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Killer of Enemies

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  277 ratings  ·  99 reviews
A post-Apocalyptic YA novel with a steampunk twist, based on an Apache legend.

Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones -- people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human -- and there was everyone else who served them. Then the Cloud came, and every
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Tu Books
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieSecrets of the Realm by Bev StoutCinder by Marissa MeyerEleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Diversity in Young Adult and Middle Grade
73rd out of 785 books — 469 voters
The Kaleidoscope by Adrian MendozaNo Surrender Soldier by Christine KohlerAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SáenzNoughts & Crosses by Malorie BlackmanKiller of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac
We Need Diverse Books
5th out of 106 books — 24 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,783)
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Marg K.
Okay, I must confess that it took me a ridiculous amount of time & frustration to figure out how to rate Killer of Enemies. And even now, I’m not quite sure if the 3-star rating is a true representation of my reading experience. I suppose the best course of action at this point is to break it all down in my review, and then let y’all reach your own conclusions. Sound like a plan? Alrighty, let’s begin.

First off, I definitely don’t think this is a bad book. There were several things about it
Holly Ristau
I loved this book. I am a librarian on a reservation, and had a Native student ask, "Do you have any books where the Indians aren't poor?" I was so happy to have this book to offer! The protagonist in this book is Native and her cultural upbringing is the reason she is so successful at what she does. This is an exciting fast read that's so much fun, you're sad when it's over.
Matt Garcia
Wonderful dystopian/Post-apocalyptic novel that incorporates Native American culture in an inventive way. The main character, Lozen, was a kick ass heroine. Her character is fully fleshed out and one that was a treat to learn about. The only criticism I have is the constant use of the words "número uno and número dos" it got very redundant and irritating after about the hundredth time it was used and also the word "viddy" for video was a bit of a nuisance. Other than that though, an action fille ...more
Online Eccentric Librarian
The dystopian American landscape has admittedly become a very tired home for teen romances that need a bit of conflict. But then a dystopian novel comes along that proves there are still very good stories to be told in the genre. Killer of Enemies, by Joseph Bruchac, is a very witty, imaginative, yet wholly believable tale set in the American Southwest. This action-fueled novel doesn't necessarily have much in the way of a unique story arc (kill monsters, plot escape) but you honestly don't care ...more
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
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 commentor 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 ga
Bonnie McDaniel
This is my first book of 2014, and man, we have hit the ground running.

In an earlier review I spoke of how refreshing it was to have a person of color, with a culture outside the United States, as a protagonist. This book continues that trend. I'm glad to have found it (Janni Sinner on Livejournal originally pointed me to this book in my Friends feed--before then, I'd never heard of it), but it's sad, and infuriating in this day and age, that such heroes are few and far between.

So here's another
Nemo (the Moonlight Library)
No, I'm sorry, I'm not going to finish this.

I really, really don't like the writing style.

And I hate that I can't quite articulate why. There's nothing wrong with it, it's not quite jarring, it's certainly not offensive. It's just really, really not working for me. It's quite heavy on the worldbuilding and I don't like the narrator's voice at all.

I'm not going to waste time trawling through a novel I'm not enjoying only to give it one or two stars when I can quit now and not rate it.
Tanita S.
Oh, the JOY of this book. What a FUN, full-rush action novel.
When I was young, I read Andre Norton’s science fiction books featuring Native American protagonists. I have missed that combination. Until now. I received an ARC of Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac at ALA2013. The book is set in a dystopian future, in the days A. C., after The Cloud descends on Earth, destroying electricity and all forms of advanced technology.

Lozen, the teen heroine, is an Apache named after her ancestor, a 19th century warrior woman who battled alongside Geronimo. Lozen is
Excellent action, adventure dystopian novel with a strong female protagonist who is indeed like the cover says, the only one who can save them, i.e. her family and maybe some of the other enslaved humans in the misnamed sanctuary of Haven. First it was the virus that wiped out all the horses in the world. Then it was the Cloud, that took care of technology and killed most of the "altered" or "enhanced" humans. Unfortunately, those with only partial body tech survived. Four of them are the Ones i ...more
Abbe "The Awesome Senior" Hinder

Going into this novel, I was expecting something quite different from what I received (to put it nicely). JosephBruchac does create nicely developed monsters, but that's all that he creates that I could actually appreciate. But although I didn't really enjoy this book, I think others will since it's a dystopian novel that has a lot of action and a controlling government because really, who gets tired of those?

