A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger
Nina is a Lipan girl in our world. She’s always felt there was something more out there. She still believes in the old stories.
Oli is a cottonmouth kid, from the land of spirits and monsters. Like all cottonmouths, he’s been cast from home. He's found a new one on the banks of the bottomless lake.
Nina and Oli have no idea the other exists. But a catastrophic event on Earth, and a strange sickness that befalls Oli’s best friend, will drive their worlds together in ways they haven’t been in centuries.
And there are some who will kill to keep them apart.
TITLE: A Snake Falls to Earth
AUTHOR: Darcie Little Badger with Kinsale Hueston (Narrator) and Shaun Taylor-Corbett (Narrator)
PUBLISHER: Recorded Books, Inc.
LENGTH: 372 pages (8 hours 30 minutes)
AGE: Young Adult
GENRE: Magical Realism
Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Minor Character(s), Genderqueer/Nonbinary Secondary Character(s).
The worldbuilding is wonderful, explaining a lot of things without feeling like it’s infodumping. Oli has a lot of fascinating anecdotes and animal facts, while Nina tends to provide more of the details about environmental concerns on Earth, though that rough division blurs later on. It did throw me a little that Oli’s sections are narrated in first person and Nina’s are narrated in third, since they’re both crucial for the story.
I like the audiobook narrators, they did a good job overall. The story starts slowly, spending a long time with both main characters before they meet late in the book. Oli leaves home and meets the people who become his friends, then goes through a lot to help them. Nina is worried about her home on both a local and global level, and is growing in her awareness of how she can take action to protect it in big and small ways. The pacing feels deliberate, treating their meeting as an important thing that happens, but not a goal. They have lives before and after their brief intersection.
CW for bullying, medical content (brief), injury detail (brief), colonization (backstory), genocide (backstory), blood, violence, gun violence, death (brief).