"Episodic high-octane chapters alternate between Lozen's battles in the wilderness and the sinister intrigue in Haven. . . . [T]he brisk pace and nonstop action keep things moving. This original addition to the dystopian genre ends with the open-ended promise of more to come."
Killer of Enemiesby Joseph Bruchac
Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Onespeople so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely humanand 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’ petsgenetically engineered monstersturned 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.
"Killer of Enemies is a wild teen adventure-fantasy that starts fast, gets faster and never touches the brakes. A mind-bending fantasy that smashes across genre lines to tell a story about survival, courage, and lots of monsters. Joseph Bruchac brings serious game. Highly recommended!"
Gr 7 Up—Author of more than 120 books for adults and children, Bruchac has incorporated his Abenaki heritage into much of his writing. Killer of Enemies is no different. What is unique here is the postapocalyptic twist. Following the coming of the Cloud, which destroyed all technology and plunged the world back into the preindustrial age, 17-year-old Lozen, of Abenaki and Apache ancestry, is one of the few people left with the ancient skills and courage necessary to survive outside the walls of their city, a former prison. Holding her family hostage has given the rulers leverage over Lozen, forcing her to fight the genetically altered monsters that threaten the city and its inhabitants. While the premise is solid, the monster-of-the-day approach becomes somewhat redundant, and readers may wish that more emphasis had been placed on the circumstances surrounding the coming of the Cloud and its affect on the world, Lozen's relationship with her family and fellow incarcerates, and the rising of the walled cities. This is a serviceable addition to the ever-growing dystopian genre.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
This near-future dystopia starring an Apache female superhero has the soul of a graphic novel, if not the art. Like her famous Chiracahua ancestor, Lozen too is a warrior, but unlike her namesake, it's by coercion. Her masters are four semihuman rulers of Haven, a walled fortress in what was once Arizona. Much of humanity perished when the Cloud, a mysterious force that's rendered human technology useless, arrived from beyond Jupiter. Although their bio-enhancements no longer work, the despotic overlords that survive rule. Holding Lozen's family as hostages, Haven's rulers send her out to battle gemods, genetically modified monsters left over from pre-C days. Lozen complies while working toward her family's escape. On each trip, she caches supplies, food, weapons. Allies--natural and supernatural, known and hidden, at Haven and in the wild--offer guidance but not rescue. For that, Lozen must rely on her wits, tracking skills and weaponry (guns have survived the Cloud), drawing strength from her warrior heritage to dispatch monstrous birds of prey, a giant anaconda and more (the cartoonish tone helps mute the graphic violence). Lozen's tactics and weaponry are detailed at length but within a cultural framework that fosters respect for the planet and its surviving natural inhabitants. A good bet for fans of superhero fiction and graphic novels and readers in search of superpowered female warriors. (Fantasy. 12 & up)
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Meet the Author
Joseph Bruchac is an Abenaki Indian. He is among the most respected and widely published Native American authors, with over 100 titles in print, including the popular Keepers of the Earth series and Lee & Low's Crazy Horse's Vision, which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. His YA novel, Wolf Mark, is a Westchester Young Adult Fiction Award winner. A Rockefeller Fellow and an NEA Poetry Writing Fellow, he was the 1999 recipient of the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to writing, Bruchac is an editor at Greenfield Review Press, a literary publishing house he co-founded with his wife. He lives in Greenfield Center, New York.
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Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac is story that has a dystopian setting with some Native American history thrown in. In the dystopian society of Haven, all the electronic devices have stopped working post Cloud. Haven is very basic living society. They have limited communication such as runners or carrier birds, no means of rapid transportation, and there is a limited food and water supply. The “Ones” hear about a girl who had an affinity for killing things and so they sent people to get her. The protagonist, Lozen is black mailed into becoming a monster killer for the “Ones” by kidnapping her and her family and bringing them to Haven. The Ones send her out on missions to retrieve items or kill the altered monsters that are causing problems. They Ones think she is useful and want to use her but they also feel she is expendable. Lozen does as she is told so no harm comes to her family. However, while she goes out on these missions for the Ones, she also is scouting out the area so that she can find a place for her and her family to go when she has figured out a way to escape. Lozen uses her powers of perceiving danger, her ability to find water, and her ability to hear others thoughts, to stay alive on these missions. However, the training in hand to hand combat, marksmanship, tracking, and wilderness survival, which she received from her father and uncle before they were killed, have also helped a great deal in keeping her alive. Lozen goes on different missions for each of the Ones, with each of the missions becoming more dangerous and life threatening. However, after she retrieves an item for the Dreamer, she receives help with getting her family and a friend out of Haven and she ends up starting a civil war within Haven. Bruchac has given the reader some insight into the Native American culture by disguising a history lesson through his story telling of a strong protagonist woman, and what she goes through to keep her loved ones safe. Never once do you feel overwhelmed with information or facts. It is brilliant how Bruchac used the teachings of Lozern’s father and uncle to weave the Native American facts and oral history into the story. I feel that is what makes this story so extraordinary. Just as the Native Americans told stories so that their children would remember important life lessons, Bruchac has done the same thing with his grand storytelling and giving the reader insight into the Native American culture all the while giving his readers such an exceptional novel. Killer of Enemies is an action packed novel that holds your interest throughout and never has a dull moment. Bruchac writing is creative and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend reading. Even though this book appears to be a once and done book, the ending left just enough wiggle room to continue the story. I hope that Bruchac continues the great story line. 4.5 Stars *I won this book through Goodreads First Reads giveaway. In no way has this influenced my rating or opinion of this book.*