world. Poor even before a cosmic cloud obliterated all electronics worldwide, Lozen is an Apache, a gifted hunter, and she is utilized as a tool to kill the enemies of the elites who rule on this side of the end of civilization. She is, however, not a consenting tool, and as she hunts the strange mutant monsters that roam the Earth, she is scheming and planning to free her family, held as hostages to control Lozen. Meanwhile, with the Earth held in a permanent technological dead-end, psychic powers begin to awaken in Lozen.
Let me just pause here and note that despite a pretty strange premise–not mention some concerns about the book not really knowing what it wants to be–Joseph Bruchac seems to do a great job telling a story. It starts at a run, and it never really slows down. And that makes it worth the read. It’s fast, it paces well, and it’s fun to read.
But it doesn’t know what it is. There are mutant monsters, vampires, giant eagles, high tech electronics that are genetically integrated with humans (at least until the Cloud arrives and ends anything electronic), psychic powers, Big Foot, and old Apache myths and prophecies…
Yes. The book is all over the place. I couldn’t tell if Bruchac has been watching too many horror movies or if he was trying to channel his inner Larry Correia, but aimed at a younger audience than Monster Hunter International. There’s really no cohesive mythology or explanation tying it all together, though, and though there is a plausible explanation each time a new creature or plot twist pops in–whether its vampires (some plague that escaped) or Big Foot (preexisting human civilization) or psychic powers (they had been repressed during the electronic era)–in the sum, it gives me the impression that Bruchac was winging it, pulling little slips of paper out of hat to figure out what was going to be the next “miniboss” or obstacle.
But don’t let that deter you from reading. It’s a fun read, clean, and with good character development. Lozen is sympathetic, and it’s easy to feel her emotions for her family, the Ones who control her, for the gardener boy, and her desire for freedom. If you’re looking for a wild ride, Killer of Enemies is good to go. Just don’t look too closely at the scenery on your ride.
- Waiting on Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (54) (moonlightlibrary.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (alotlikedreaming.wordpress.com)
- Cover Reveal: Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac + Giveaway (US Only) (yabookscentral.com)
- Killer of Enemies, by Joseph Bruchac (book review) – mind, heart, death in future (booksyalove.com)
- Mad Max Meets Apache Steampunk in Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (beyondvictoriana.com)