The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

I recently burned through the now infamous The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones in 2 days. Many have publicly discussed how refreshing it was not to have the usual protagonists, and to see Native American people have a lead role in a horror story for once. Simply put, I agree. However, I don’t consider the protagonist to be the same character whom others have chosen. To me, this was the heartwarming story of a woman who seeks revenge on the monsters who slaughtered her family and unborn child in cold blood. It’s a classic “good for her” type story. The blurb on the back cover will not match that sentiment. Nothing about this novel was predictable, and it almost all completely worked. The one exception for me was a somewhat confusing basketball scene, which I can’t complain about without giving spoilers. The characters are sympathetic, flawed, and multidimensional, even while only briefly in the story. On the surface level, you can be creeped out by excellent descriptions and startling turns. On a deeper level, there was so much nuance from a cultural perspective it left me spinning for days. Whatever you normally prefer, if you want something different from the ordinary with tons of tense foreboding and the unexpected, choose this novel.