The Seventh Equinox by Matthew Warner; Raw Dog Screaming Press; 2013; 216 pgs; $4.99 E-Book US
It has been my experience that whenever I pick up a new book penned by Matthew Warner I can expect three things. The first is that it will have a supernatural plot possessing fantastical elements and some awesome beasties. Secondly, it will have characters that you cannot help but fall in love with. Lastly, it will be entertaining as hell and contain generous dollops of humor – often black, and more likely than not physical in nature. The Seventh Equinox, Warner’s newest, not only met all my expectations – he surpassed them with the addition of character diversity.
Taking the above point by point, The Seventh Equinox’s plot concerns two agents born from Mother Earth, The Hunter and The Bear. In order for earth to achieve a natural balance, The Hunter must slay The Bear every seven years. But the plan is thrown into chaos when a wizard captures the Bear and hides it in a well. In the present, it’s been almost a century without The Bear being slain and the Earth is on the verge of apocalypse if The Bear isn’t killed within days. The wizard has his reasons for hiding the bear, namely he gets to drink from its tears and receive great power, plus he gets to live forever by simply picking someone out and taking over their body.
As for characters, The Seventh Equinox has some truly unique ones. Bessie is a woman who caught her husband cheating on her, and she decides to leave him and start a new life. She doesn’t get all that far from home before getting into a car accident in Augusta City, Virginia. She falls in love with the town and decides to call it home. Only she didn’t expect to find a badly burned man in her basement (The Hunter – Robin Goodfellow), a nosey geriatric female neighbor who believes in fairy’s and magic and lusty sex, a local cop who is gay and appears to be on the weaker side of all things in life and who resorts to going by the book to resolve most of his conflicts, a young African American boy and his mother who walks into Bessie’s house when they feel like it, and the old mayor of the town who drops sexual innuendo’s around Bessie and gives her a mild shock whenever he touches her. Warner breathes life into every single one of these characters, and as a reader you can’t help but become invested in them, and then find yourself delighted when their plot arcs intersect.
There is plenty of dark humor to be found in The Seventh Equinox, but to showcase it here would be to give away too many spoilers. Let’s just say that Warner has you laughing in the most inappropriate moments and not feeling one bit guilty because of it.
The Seventh Equinox continues Matt Warner’s latest string of entertaining and excellent–over the top work that began with his novel, Blood Born, and followed with his novella, No Outlet. Warner’s imagination is once again in high gear delivering to fans of urban fantasy and horror a smorgasbord of the fantastic. The Seventh Equinox has it all; great characterization, exciting action, and an ending that will have you sitting up straight and wide eyed. The Seventh Equinox is highly recommended.
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