Read This Book

Read This Book . . .

Welcome to Read this Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that needs to jump onto your TBR pile! These books come from all sorts of different genres and age ranges. Today we’re discussing a horror novel that created a bit of buzz — and for good reason!

a graphic of the cover of Bad Cree by Jessica Johns

Bad Cree by Jessica Johns

Mackenzie wakes up with a dead crow’s head in her hands. She stares at it in disbelief before it disappears. A thousand miles away from her family, Mackenzie tries to live a life below the radar, ignoring the loss of her sister, Sabrina. One year ago her sister died, and Mackenzie never went home for the funeral. Now, as the anniversary of Sabrina’s death approaches, Mackenzie is forced to face the fact that something is seriously wrong.

Mackenzie returns to her tiny hometown in Alberta to face the past she ran away from and the hard conversations she never wanted to have with her mom, sister, aunties, and cousins. But her return just stirs everything up again, and makes her horrific dreams worse. She feels like something is coming from her, and only a bad Cree would put her family in harm’s way.

Bad Cree is a horror novel, but it’s also just as much a family novel that centers around the lived experiences of Native women. The novel centers around these women as they support each other through the worst things life can throw at you. Just when Mackenzie begins to believe she needs to isolate herself to save her family, she realizes that there is strength in community.

Mackenzie and her family have an emotionally complex relationship with each other. They face the lasting harm from colonialism and ongoing violence against women as a direct result of men flooding the area to work in the oil fields and similar industries. These horrors are made manifest by something else, something sinister in the shadows. And this time, Mackenzie can’t run away from it.

I absolutely loved Bad Cree. It’s now going to sit in the pantheon of one of my favorite horror novels ever. Jessica Johns’ characters are so vibrant and beautiful in the face of the dark terrors they face. And this novel is creepy as all get out, crows flapping around in their sinister way, both in Mackenzie’s dreams and outside of them, making you always wonder what ulterior motives they might have. Ah, it’s so good!

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That’s it for this week! You can find me over on my substack Winchester Ave, over on Instagram @kdwinchester, or on my podcast Read Appalachia. As always, feel free to drop me a line at For even MORE bookish content, you can find my articles over on Book Riot.

Happy reading, Friends!

~ Kendra