Book Review | The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

You hide in the herd. You wait. And you never forget.

I’ll preface my thoughts with the fact that I don’t typically read horror. I consider myself a “chicken” with an overactive imagination, so I’ve steered clear of horror movies AND books—until I saw the cover and description for The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones.

“Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.”

Something about it intrigued me, and I’m glad I gave it a shot. The story starts off a bit slow, but I loved getting to know Lewis and his sense of humour. Slow-building suspense and social commentary lead up to a shocking, brutal, and bloody twist at the end of the first half. To be honest I almost abandoned it at that point. I was taken aback because blood and gore are out of my comfort zone. I frantically tried to explain to my husband the entire plot up to that point—I needed someone to share in my shock. I put the book aside for a few days, but it lingered in my mind. I just. couldn’t. stop. thinking about it. So I dove back in.

I was surprised when the perspective shifted halfway through the book, but I found that it kept me engaged. Throughout the novel all of the characters felt so real to me: flawed and memorable. I still get chills thinking about this story, and it is one that will continue to stand out in my mind. It is certainly unlike anything I’ve read before.

To sum up, I’d describe it as a unique, terrifying, and memorable novel from a master storyteller. It’s probably not for everyone, but if you’re intrigued, I definitely encourage you to check it out!

Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced copy—all opinions are my own.

Have you read any good horror novels lately? Or do you typically shy away from anything “scary”?

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