Race to the Sun, by Rebecca Roanhorse

36353103Race to the Sun, by Rebecca Roanhorse (January 2020), is the latest offering from Rick Riordan Presents.  It's an exciting story of a Navaho girl facing a heroic destiny as a monster hunter.

Nizhoni Begay has dreams of greatness, that aren't working out real well for her.  Being a star baseketball player, for instance, is pretty much of the table when she takes a ball to the face.  It's not entirely her fault, though--sitting in the bleachers is a monster.  To everyone else, he's just a man in a nice suit, but Nizhoni knows a monster when she sees one.  This monster is Mr. Charles, her dad's new boss at an oil and gas company, but he seems more interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, 10 months younger than her.

The next day, her dad disappears, leaving a note that says "run!"  Fortunately, Nizhoni has help and guidance from a most unexpected source--her stuffed horned toad, Mr. Yazzi, is alive, and very knowledgeable about monsters.  So Nizhoni, Mac, and Mr. Yazzi, along with her best friend, Davery, set off on a rescue mission.

Their journey takes them deep in to the world of Diné Holy People and old stories, like those of the Hero Twins, coming true before their eyes, as they race to the Sun to find the weapons they need to take on the monsters hunting them.  It's a journey full of trails and danger, in which Nizhoni and Mac discover a heritage of magic.  (Davery, though not destined to be part of the magical world, is nevertheless a crucial player in the adventure; he contributes knowledge, smarts, and level-headedness  to the mix).

The ending is very satisfying, with Nizhoni a hero, and her family together.  But there are still monsters out there...and one can hope for more adventures!

I enjoyed it; it's always fun to see the stories of cultures you aren't tremendously familiar with come to life.  There was one thing, though, I didn't like at all...Mac, the little brother, is supposed to be almost Nizhoni's twin--he's only 10 months younger than her.  But boy, he is incredibly immature!  I think his immaturity is meant in many instance to provide comic relief, but I expected him to grow up and shoulder more responsibility as his sister's partner and step into his role as the other manifestation of the Hero Twins, and he never does.  He is never a full team member.

That being said, this is a solid page-turner of a story with a great heroine, a great friendship (Davery's a treasure of a best friend!), and a great horned toad person.


  1. I can't remember the last time I saw a book with a stuffed horned toad coming to life and helping the MC. Thanks for telling me about this.

  2. I've been curious about this one, will have to take a look for it at the library. Like Rosi, I'm curious about the horned toad. Sounds amusing.

  3. I just bought this book, so I was eager to see what you thought. Glad you enjoyed it, even if Mac's immaturity did end up bothering you a bit.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction


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