I love me some short stories and novellas. They’re amazing! They’re super short and sweet. They get to the point and deliver a lot of story in a small package. Sometimes they’re stand-alone stories. Other times, they are segues into a larger story or universe. Jason McIntyre has written three such novellas that he plans to incorporate into one of his strange universes. The series is called The Night Walk Men, and each novella tells a different story.
A Little Background (Spoilers Ahead!)
Sperro is a Night Walk Man, alive but not quite living, a giver and taker of life, and a small piece in the puzzle that is the universe. He, like all Night Walk Men, work under other Night Walk Men, fulfilling their sacred duty. Sperro is also the narrator of each story, telling tales of his fellow Night Walk Men.
In the first novella, Sperro introduces us to Obsidion. He is a Night Walk Man above Sperro. In his story, Obsidion helps a couple to fall in love again and conceive after the death of their baby. He also befriends a man named Braille the Rail. Braille the Rail has lived far too long and must die. Obsidion, however, does not like the idea of his friend dying and begins to question his duties. Eventually he is wiped from existence because he kind of fed up with his lot in life.
Corinthian is the next novella in The Night Walk Men series. Sperro tells the story of Corinthian, who is charged with taking a life in the Saylor family. He wakes Geoff, the patriarch of the family, and begins telling him that he must take a life that night. Corinthian assures Geoff it is not him, but suggests that it will be between his sons. Geoff is forced to choose which son will live, and which one will die. In his cowardice, Geoff chooses. Then, instead of taking either son, Corinthian takes their mother, Meghan. Geoff was selfish, not even thinking to sacrifice himself.
Kro is the third novella. Sperro starts by saying that the next words are from James Wong. The story is then turned over to James who tells a story about being almost killed multiple times for getting caught up with the wrong people in the wrong business. Kro, a woman Night Walk Man this time, comes to his rescue both times. It is apparently not Jame’s time to die, and so he his spared by the beautiful Kro.
My Rating: Two Deathly Thumbs Up
I love how Sperro tells his stories of his Fellow Night Walk Men. He sounds elegant and yet a little neurotic. It reminds me of reading Edgar Allan Poe (The Tell Tale Heart and The Cask of Amontillado for example). The stories are well told and there’s a lot packed into the novellas. You really get a good feel for these characters and what they are like. They are each unique and are more than just “death”. There’s feeling within them, and you can’t help but relate to them! Who would have thought? Death isn’t so bad!
I believe Mr. McIntyre is working on creating more Night Walk Men stories. Or at least I hope so! I think they’re great and sophisticated. They’re different, and that’s refreshing. I recommend them for people who can’t make it through a full length novel, Poe lovers, and those who are looking for something new and different.
As of right now, The Night Walk Men, Corinthian, and Kro are all free on Amazon Kindle.