Cover Image: The Only Good Indians

The Only Good Indians

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Thank you, Stephen Graham Jones and Netgalley, for allowing me to read this book as an ARC! 

When I was a child, whenever I visited my grandparent's house, I would always have the same dream. I'd be in my dad's room there, and in the corner there was this goat head creature who told me its name was Mahmamoo. It would pursue me slowly down my grandparents' carpeted stairs. Only once did I ever have the dream anywhere else, and it was like he followed me. That dream filled me with a stomach-dropping dread. And that dread is this book. 

A decade after a reckless hunting spree (the "Thanksgiving Classic"), four friends from the Blackfeet Nation are forced to reckon with the harm of their careless act. Alongside the heart-pounding horror delivered in the book's casual yet gripping prose, The Only Good Indians stares down both the difficulties and the unstoppable hope and endurance of Indigenous lives head on. 

This novel was absolutely chilling. I would just be reading along, getting invested in the characters, and suddenly something really disturbing would happen, leaving me sitting bolt upright with my hand over my mouth. What was most incredibly was the sense of release and catharsis also provided by the book, provided a perfect tonal balance. A truly cinematic experience.
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this book. Different horror, which is always a good thing. Great characters, and a great story. #TheOnlyGoodIndians #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
The Only Good Indians has been sitting on my TBR list since I first heard about it early last year. I think I was just waiting for the dark of winter to read it.
The first half of the book I devoured!  Reading about the revenge and the creative way it took place really kept me reading.  
Then then pacing slowed. It still delivered the story well, however it became a bit more difficult for me to stick with it.
Was this review helpful?
Quite successful monthly pick with broad appeal. For fans of both horror and fiction, this title really begs for discussion.
Was this review helpful?
I will definitely be checking out more of Jones’ books. His character work is incredible, and his ability to seamlessly shift protagonists is honestly super impressive. This is top shelf horror.
Was this review helpful?
Ultimately written as a horror novel, Stephen Graham Jones delivers so much more. The narrative is masterfully written, engrained with complex social injustices and an intimate portrayal of the realities of hope. The subject matter is delivered violently with brutal cause and yet somehow invokes a tender compassion from the reader. Loved it!


Thank you to #NetGalley and #GalleryBooks for the #egalley of #TheOnlyGoodIndians which was read and reviewed voluntarily, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Horror isn't usually my go-to genre but this book was really interesting (but also a little creepy)! It involves four Blackfeet men who make a grave mistake involving a herd of elk and years later must pay for it. The reckoning comes in the form of a supernatural hunt which includes Denorah, the daughter of one of them. Although very violent in parts, it's also satisfying as we witness the cycle being broken so 
 healing can begin.
Was this review helpful?
This was my first book to read by this author and I can't wait to read more! This book sucks you in from the get-go and you will find yourself thinking about the story and the characters long after you finish the book!
Was this review helpful?
In The Only Good Indians, four young Blackfeet men ignore the hunting boundaries of their community and fire into an elk herd on land reserved for the elders, but one elk proves unnaturally hard to kill. Years later, they’re forced to answer for their act of selfish violence, setting into motion a supernatural hunt in which predator becomes prey.

The mysteriously supernatural Elk Head Women is out to seek revenge for that fateful day and she has come to kill. The four men at the novel's core basically accept the elk's vengeance, but Denorah, the daughter of one of the four men, refuses to believe in the need for vengeance. Can she survive?

I don't want to say too much about the plot (and I'm afraid I've said too much already) other than it focuses on each of the four Blackfeet men (as well as Denorah, the daughter of one the men) in parts and how they are being haunted both figuratively and literately by their past mistake(s), and what starts out as a slow burn of a novel, ramps into a nail-biting, frightening, and satisfying ending that suggests the cycle of generational trauma, the cycle of violence, has been overcome.

The Only Good Indians is one of best novels I've ever read in any genre. It's a violent tale of vengeance, justice, and generational trauma. But it also a tale about putting an end to cycles of such trauma, so in this sense, The Only Good Indians is a tale about hope; a tale about recovery. While it combines elements of the slasher genre (a favorite of Stephen Graham Jones), Jones ability to write authentic characters is where this novel truly shines. Jones is Native American himself, and his portrayal is meticulously detailed, and real. This gives the novel a realism that is striking and scarily good.

Stephen Grapham Jones is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Read this book. You won't regret it.
Was this review helpful?
The Only Good Indians is the latest horror novel by author Stephen Graham Jones. This novel follows four American Indians whose lives have been cursed following a disturbing even from their youth. A creature bent on revenge stalks them in the dark, and the men are helpless but to reflect on the culture and tradition that got them there in the first place.

This was the first book in a long time that affected my dreams and made me genuinely scared to read at night. Normally I’m not a big creature-feature gal in books or films, but this was so much more than that and I had a blast. The pacing suffered in places and I struggled with the writing style at first, but the execution and impact it left on me far outweighed its flaws.

Positives
Well, the biggest positive is that this is a horror novel that does what it came to do. I felt paranoid, I felt scared, I wanted to do a double-check of my apartment before I went to bed to make sure there wasn’t a deer-headed woman sitting on my couch or staring at me from my balcony. When the action in this book got going, it got going and was a thrilling and wild ride.

