Rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
Title: The Only Good Indians: A Novel
Author: Stephen Graham Jones
Published: 2020 (Saga Press, New York)
Pages: 310 (Hardcover)
Genres: Thriller, Horror, Fiction, Native American
*Disclaimers: Recommend for 17+, strong horror themes and commentary
Today is National Book Lovers Day! I didn’t know about it until I looked at Instagram today. Still, I’m happy to spend this time talking about a great book by a new author for me. And it was a bone chilling one indeed. I heard a lot of good things about this new release since it came out last month. The premise of The Only Good Indians sounded mysterious, and it had been awhile since I’ve read a horror novel from a new author. Also, the title was a little alarming, and caught my interest.
“The ladder tilts the opposite way, like it doesn’t want to be involved in anything this ugly, and all of this is in the slowest possible motion for Lewis, his head snapping as many pictures as it can on the way down, like they can stack up under him, break his fall” – Stephen Graham Jones, The Only Good Indians
Native American author, Stephen Graham Jones, has written 15 novels and is a fan of the horror/slasher genre. After reading his newest book, I may have to read some of his others! He comes highly praised for his writing and stories, and I couldn’t agree more. The Only Good Indians is a novel of revenge and suspense surrounding four close friends – Lewis, Ricky, Gabe and Cassidy- who grew up together on the same Blackfeet reservation. After an ill fated elk hunting trip in their youth, the four become literally haunted by their past mistake, and are hunted down by an unknown entity one-by-one.
Jones does a wonderful job building suspense and setting the scene through his writing. He also integrates commentary on Native cultural identity and tradition in between his character’s interactions and internal struggles. Jones definitely has a different voice when it comes to creating horror, and there were certain moments where I felt the hairs on the back of my neck raise. The story was fairly original, perfectly executed, and definitely unexpected. Why should you read this book? If you’re looking for a thrilling, horror novel binding together supernatural revenge and cultural identity, you have the right book.
I give this book a 4 out of 5! (Because honestly, I couldn’t see why not. I love a well-done horror novel)