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Book Review: Blood Moon Big Top by Toneye Eyenot

“A good werewolf story always makes people feel sorry for those afflicted by the transformation, but also sickened and terrified of their actions.”

Kendrick the drifter finds his true calling when he joins the circus and becomes Marbles the clown. A chance encounter changes him forever, literally. Slowly his body and mind deteriorates until it leaves him lifeless. Waking up in a morgue he discovers that his body is changing in ways that he never imagined could be reality and that the circus left him behind. His journey begins as he attempts to track down the only home he ever knew amongst the nomadic band of freaks and performers under the big top. As his transformation works agonizingly slow through his body, he discovers an insatiable need to kill growing steadily in him. The trail of death and brutality over a two week span comes to an end when he finally catches up with he circus in time for his last performance when his transformation is finally completed.

Toneye Eyenot writes with the poetic flow that only a musician can. He fronts a handful of metal bands in the land down under and infuses his mastery of words and turn of phrase to create some really killer stories. His previous novellas, The Scarlett Curse and Joshua’s Folly are both dark fantasy but his other works in the mountain of anthologies he has contributed to are horror to the core. Some of his offerings are very extreme, yet they never lose his signature feel, even while explaining some pretty vile acts he does it with a gift for words, painting the picture in the reader’s mind with a blood soaked brush. His writing is never bogged down by trying to be overly wordy yet describes scenes with sickening accuracy.

Blood Moon Big Top is a relatively quick read but well worth it. There are tons of werewolf stories written everyday but few capture the torture the carriers of the curse endure, the burden of knowing the brutality of their lunar hunting and yet the freedom of walking in a second skin and the power of knowing they are an apex predator, virtually indestructible. Eyenot employed a different take on becoming a werewolf in this tale, Kendrick is attacked by a feral child, one that has passes on its curse/gift to him. The transformation takes weeks and weeks to complete, killing him at first and then even once he awakens he is put through torturous trials as he hunts and is hunted for his deeds. It brings to mind the pity viewers felt when watching Lon Chaney Jr. and Oliver Reed, to name only a few, changing on screen, it twists your heart and stomach to imagine the physical and emotional trauma they endure. A good werewolf story always makes people feel sorry for those afflicted by the transformation, but also sickened and terrified of their actions while they are wolfed out.

This story is not for the faint of heart, its brutal and gory, reminiscent of American Werewolf in London and Dog Soldiers during the death scenes and the climactic ending, but this is a horror story, it’s not meant to be romantic or whimsical. Its total carnage, yet that does not take away from the heart of the story about an unlucky clown who becomes a thing of nightmares. The other cool thing about this book is that it blends a touch of clown horror in with a really excellent werewolf story and the world needs more werewolf clown horror, especially if penned by Mr. Eyenot.

                                                                                                                                                    MICHELLE GARZA

Publisher: J. Ellington Ashton Press
eBook: (68pp)
Release Date: 7 October 2016

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