The atmosphere, gritty brutality of the writing and the events, the slow build of suspense and dread, and heartbreaking nature of the tale all contribute to an amazing experience when it came to reading my first novel by Stephen Graham Jones. I wish I could better articulate why I like this book as much as I do, but I think it may just be more experience-based than some of other reads recently. All in all, so so good.

Negatives
Two main things kind of got me with The Only Good Indians from time to time. While these issues by no means ruined the story for me, it did make me lose a touch of immersion and extended the amount of time it took for me to finish the book. The first of these issues was pacing. I know that I read e-books at a significantly slower pace than physical books, but it took me a hot second to get through this one. Every book has its lulls, but the ones present here were especially slow and bored me quickly.

I also struggled with the writing style in this book. Admittedly, it’s been month or so since I finished The Only Good Indians so I’m not as familiar with the intricacies of the prose in this novel as I used to be, but I found it to be rather jarring at times. I don’t mind more unique writing styles if it adds to the plot or development, but I found the reading experience to be less immersive than usual. I had to go back and reread certain sentences or sections to make sense of the prose, and it took me out of the suspense or mood of the moment.

Rating & Final Thoughts
The Only Good Indians is a solid 4 out of 5 stars. If you’re a horror fan, check it out; it’s one of the few books recently that’s actually scared me. I look forward to reading more from Stephen Graham Jones – in fact, I’ve been approved for an ARC of his newest horror, My Heart is a Chainsaw, so be on the lookout for a review of that coming up!
Was this review helpful?
This is my first novel by Stephen Graham Jones and to say I was impressed would be putting it mildly. His writing has such texture and grit. Oftentimes you are waiting for a novel to take it all the way and it never does. This one goes the distance.

It is bloody, brutal, fast-paced, genuine and horrifying. The nature of the storytelling feels so traditional whilst also being cutting edge. The only issue I had while reading it, which is completely a personal taste issue and nothing to do with the quality of the writing or story, was a lot of the animal content was hard for me to make it through.
Was this review helpful?
I read a few of Stephen Graham Jones books and I was sort of let down with this one. I'm not sure what it was but it was missing something. I still enjoyed the journey. Thank you,  Saga Press for this gifted copy.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved The Only Good Indians! While it was different than what I normally read in terms of horror, it was still wonderful. It was atmospheric, creepy, and captivating. I am happy this was my first read from Stephen Graham Jones, and I will continue to read him in the future!
Was this review helpful?
I had to reflect for a bit after reading this book before writing a review. This book is a solid example of horror done right: it's fresh, it's terrifying, and it stays with you, refusing to let you go. I also appreciate the Native American representation, and this is one of the biggest reasons this book went on my 'Must Read' list. But I was also occasionally bored, and reading the book felt like a chore during sections that felt like slogs. I think the pace may be a bit too slow in some sections. Regardless, I still think that this book is 100% worth the investment and a perfect addition to any horror/thriller fan's bookshelf.
Was this review helpful?
A fun and absolutely stunning book. I cannot wait for my high schoolers to get their hands on this novel.
Was this review helpful?
THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS is a fantastic novel. An extremely well-written, thought-provoking and gripping suspense-horror novel about revenge, culture, identity, and tradition. Jones's characters are engaging, the story is chilling and stay-up-all-night gripping. Fantastic, and very much recommended. Stephen Graham Jones is a must-read author.
Was this review helpful?
a rather superb novel, serious literature with blood in its veins. it will challenge a lot of readers emotionally
Was this review helpful?
Many thanks to the publisher for an Advance Reader Copy of The Only Good Indians! I have always wanted to read Stephen Graham Jones work, and I am glad that I did with a couple of caveats. First of all I did enjoy the history elements of Native American Peoples and their culture and characteristics. It was eye opening, for me to put myself in the place of the characters and we feel the struggle to find the characters way in this world. Now this novel can be graphic at times, it is a horror novel after all! I enjoyed the story and the structure, I will not delve into that too much as there may be spoilers. The last item that I would mention that if you do not like animals being harmed, this may not be the book for you. In regards to animals, specifically there are graphic details that include dogs, that I did not enjoy. I won't say it ruined the story for me, but I certainly did not enjoy it. It did make me feel uncomfortable. But again, to end on a positive note, I thought the story and particularly the characters were incredibly strong and in depth. If you are not too squeamish, it is a interesting journey and fulfilling. Thank you for taking the time to read my review.!
Was this review helpful?
A great book full of thrills and social commentary. After an exciting and intriguing beginning, the pacing does slow down a bit, but around half way through the book speeds back up. The concept is unique, a fresh take on monster horror. The commentary is clever and important. The commentary also is interwoven with the plot to make the overall book meaningful and terrifying. I highly recommend this book to horror lovers who want substance with their monsters.
Was this review helpful?
I’m not saying this is the best horror I’ve ever read, but this is the best horror I’ve ever read.  Got to love an own voices book that really delivers!
Was this review helpful?