The Only Good Indians

An entity born of a tragically violent incident from the youthful past of four American Indian men leaves them fighting for their lives and their sanity. Ruthlessly hunted, the friends are caught in the spotlight as their actions and traditions they thought they didn’t believe in anymore render them powerless against the tidal waves of rage that lied dormant for years.

“It was so easy. He was so fragile, so delicately balanced, so unprepared to face what he’d done.”

Release date: July 14th, 2020

My review:

I love randomly finding out that the author of a book I’ve wanted to read actually lives in my home state, I’m not entirely sure why it makes me so happy but it does. I also enjoy learning new things – I surprisingly didn’t know about elk ivory. It’s something that’s never come up with anyone that I know of that hunts elk. I have always been fascinated by Native American culture and beliefs. Some cultures and places just have that pull for me – the other that comes to mind is Egypt. My grandmother told me that our family had an American Indian ancestor but honestly, I would have to do a DNA test to believe it. If I actually do, what then? Claiming it or wanting to research it more would just make me feel like an impostor. One thing I will always wonder about is what this country would look like if the Europeans hadn’t been *insert choice word here*, bringing sickness, death, and religion with them.

“These are the kind of wrong thoughts people have who are spending too much time alone. They start unpacking vast cosmic bullshit from gum wrappers, and then they chew it up, blow a bubble, ride that bubble up into some even stupider place.”

The prologue of the book sets the tone for the rest of the novel and the newspaper headings are a tragically comical way to break up what’s currently happening. Really the only portion of the book that I struggled to get through was Lewis even though the events are interesting his character is a little dry. The interactions with the garbage disposal though – seriously I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. The way The Only Good Indians is written definitely leaves you wondering if the entity inflicting its wrath upon the men in this story is a facet of guilty imagination or real. This book gives an interesting approach to herd mentality and collective memory. There is so much grief wrapped up in this novel – on both sides. Stephen Graham Jones does an amazing job transferring the character’s uncertainty, horror, and confusion to you – the reader. The ending for this book – seriously… all the feels like a sucker punch to the gut.

The Only Good Indians does have its fair share of sensitive topics – gore/death/murder both animal and human, alcohol/drug use being the main ones that stick out. I highly recommend this book to readers who love slow-burn horror, American Indian culture, supernatural/paranormal, and thriller novels. I would like to thank the publisher Gallery Books for granting my wish for this book through NetGalley.

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

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