Straight away, I knew that Killer of Enemiesand I were not going to click because of t
See the full review on -

WELL.... our heroine didn't shame her name sack - She’s brave, tough, knows how to kick ass, and is impressively smart and resourceful. She’s also observant, levelheaded, and completely devoted to her family. I just fell in love with this tall ( above 6"), lanky, quite female.(as the author said - “The female of species is deadlier than the male.”).

Yes, she don't talk much, but her thoughts fill the space with dry cynical humor
Nov 04, 2013 Janni added it
A post-apocalyptic post-technology future adventure with an Apache protagonist? Of course I was in. I loved seeing the collapse of civilization through Lozen's point of view, loved the exploration of what such collapses--not to mention the economic disparities that precede them--mean for different communities and sub-communities, and loved the ways in the setting and the protagonist's religious and moral beliefs did and didn't intersect. And of course, I do enjoy a good kickass female protagonis ...more
The hype about this book had me so excited but reading it left me disappointed.

Reasons why I think you should pass on this book:

Numero Uno- the counting! Lozen apparently can't have a thought about anything without making a list and counting in Spanish. And it isn't as if she speaks Spanish. She just prefers to count in it. The constant repetition of counting makes Lozen's character flat and boring. She could have been a great strong female character but having to make a list for every thought
This book was fantastic. I had a hard time putting it down. I loved the worldbuilding - the Ones, the way such a rigid pecking order is established, the huge critters - and of course Hally. Somehow Bruchac makes Hally seem alien, definitely other, without being monstrous or (ugh) arrogantly superior.

Other reviews have complained about Lozen seeming too capable, but I thought it came across as heroic. She doesn't breeze through everything; she struggles, and because of her role and her abilities,
This book had a great main character. Reading this really made me think about what might happen to the reservations in the future. I like when a book takes something familiar, like a post-apocalyptic world with large mutated beasts, and puts a twist to the well-known monster fighter character. The main character in this story is Indian, and she uses the old stories to defeat the monsters she encounters.

This book takes place after there has been a huge gray space cloud that covered earth and too
In a post-apocalyptic future, seventeen year old Lozen spends her days hunting monsters for the Ones. The Ones run Haven, the place where she and her family live.

Living in Haven wasn't their choice; the Ones decided for them because they wanted Lozen for her skills of killing monsters. Killing her father and uncle, they took Lozen's mother and two siblings knowing she would for them in order to keep the rest of her family safe.

So Lozen is a monster hunter for the Ones - people who were genetical
In the author’s note to Killer of Enemies, Joseph Bruchac says that he feels the books asserts that, “Indians will be a part of whatever future this continent holds – post-apocalyptic or not.” Given how many all-white casts have been featured in the YA trend of ended worlds and dystopias, it’s a mindset I can understand. I just wish he’d done a better job of it.

Killer of Enemies is a mess. When I stumble on something in a book that makes me confused or frustrated, I tend to make that commentary
Michelle Pegram
Set in a Dystopian world, Killer of Enemies follows the monster killer, Lozen, a young apache woman as she copes with a world thrown from a technological mecca to a new steam age by the appearance of a mysterious cloud. Prior to the cloud, those with money were able to cheat death through genetic enhancements developed through testing on animals. After the cloud, technology is rendered useless and the creatures created through genetic engineering are loose and on the prowl. Lozen, who is equippe ...more
I loved this Book! This was a page turning adventure. I could not put down the book and finished it in one day! The story is fasted past and action packed. It reminded me of the Hunger Games, but better because I could relate being a young Native born and raised in Arizona. I really liked the strong female character and the adventure she lives. This is the best book I've read in a long time and it has the right balance of scifi fiction and real life. I highly recommend this book for teens! I thi ...more
Rose Copley
Good: The main character of this book, Lozen, is well-written. Her Apache traditions and culture are a part of the book, and skills that would usually be unreasonable and ridiculous make actual sense as a part of the plot. Her family is also an integral part of the story and not abandoned immediately for the hot love interest, a refreshing change from the odd no-parents vacuum of so much YA.
And this shouldn't have to be a point, but YEAH representation and diversity!

