In this world, two souls inhabit a single body, one by day, one by night. But though they live alongside one another, their ends do not always align. For Special Inspector Morden, whose hunt for a dangerous witch takes him far from home, this will be a problem…
Christophor Morden lives by night. His day-brother, Alexsander, knows only the sun. They are two souls in a single body, in a world where identities change with the rising and setting of the sun. Night-brother or day-sister, one never sees the light, the other knows nothing of the night.
Early one evening, Christophor is roused by a call to the city prison. A prisoner has torn his eyes out and cannot say why. Yet worse: in the sockets that once held his eyes, teeth are growing. The police suspect the supernatural, so Christophor, a member of the king’s special inspectorate, is charged with finding the witch responsible.
Night-by-night, Christophor’s investigation leads him ever further from home, toward a backwards village on the far edge of the kingdom. But the closer he gets to the truth, the more his day-brother’s actions frustrate him. Who is Alexsander protecting? What does he not want Christophor to discover?
And all the while, an ancient and apocalyptic ritual creeps closer to completion…
Author: David Towsey
Publisher: Head of Zeus – Ad Astra
Genre: Fantasy/Literary Fantasy
Release Date: 12/05/2022
My Chosen Format: Hardcover
My Rating for ‘Equinox’: 3 out of 5
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The concept of this book, as told by the blurb, had me hooked. I liked the idea of a body that housed two alternating souls and loved the idea of one of them somewhat hiding things from the other. The execution, however, left me feeling like perhaps the blurb hadn’t been overly honest. The dual souls thing is a massive part of the book, so no gripe there, I just never felt like there was much being kept secret or hidden between the two souls. Which was a big hook for me.
As you can probably guess from my rating of 3 out of 5, there are positives and negatives. I’ll start off with the positives.
The concept was fantastic and the dark nature of the storytelling really suited the world in which the story was happening. There was some very dark imagery throughout, especially near the end. Anything short of dark grimness really wouldn’t have suited a witch hunter character. I also felt that what I was reading was fairly unique, that’s always a nice feeling.
I enjoyed the vast difference between the two main characters. It added a good dynamic that one was incredibly dour and unfun to read/be around and the other was all about enjoying life. Had it simply been a story from Christophor’s perspective, I’d have not even bothered finishing it. This needed Alexsander to take the oppressive dullness off of things that was Christophor’s personality and bring a bit of flare and human compassion to the piece.
Slightly more negative aspects: The pacing/writing style was very slow and meandering. I found that I couldn’t read it for very long periods of time because the longer I read, the slowness of it just made me struggle to focus and take in the words on the page.
My main negative was the main selling point. I did love the idea of a body harbouring a day soul and a night soul, but there was absolutely no explaining how a body could support being actively used for so long without burning up and dying of over-use. Yes, the author states they sleep … but when? And for how long? It’s the body that needs rest, not the consciousness, in order to prevent muscle damage. Surely if the body is awake twice as much, it’d need more rest? The author uses our dates (and religion in Christianity, something I felt came off a tad lazy) so, if you use our dates, in theory (I say in theory because it was never specified) you use our times as well. If a body goes about its day and then goes about its night … when does it have a chance to sleep and recover from the strain it is put under during the waking hours? You could look deeper and deeper as to how the basic needs of the body aren’t met and, sadly for me, I did. I can’t simply accept a thing works when my scientific brain screams out that it can’t. So I think my own mode of thinking soured me where other readers found only joy.
The slow pace, as mentioned before, was an issue that mildly hit the end as well. The end wasn’t slow, it was quite quick and a lot happened in a short space of time but, due to it having come off the back of such a meandering plot, it hit me a little jarringly. It wasn’t a bad ending, it had some of the best imagery of the book, but the pacing just felt off.
All in all, I enjoyed it, but felt I would have enjoyed it more if the world building (religion, events going on around the main plot etc …) had been a tad more complete and the pacing had been more consistent. This also felt a bit more like a ‘literary’ fantasy rather than a straight up fantasy.
Thank you to the publisher for furnishing me with an advanced copy and inviting me to take part in the tour.