My first experience with Jones was The Only Good Indians a couple years ago, and from super eerie cover to last page, I was well and truly hooked. When I saw that his newest was available in Libby I jumped right on it – and I was not disappointed!
Jade Daniels lives in the tiny town of Proofrock, Idaho. Jade is a self-proclaimed Horror Girl, who has watched so many slasher movies that she’s started to see the world around her through that lens. When bodies actually start turning up in this sleepy town, Jade is sure that a Slasher Cycle has started, and it’s only going to get worse. The fun of this book is riding shotgun with Jade, and trying to figure out whether the accidents are just accidents, or whether something nefarious or even eldritch is actually going on.
Jones is masterful at exploring the trauma faced by one young girl, placing it in the context of the town’s and indigenous history, but without ever turning Jade into a victim. Jade is deeply damaged, and we can only really grapple with how damaged she is once we understand her thoroughly. We, the readers, empathize with her, and rage for her, but never ever pity her. I don’t want to spoil any of the plot details, but Jade’s evolution is powerful.
This is a love letter to horror – no, slasher – movies. I think you can probably enjoy it quite well without having seen a single one. There are brief “Slasher 101” chapters interspersed thoughout the narrative, a clever way to dump background for the reader without bogging down the story. But I also suspect that a true slasher fan would find some deep references that add even more to the story.
Book #2 in the planned trilogy is due to release in February of 2023, and I can’t wait.