Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Bad Cree by Jessica Johns

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?

Paperback, 297 pages
Published January 10, 2023
by Harper Collins
4/5 stars

This is Jessica Johns debut.  I loved the Canadian setting and also that she is Canadian as well (boy this country has lots of talented authors.)

McKenzie is a young woman with dreams that usually involve crows, but it doesn't end there as crows seem to follow her throughout the day. A year ago, McKenzie tragically lost her sister and had not been back to her hometown of High Prairie in the past four years. Now, she returns home for the support and love of her Cree family.

This is an incredibly interesting story. Jessica Jones has crafted a well-written, character-driven plot that, even though it may be slow at times, keeps the reader intrigued with the family dynamics and their heritage. Bad Cree is a story of family, grief, and supernatural tones that come together to create a unique and captivating narrative. I am eagerly awaiting more from Jessica Jones.

My thanks to HarperCollins Canada for providing me with a print arc in exchange for an honest review.

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