It’s Loving Rebecca Roanhorse Hours here at the Firehouse, between last week’s review of Resistance Reborn and me finishing Race to the Sun last night at 2am because I couldn’t put it down. I’m pretty sure Rebecca Roanhorse could do a magical retelling of the phone book, and I would give it five stars…. she is too powerful and must be nerfed.
Race to the Sun is the adventure novel of my heart: Nizhoni sees monsters. When her dad is kidnapped by one posing as his new boss, Nizhoni, her brother, and her best friend must journey into the Dinétah–Navajo lands–and complete a heroes’ quest of epic proportions to get Spider Woman’s help and make it to the house of the Sun. But they only have four days to find four perfect gifts for Spider Woman and defeat four different trials on the Rainbow Road to get to the Sun. If they fail, the monsters will be set free and destroy more than just Nizhoni’s hopes for a dinner at the Pasta Palace…
The latest episode of the “Megan is Brought to Tears by Rick Riordan Presents Novels” Show, Race to the Sun is a heartwarming, hilarious adventure that digs into the importance of family and the beauty of knowing one’s self. Nizhoni, much like Tristan (of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky) is the seventh grade hero we deserve in this hell of a world: she’s brave, she’s scared; she doesn’t give up even in the face of giant vulture monsters or her dad getting kidnapped; she’s got some anger management issues, but she’s working through them. She’s genuinely funny and her dialogue reads like a real kid. She’s got real kid problems on top of her magical, monsterslaying problems, and real seventh graders are going to relate to her so much.
Roanhorse brings Navajo stories to life with her signature prose: casual and friendly, but still beautiful and full of turns of phrase that make this English major melt. Her characters are wonderfully true to life. And the way she weaves the history and lore into the contemporary setting is clever and educational without being boring or dry. Nizhoni’s voice helps with this, as she peppers in her own opinions about the monsters she’s fighting with witty asides and true seventh grade charm. Her journey from angry girl longing for recognition to proud monsterslayer brave enough to stand up for and forgive her family is beautiful to watch unfold, and her trials along the way had me both in tears and laughing out loud. She’s so brave. I love her so much. I’m going to cry again.
Roanhorse crafts a stunning, epic tale of adventure and family that brings the history and stories of the Navajo people to a contemporary setting, with characters who feel real, a warm wit that had me laughing out loud, and a beautiful message about learning who you are–so long as you’re brave enough to be that person. Pre-order it now, because you will want it as soon as humanly possible.
You can pre-order Race to the Sun online or call the store to order it; either way, you’ll get 15% off if you order before New Year’s!