In The Only Good Indians, four Blackfeet in their youth kill a pregnant female elk. Years later, the elk comes back for revenge in a quest to destroy each of their lives. There were some things I liked about this novel, and other things I didn’t like so much. Starting off with the good, I thought the narrative voice sounded fresh and authentic. I guess it helps that Stephen Graham Jones is Blackfeet and was able to use his background to give the novel that authenticity in the narration. The dialogue, in particular, was quite good. The story had good drama and horror elements, and moved at a brisk pace.
The things that I didn’t like so much was the storytelling viewpoint. I didn’t care for the present tense usage, but I especially didn’t care for the use of second person point of view, which should be banned forever from fiction. It was especially annoying when the author intermingled them so frequently that it was hard to tell whose viewpoint the story was in. There were also some serious logic gaps and plot holes in the story. I also felt the action scenes could have been described better.
All that said, I enjoyed the story. In particular, the characterization was very strong. Even though I had some misgivings and it was a little rough around the edges, this is a novel that I would recommend.