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WesternSFA
Rider
by Ethan Moe
Strange Angel Press, TPB, $9.95, 206pp
Release Date: April 29, 2013
I think this is a debut novel and a worthy effort, it is. This is dark urban fantasy. This is a world where people can be ‘possessed’ by a Rider. I think Riders are spirits of the departed, and they usually have some kind of agenda to finish something from their lives. Each Rider has a passion to accomplish something and nothing can stop them. Once the passion is satisfied, the spirit departs. But Riders always seem to cause bloodshed and the hook in this novel is that the possessed human is held responsible for the carnage – and executed on public television.

Evan Michael had the unfortunate luck one night to be possessed and cause the deaths of two motorists. But he was fortunate in that he fell into the company of two witches – the only people who had the power and knowledge to bind the Rider and prevent more murder. And maybe they can keep him from the authorities. The shocker is that his Rider’s passion is to kill the Mother Abbess – a woman whose mind is a collective of generations of Abbesses before her – a precious and revered woman. Even more shocking is that the police have several Riders in custody – all of whom share the same passion.

Evan, the witches and a witchy police detective all try to find a way to stop the Riders and save the Abbess. Hopefully, they will also find a way to drive out Evan’s Rider and save him from lawful execution.

This was an interesting plot. The characters were clear in my imagination but not as fully-realized as they could have been. The world building was a bit sparse. The dialogue was quick, but occasionally hard to follow. But most importantly: it kept my interest and I enjoyed it. One warning to our gentle readers: the author is inordinately fond of the word f**k. ~~ Catherine Book

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