Don’t Fear the Reaper is the second book in the Lake Witch series by Stephan Graham Jones, occurring four years after My Heart is a Chainsaw. Jade, now going by Jennifer, is released from prison right before Christmas, after her conviction is overturned. She heads back to her hometown of Proofrock Idaho at the exact same time that convicted serial killer, Dark Mill South, escapes from his prison transfer. He is seeking revenge for 38 hung Dakota men, and ends up in Proofrock ready to kill. But he isn’t the only one out in the snow.
I was drawn to this series for the many horror movie references, but I stayed for the fantastic writing and cringy gore. This series reads like a horror movie, full of tropes, witty banter, misdirection, and deeper plots than just a girl running away from a monster. It is an homage to the slasher genre and, like his first book in the series, Don’t Fear the Reaper is a story about women who are survivors.
Jade is a perfect protagonist because she is tough, strong, and broken. She knows she’s not the pure and angelic classic final girl, but she sees herself as a mentor to the real final girl in her town. The references to the horror movies are so fun and the author weaves Native American culture into the story very well. There was a great social commentary that goes beyond the superficial story to make lots of important points about our past and what makes us who we are. This is another fantastic book by Jones, and if you love the horror genre, this one is for you!
Thank you to Gallery Books and Stephan Graham Jones for my ARC of this book. Opinions are my own. Don’t Fear the Reaper comes out on February 7, 2022.