The Lightning Shrikes: A Novel of an All-Star American Indian Softball Team is an exciting, humour-packed sports novel from Oklahoma Choctaw scholar and athlete Devon Mihesuah. The author relishes taking on corporate America, stereotypes, racism, sports mascots and contemporary Native issues in this fast-paced story about an unlikely Native American coed softball team. Narrated by Oklahoma Choctaw Conley King, a former professional baseball player, the story begins with a fantastic scenario. A major sports equipment company hatches a marketing ploy that involves creating a professional coed softball league with one team that is made up entirely of Native American players. Conley is persuaded by a two million dollar contract to devote a year to recruiting, signing, training, and managing this softball dream team. Conley and his Native physiotherapist friend build a team from the best Native athletes in America. The first part of the novel is devoted to player profiles of these Native athletes who have never played softball but represent a variety sports backgrounds such as bodybuilding, distance running, sprinting, martial arts, basketball, rodeo, football, cross country skiing, and powwow dancing. Each athlete brings a unique tribal, employment and lifestyle background to this rookie team. But each player draws on unique strengths and the team manages to produce a winning softball team. Part of the story revolves around issues of cultural and tribal identities, racism and stereotyping in American culture, and the American media industry. Taking on the sports mascot issue the team avoids stereotyping at all costs and refuses the marketing ploys of feathers and tomahawk chops. They insist on a non-stereotypical team name and logo and become known as the Lightning Shrikes. Their namesake is a loggerhead shrike, a bird that impales its prey on a sharp object prior to eating. The team is met with curious interest from the sports media and finds a remarkable communication channel to destroy common stereotypes about Indians at every term. The rest of the story focuses on the team's first season that takes them to all parts of the US and even finds the team playing a game at a major league baseball stadium. The team is a success despite the character clashes and tribal rivalries. The author packs a wide range of issues into the storyline but she does it with such good humour and interesting word play that the reader doesn't mind the obvious purpose. This is a fresh approach to Native American issues especially stereotyping and sports mascots. The softball expert may find a few flaws but this is minor. A great story that will appeal to sports enthusiasts and anyone interested in reading a wonderful Cinderella story turned upside down by a Native American novelist.