Not so good: The plot and o
Maria Kramer
In a brutal world of the not-too-distant future, in which nearly all technology was fried by a mysterious "Cloud," Lozen and her family live in a redesigned prison ruled by four insane autocrats called The Ones. Her role in their tiny kingdom is to kill the genetically modified monsters that roam the wasteland outside. The prison is a safer place than many, but Lozen is here under duress - her family is the insurance that keeps her from fleeing the capricious demands of the ones. Nonetheless, sh ...more
Rachel Blom
What an original young adult book! It's a different world after the use of electricity had been wiped out and Lozen, her mom and her siblings are locked up in a prison. Those in power want to use her to kill the many genetically engineered monsters out there and Lozen is successful at that. But with every kill she grows stronger, and she connects more and more with her native American heritage. She even 'befriends' the most ancient of creatures, Bigfoot. I loved the humoristic banter between the ...more
Many years ago, a cloud appeared in the Earth's atmosphere and cause all electronics to stop working. Lozen and her family created a nice little utopia living by the land until some raiders came through and slaughtered all the men and kidnapped the women and children. To make matters more complicated, before the cloud, people had been playing around with genetic mutations, which are now out on the loose and hunting any food they can find - which sometimes happens to be people. Lozen has a little ...more
Killer of Enemies is set in post-apocalyptic Arizona. Seventeen year-old Apache hunter, Lozen, is fighting for survival inside a world she finds a prison, controlled by four homicidal maniacs, bent on making her life miserable. The Four captured Lozen’s family and hold them as prisoners to force Lozen to protect them and become the killer of enemies, the genetically modified wildlife that turned on humans after the cloud. They are some of the most deadly creatures on the planet. Imagine a 40 foo ...more
Lozen, an Apache hunter struggling to survive in a dystopian future where all technology has failed, is the strong, silent type. Unlike many YA heroines, she is a total badass. A combination of physical and mental toughness, the Apache lore she has learned from her family, and a certain mystical element makes Lozen a formidable fighter.

The Ones are holding her family hostage. Her mother, sister, and brother will be safe only as long as Lozen continues to successfully kill the gemods (geneticall
Saleena Davidson
I am, as most people know, NOT a fan of dystopic novels....however, this post-apolcalyptic story was absolutely amazing! Lozen is a Native American, mostly Apache, but with other tribes mixed in. She survives as a hunter and killer of deadly creatures that now roam the earth, ever since The Cloud came and made all electronics cease functioning. The Cloud actually killed a lot of "enhanced" humans, but those who hadn't completed the conversion to computers in their brains, have survived; and are ...more
Rachel Lizan
I found this an interesting read. The setting is in the future where the technology that we have built up no longer exists. Lozen has been trained and held on to her history and skills that her American Indian ancestors had. While those skills may have no place in our world today, in the future like that are laid out in the novel, her skills prove invaluable. I did also enjoy that, while this is a story about a possible future, there is American Indian history intertwined in it. This book would ...more
What a strange odd book. It totally reminds me of the Hunger Games, before Katniss was forced into the Hunger Games. It's a strange mixture of pre-Hunger Games Katniss and the Selection's caste numbers. Throw in the Hunger Game's Mutant Animals and the Native American's legends, and you get the Killer of Enemies.

I think that's an awesome way of summarizing this book. Of course, I'm slightly off.

Okay, I lied. I'm really off because I can't think of anyone who is like Lozen or a book which is like
amy boese
This is exactly the book my 7th grade daughter is looking for.

Featuring a strong female protagonist who is powerful but connected emotionally to her family, Lozen makes a great identifiable hero.

Lozen is a young Apache woman whose family is in danger but who has been given the critical thinking (and some other more magical) skills to combat the situation they are in. She is important to her captors because she can protect them- and since she knows this, she used it to her advantage.

Lozen is tou
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Joseph Bruchac lives with his wife, Carol, in the Adirondack mountain foothills town of Greenfield Center, New York, in the same house where his maternal grandparents raised him. Much of his writing draws on that land and his Abenaki ancestry. Although his American Indian heritage is only one part of an ethnic background that includes Slovak and English blood, those Native roots are the ones by wh ...more
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“As long as we can remember them, our families will always be with us.” 4 likes
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