BAD CREE by Jessica Johns

Synopsis from the Publisher:

In this gripping, horror-laced debut, 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?


Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: January 10, 2023
Source: Borrowed from the Library
Rating: 3 Stars


Very Quick Thoughts:

A young Cree woman returns home to face her terrifying dreams and find out what’s behind them. I was expecting a horror story, but BAD CREE turned out to be more a coming-of-age tale about processing grief and guilt. The book’s pacing was slow, and it lacked a strong plot, but I did like the Cree folklore and the strong family relationships presented. I enjoyed the supernatural elements, but was hoping for more suspense.