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The Only Good Indians Book Review

The only good Indians book cover

Title: The Only Good Indians

Genre: Horror

Audience: Adult

Page Count: 336

Author: Stephen Graham Jones

ISBN: 978-1982136468

Publisher: Saga Press

This review contains soft spoilers.

"The Only Good Indians" by Stephen Graham Jones is one such novel that manages to unsettle readers with its blend of supernatural horror, psychological insight, and social commentary. With Native American themes becoming more prevalent in horror, I was quite excited to delve into the new genre.

Set against the backdrop of contemporary Native American life, "The Only Good Indians" follows the story of four friends from the Blackfeet Nation who find themselves haunted by a vengeful force after breaking tribal hunting laws. As the years pass, the friends are forced to confront the consequences of their actions and the sins of their past, leading to a harrowing reckoning with guilt, trauma, and the ghosts that linger in the shadows.

One of the novel's greatest strengths lies in its rich and evocative depiction of Native American culture and identity. Stephen Graham Jones weaves elements of folklore, tradition, and spirituality into the fabric of the narrative, creating a world that feels both grounded in reality and suffused with supernatural mystery. From the stark beauty of the Montana wilderness to the bustling streets of Denver, every setting in "The Only Good Indians" is rendered with vivid detail and authenticity, immersing readers in a world that is at once familiar and alien.

In addition to its atmospheric setting, "The Only Good Indians" also boasts a cast of deeply compelling characters. From the haunted protagonist, Lewis, to the enigmatic figure of the Elk Head Woman, each character is imbued with a sense of depth and complexity that elevates them beyond mere archetypes. As the friends grapple with guilt, regret, and the inexorable pull of fate, readers are drawn into their lives and their struggles, rooting for them even as they are inexorably drawn towards their doom.

Where "The Only Good Indians" truly shines, however, is in its exploration of themes of guilt, redemption, and the cyclical nature of violence. As the friends are pursued by the vengeful spirit of the elk they killed years earlier, they are forced to confront the sins of their past and the ways in which their actions have shaped their lives and the lives of those around them. Through its haunting imagery, the novel delves into the darkest corners of the human psyche, revealing the ways in which guilt and trauma can warp and consume us, even as we strive to escape their grasp.

The build up and climax of the story was perfectly tensioned, but one thing I believe that would've made the book a 5 star book, would be for the author to describe in more depth about the significance of the killing of the Elk. This would've hit the reader more as to an average American, killing an elk, even on land you're not supposed to, doesn't have as much significance. I believe if it was gone into more depth of what that meant culturally it would held more weight and added more tension.

"The Only Good Indians" is a must-read that will leave you breathless with anticipation and haunted by its dark and unsettling vision.

The Only Good Indians Book Review Ratings and Recommendation

Rating: 4/5

Recommended: Yes

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