Month: March 2020

Book Review: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

“The Only Good Indians” is the ideal horror novel. It provides characters in which the reader can easily invest, who are then thrown into terrible danger from a paranormal (and very scary) source. What makes this one really stand out in the genre is the fact that it doesn’t follow the standard “band of buddies teams up to fight the evil entity” trope. Instead, the entity in question is targeting its victims for a very specific and logical reason. Also, each individual must figure out what’s going on and try to deal with it on his own. I very much appreciated this unique aspect of the story.

Another major point in the book’s favor is that, while the reader does feel sympathy for the targets, he/she can also understand the motivation behind the actions of the “villain”, and see that there is some degree of justification there. This leaves the reader torn, as you’ll have some degree of sympathy for both sides.

Another thing the author brings to the table is an impressively detailed look into the lives of the Blackfeet and (to a lesser extent) Crow people. I enjoyed learning about their everyday lives, their cultural identity, and the issues they sometimes encountered in integrating into “white” society.

Interestingly, parts of the book are written in second person, which only adds to the overall creepiness of the plot. This is a seldom used perspective, and is even more rarely handled well. The author utilizes this voice just the right amount, in just the right places, to ramp up the tension of the story.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention how much I loved Denorah. She is a minor player for much of the book, but she is a fabulous character who could absolutely carry her own spin-off story. I’d love to read about how her life plays out after the end of the plot of this book, and how what she’s learned affects her plans going forward.

Bravo to this new-to-me author for bringing me something truly new and original to read!

Five out of five chunks of extra-sharp cheddar!

Book Review: The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

This book sounded amazing when I first heard about it, and I was thrilled to win a copy through the Goodreads giveaway. If definitely didn’t disappoint!

The highlights:

1. The story: From the beginning, this book felt like an homage to the classic gothic tales I love so much! It has all the elements: the gloomy, creepy, castle, the mysterious family rumors, and that eerie sense that something is going on that neither the reader nor the heroine knows about. Plus, it’s just a fabulous story. I was instantly immersed in Bert’s world, and couldn’t wait to read more to see what happened next.

2. The way it differed from classic gothic fiction: No big romance, no hero riding to the rescue. Main character Bert (short for Alberta) is also the heroine, trying to save the day (for herself and others).

3. The setting: I enjoyed reading about the Alps, as well as Bert’s time in Italy. The Montebianco castle was almost a character by itself…it was so well described that I felt like I was walking the halls along with Bert, and the descriptions of the Alps and the local area were also very detailed and interesting.

4. The science: I won’t add any more to avoid spoilers. Suffice it to say that Bert learns some truly interesting things before the story ends!

5. The REALLY unexpected bits: Again, to avoid spoilers, I obviously can’t say what they are. Where one character ends up, plus the last few chapters, are very surprising. I always appreciate it when an author manages to include things that I truly wasn’t expecting, so KUDOS to Danielle Trussoni!

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, and am very happy to add the author to my list of “must reads”!

Five out of five chunks of extra-sharp cheddar!