Equinox – David Towsey

Content Warning – some body horror

In a world where two souls share a single body; one sibling by day, another by night; Christopher and Alexsander are brothers.

The night-brother, Christophor, never seeing the light of day, works in the darkness as a special inspector of the supernatural. A witch-hunter, in fact, he has personally seen a number of witches to their deaths.

When he is roused one evening to the prison, he finds an inmate who’s day-brother has torn out their eyes. They can’t say why they’ve done this, but Christophor is horrified to see that teeth are now growing in the sockets.

(If that’s more than enough to make you turn away, do so, it doesn’t get any less body horror from here!)

Alexsander is forced along with Christopher on his investigation, as always, and is acting more strangely than usual.

And, of course, a big, black clock is ticking down to the fulfilment of…something.

So it’s all very mysterious and kinda gross. I’m not generally one for body horror, but the day/night thing caught my attention, and I do love an apocalyptic dark ritual. Also I have SO MANY QUESTIONS how this whole day/night thing works in practical terms.

Christophor is wry and practical, and doesn’t seem overly fond of his brother; perhaps an inevitability for many folk in this setting, if all they see of their other half is what they leave behind that annoys. Certainly he isn’t alone in this issue. But he carries that world-weary attitude with him everywhere he goes, a weight he places nightly on his shoulders, along with his cynicism and more than a touch of conceit and snobbery.

He’s observant, and he papers over his emotional reactions with a practical nature that’s really just waiting to be shocked out of him.

As to Alexsander, for the first half we only get snippets of him. The day/night siblings only share a sprinkling of memories, and though there are ways of making it more likely something will squeeze through, the only surefire way is to write them a note where they’ll see it, and hope they bother to pay attention.

He’s a musician, though. A good one, by the sound. Christophor heartily disapproves but can’t do much about it, and given the way Alexsander gets dragged along on his investigations, he deigns to suffer it.

Halfway through, Alexsander takes up the tale, and as expected by the brief flashes, he’s quite the opposite of his night-brother. He’s emotional, and quite unsure of how his night-brother can see terrible things and continue with equanimity. He’s friendly and curious, and he loves to discuss art in all its forms. He has all the personality that Christophor lacks.

Not that Christophor is unlikeable, he is, he’s also a dour and serious man, while Alexsander is definitely not.

It’s the easiest way to do this; have the day and night siblings be in contrast to (and often therefore in conflict with) each other, and we see it a few times throughout, making the occasional co-op team notable.

Alexsander also gets much more memory of what Christophor does…increasingly so, as we go through this latter half of the story. Practically, it’s clear why–we need to see what’s going on. But given how much effort was made to tell us how little siblings know of their others’ activities, it’s a jarring issue. It would have worked much better to simply allow both to tell their own parts of the story.

It’s a slowish journey, followed by a rapid end, meaning we get to know people pretty well. It’s a good journey, too, mostly enjoyable. The end was a little too rapid, and there were some issues with the day/night siblings (Alexsander being able to see so much, for example), but nothing to take away from my general enjoyment. B

However, bits of plot showed up either without any sign of previously existing or without being explained, and this did lead to the conclusion being less dramatic than it could have been.

Overall, I had a fun time with this (and many of my questions were answered), and that’s the main thing!

If you like dark rituals, weird happenings, and really want to know how the whole day/night sibling thing works, definitely pick this one up.

Equinox was released on 12th May 2022.

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