The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones – A Review
I found this gem of a novel on Netgalley. I was happy to be approved for the ARC because it just looked like a really interesting book from the cover to the description I knew that I needed to read it. I haven’t reviewed as many Netgalley books as I would like, though I have far too many to read already, but I was really looking forward to this one. I can honestly say that it did not disappoint.
I received The Only Good Indians in an exchange for an honest review and I’m looking forward to telling you about how much I really enjoyed this one.
The creeping horror of Paul Tremblay meets Tommy Orange’s There There in a dark novel of revenge, cultural identity, and the cost of breaking from tradition in this latest novel from the Jordan Peele of horror literature, 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.
It’s hard to put into words exactly what I loved about this book but I’m going to try the best that I can. The first thing is that I loved the characters. Especially Lewis. His was the hardest story to read, it was the most moving for me than all the others. I just connected with him more, I’m sure that was intentional but his part was the best. He wasn’t the only great character though, it was wonderful to read about all these four men how they had changed over the years. Whether it was for good or bad.
I loved the atmosphere of the book. It was just palpable. There was always this underlying sense of dread with each page but I think that is what makes Stephen Graham Jones such a great writer. To feel that through the pages. That’s a gift.
The first half of the book I think was better than the back half but at the same time I felt like it all came together. There was fun details that brought a lot of things together between Lewis’ story and the back half of the book which I just found so interesting. It was violent and graphic. It’s not for the lighthearted. There is some gore described and in fairly great detail. So be wary of that, there is also references to animal death so if that’s something that you don’t like, this might not be for you.
The intensity of that dread went to eleven as the back half of the book continued and I found my stomach in knots with worry about what was going to happen next. The ending was bittersweet for me. I thought it all came together, that circle of life that I think we all can appreciate was at play here. I highly recommend The Only Good Indians if you like suspenseful horror with a bit of gore. I can’t wait to read another of Stephen Graham Jones’ books that I was approved for on Netgalley. I really enjoyed this one and I hope that you consider buying it. It’s worth every penny!
Thank you so much to Stephen Graham Jones, Gallery/Saga Press and Netgalley for a chance to read and review this book. If you do want to buy this please consider using my affiliate link above. It’s at no extra cost to you but it helps support the blog.