It Rides a Pale Horse by Tony Marino

Posted by

This is the first Netgalley/orbit book I had picked up in a while. I was in the mood for a horror but something a “little different”, not zombies or post apocalypse or demons or whatever. I wanted something a little surreal and a little weird and this sounded like that.

Unfortunately this review is going to be pretty short because I stalled out very hard on the prose style. I found it to just wander away from the moment getting lost in metaphors that I didn’t fully follow only to lead to another metaphor or turn of phrase and soon I was lost and had to re-read.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters, either. I don’t know why but I wasn’t getting attached to Lark and I’m not sure what it was exactly but he just slid off me.

Sigh… this is not a pleasant review for me to write.

I also did not like the dialogue, I felt it was just awkward, this is presented as an urban fantasy in modernish times and someone said he “he ate with great relish”, and that to me either sounds narrative or really old school, and it was neither, it was modern dialogue? I don’t know, I sound super nitpicky but I just could not get past 15% with this one and unfortunately I set it down.

From what I gathered of the plot thus far his sister has some magical talent with painting or art, perhaps? He seems to get sucked into her work in a way that’s more than just “good art”, but I didn’t get to explore that much further. She’s sort of a social outcast, a voluntary hermit and doesn’t get out much. I sort of gathered he is maybe her only real friend and tether to the real world? I could be wrong. A lot of the art stuff was a bit more technical and since I have absolutely no artistic ability or interest in old paintings/artists this went all right over my head. There were references I knew I wasn’t getting and things like that.

This will be for people a bit more versed in the arts than I am, and maybe someone more focused and better with flourishing language because I got lost and confused.

No rating since I DNF’ed.