The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones takes the archetype of a vengeful spirit and remolds it into new territory while successfully creating dread and anxiety with the reader; nature’s revenge from the unnecessary violence humans bring.
As I am not a skilled reviewer, it took me a week to process this book as I usually tend to do. My life up until recently has been dedicated more to film than to reading. When I think about the novels I read, my mind goes into comparisons to movies. When I read this book, what came to mind was the 2014 film, It Follows, and even director Andy Muschietti’s, Mama. This lingering uneasiness with The Only Good Indians, especially the chapter called “Tuesday,” created this dread with the relentless spirit that stayed with me until the end, knowing that something is stalking, following the main characters and could rear its head at any moment.
Another component of this novel is the potential discussion about we perceive what protagonists and antagonists are. While I believe there is a more straightforward answer that Jones may have been going for, it can still be an exciting discussion.
I believe that Jones will now be looked at as one of the great emerging horror writers. He is not new to the publishing world by any means, but I think Indians will be the entry point for many readers, and in turn, he will find success with his next novel releasing soon. The Only Good Indians was a great starting point for me as I have recently bought two more of his books.