The Angel of Indian Lake by Stephen Graham Jones
April 11, 2024 5:21 PM - Subscribe

The final installment in the most lauded trilogy in the history of horror novels picks up four years after Don’t Fear the Reaper as Jade returns to Proofrock, Idaho, to build a life after the years of sacrifice—only to find the Lake Witch is waiting for her in New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones’s finale. -- Simon & Schuster

It’s been four years in prison since Jade Daniels last saw her hometown of Proofrock, Idaho, the day she took the fall, protecting her friend Letha and her family from incrimination. Since then, her reputation, and the town, have changed dramatically. There’s a lot of unfinished business in Proofrock, from serial killer cultists to the rich trying to buy Western authenticity. But there’s one aspect of Proofrock no one wants to confront…until Jade comes back to town. The curse of the Lake Witch is waiting, and now is the time for the final stand.

New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones has crafted an epic horror trilogy of generational trauma from the Indigenous to the townies rooted in the mountains of Idaho. It is a story of the American west written in blood. [book summary shamelessly ganked from the publisher's site, linked above]
posted by johnofjack (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ooooh! This wasn't even on my radar. Definitely moving to the top of my reading list.
posted by Literaryhero at 7:00 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]

I cannot wait to read this.
posted by maryellenreads at 9:09 AM on April 12

Just finished listening. Thoughts:

1. SGJ works real hard to tie up all the loose ends. This is both good and bad. I don't mind a slasher with some plot holes, but it shows that he cared to track it all down. Some of the resolutions, however, are only observed, not explained, which I like.

2. It's a satisfying conclusion, although some people, I think, won't like the end. I think it's maybe the only way it could have gone?

3. The book is kind of baggy in places and a little too rushed at the end. There is a scene, in the woods near Terra Nova, where Jade gets really introspective, and, while it's important, kind of derails the action scene she's in. It would have been nice if SGJ could have found a different place for it, but... I guess I can see why it's there.

4. I like that SGJ is pretty ruthless to the supporting cast. It's a slasher, after all.

5. I also like that Letha is out of the story for a lot of the running time; she is a great character, but Jade needs some space.

6. I liked the Hawkwind reference.

7. I did not like cramming the book with slasher film name references -- chapter titles, good, having Jade say "I went into... The Last House on the Left" feels a bit cheap.

8. As usual, SGJ gives us some unexpected allies and enemies, which is always nice.

9. Also, as usual, there are a bit too many killers. The story is confusing at times, when it should be tightening up towards the climax.

10. On the other hand, the story is a real roller coaster, with highs followed by drops followed by highs.

11. For the audio book, I did not love the multiple readers, especially the cameo by King, who was pretty substandard.

12. As usual, SGJ writes a mean acknowledgements section, tracking and tipping the hat to a huge mass of influences. It's charming, but he's always too modest. They say, after all, that authors borrow, but the best authors steal.

13. We have to end on 13. This is a great culmination of a series. the series comes full circle, as does Jade, with a sense that she is really where she needs to be and always was going to end up. It's all expalined but manages to stay weird and unearthly, and it really does feel like an ending, a bit like Ripley falling into the forge at the end of Alien III. There could be sequels, but the trilogy is done.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:37 PM on April 16

I still like Letha's character but I agree about letting Jade have the limelight in this one. That said, it comes with some baggage, and in this case it's Jade's deep--almost relentless--interiority which, as you pointed out, can derail the action scenes. I think the scene you're talking about is probably the same one I noticed, right after Jade calls Letha back? I felt the same way about it--"why are we doing all this deep introspection right here? This is where the pacing usually starts to pick up."

This is the fourth Stephen Graham Jones book I've read, and by most accounts this trilogy and/or The Only Good Indians are his best. I've felt pretty conflicted about all the books; the author is obviously very smart and knowledgeable, but I think he and I have different ideas about what we want out of a story. [shrugs]
posted by johnofjack at 9:30 AM on April 21 [1 favorite]

I was thinking of the scene in the media with the bear trap, and Jade and the temporary final girl woman are waiting for Zombie Tab, and Jade is way down a self-loathing hole, and I’m like “your zombie abusive dad is almost here, please, take action!” but your suggestion is also good.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:51 PM on April 21 [1 favorite]

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