"It Rides a Pale Horse" Book Review

Written by Zach Rosenberg

Published by Redhook

it rides a pale horse andy marino poster large

Written by Andy Marino
2022, 368 pages, Fiction
Released on October 4th, 2022


Andy Marino is no stranger to weird horror. After the huge splash of The Seven Visitations of Sydney Burgess, Marino roars back on the scene with It Rides a Pale Horse, centering on the Larkin siblings. Peter “Lark” Larkin is a hero to Wofford Falls, the brilliant artist who left town to become famous and returned to settle down. Lark is outgoing, friendly, and likable, unlike his eccentric sister Betsy, who prefers to keep her own counsel and company.

Lark is contracted to deliver a piece of artwork to a wealthy buyer, only to learn Betsy has been abducted and Lark must secure her safety. Given a book, Lark is instructed to follow what is written in its pages. Unfortunately, the book is not the most normal of manuscripts and it is about to plunge Lark into a grim nightmare.

Marino’s work is dark and fascinating. His writing style is thick and rewarding, with Marino detailing emotion and leading the reader down a winding path of twists and turns. Understanding cosmic horror like few others, Marino warps the world his characters live in, with ways neither Lark nor the reader initially understands.

Until they read onward.

Lark is a likable character but is forced to examine the effect of his actions on his sister. Discovering plots centuries old, he must decide if overcoming the mystery is worth his sanity or even the world itself. Marino forces the reader to examine precisely what is reality within the pages and filters it through the mind of a narrator who has his own difficulties in the comprehension of events.

Each character is as well-formed as any of Lark’s own sculptures, with terrifying and brutal villains, mysterious allies and Lark himself. Though Marino’s attempts at levity can sometimes detract from the terror, It Rides a Pale Horse is colorful and vibrant, painting unique pictures as the reader rides the pale horse of death through a journey of madness.


Overall: 4.5 Star Rating Cover
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Zach Rosenberg
Staff Reviewer
Zach Rosenberg is a fantasy and horror writer living in Florida. He appreciates the ocean, wildlife and his love of literature was constantly nurtured growing up where he practically lived in the libraries, reading every horror and fantasy book he could get his hands on. His print debut short story "The Teeth Of the Deeps" is featured in the fifth short story collection from Dead Sea Press.
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