Book Review: Bad Cree by Jessica Johns


Title: Bad Cree

By: Jessica Johns

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 272

Release Date: January 10th, 2023

Publisher: Doubleday Books

Rating: ★★★★☆


Summary from Goodreads:

In this gripping debut tinged with supernatural horror, a young Cree woman's dreams lead her on a perilous journey of self-discovery that ultimately forces her to confront the toll of a legacy of violence on her family, her community and the land they call home.

When Mackenzie wakes up with a severed crow's head in her hands, she panics. Only moments earlier she had been fending off masses of birds in a snow-covered forest. In bed, when she blinks, the head disappears.

Night after night, Mackenzie's dreams return her to a memory from before her sister Sabrina's untimely death: a weekend at the family's lakefront campsite, long obscured by a fog of guilt. But when the waking world starts closing in, too--a murder of crows stalks her every move around the city, she wakes up from a dream of drowning throwing up water, and gets threatening text messages from someone claiming to be Sabrina--Mackenzie knows this is more than she can handle alone.

Traveling north to her rural hometown in Alberta, she finds her family still steeped in the same grief that she ran away to Vancouver to escape. They welcome her back, but their shaky reunion only seems to intensify her dreams--and make them more dangerous.

What really happened that night at the lake, and what did it have to do with Sabrina's death? Only a bad Cree would put their family at risk, but what if whatever has been calling Mackenzie home was already inside?


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I love how this book embodies Native American mythology and beliefs, bringing a heartfelt story to life before our eyes.

Jessica Johns has a wonderful way of telling a story with feeling and emotion, but also brings the horror element with ease. I really felt for the characters although at times I found their dialogue to be unrelatable and pedestrian, for a lack of a better word. Toward the end of the book, Johns really got into the groove of the story and made me root for the characters and their wellbeing.

Could the Aunties have relayed a little more info on what was going on? Yes. Could the dialogue have been tighter? Yes, but in the end, I loved this story and wanted to read more. This was a wonderful story.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

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