*Some spoilers below*
The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.
It took me a solid 100 pages or so to understand what was even happening in this book. The writing just didn’t really gel with me and I had a hard time comprehending the prose. The story was definitely compelling and shocking but I didn’t feel as invested in these characters as what I probably could have been.
The book just launches into Ricky’s point of view and I was lost. I didn’t know whether or not what was happening to him was real and I was almost indifferent to his death. Lewis I felt more of a connection to and was actually invested in his character and the subsequent demise of his state of mind. The guilt he carried around all these years and the paranoia surrounding that day and how the elk was coming for him felt real and raw. I was shocked to see how far he would go to try to rid himself from the elk woman and how apathetic he was afterwards, reasoning with himself that he did what was necessary.
Again I didn’t really feel a connection to Cass or Gabe, I didn’t get enough time with either or them to forge that connection either. Which I guess kind of makes sense in terms of the plot. Ricky got a majority of the time because he was the one who killed the mother and the baby elk and was tortured the most, Cass and Gabe are just getting the repercussions because they were there that day as well. Leaning about the sweat was definitely interesting and I liked that they added Nate’s character into the mix as a way to explain what was happening and how the would resort back to these ancient methods on the Res.
Overall this was not what I was expecting at all! I almost forgot going into it that it was a horror and surprised by the graphic scenes, but it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat and wanting to know what is going to happen next. I almost wish it was longer, but then I feel like overcomplicating this premise would of made it less intriguing. So it is what it is.
⭐️3/5 stars brutal, haunting and visceral