Red Runes by Nicholas Olivo
Doc Graystone and the Red Runes is a great escape for anyone looking for a short, unique fantasy story with hints of mystery and supernatural thrills!
Publisher’s Description: Boston, 1932. The police are baffled by a series of killings in which the victims have had mystical runes carved into their flesh. Enter Doc Graystone, gentleman necromancer. Adept at delivering two-fisted necromantic justice, Graystone battles demons, revenants, and ragmen in a race against the clock to stop a madman from destroying the world as we know it.
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (in other words, SPOILERS!)
Welcome to the world of necromancy. In the year 1932, in Boston, Massachusetts, there is a doctor who is very proficient at necromancy and solving crimes by asking the victim “who done it?” I kind of feel like it’s cheating, but where killers are concerned, one must take whatever advantage one finds. Doc Graystone is looney bin material according to his peers. He is grieving over the loss of his fiance and I got the hint that he had something to do with it. He has been perpetually drunk and disorderly since the “incident” and has become a recluse while wallowing in his guilt. Practicing necromancy cannot be good for the soul and with this first short story, little is revealed about how he came to practice or what kinds of cases he has solved. Also, he portrays his peers as idiots, so I’m interested in discovering “the rest of the story.”
This little novella (all 5 are on average 43 pages each) is a very good intro to this Indiana Jones type character. He knows a lot about the big bad beasties living in the world and he’s nobody’s fool. He can reanimate corpse’s to get their last words and get to the bottom of suspicious deaths.
I have not started #2 in the series yet, but that’s only because I wanted to write this review and give ya’ll a heads up regarding this quick little escape. It’s worth your time. I enjoyed it!
Kat Mandu says…
I loved this novella! I’ve always been fascinated by necromancy, despite its dark reputation. Olivo takes the idea of necromantic control, ennervation, and soul bargaining and plays with its potential. The focus isn’t necessarily on the magic so much as the intention behind it and I love its endless possibilities, not to mention all the hints the author throws out referring to various things about the gentleman necromancer. Grant Graystone seems to have all kinds of secrets, some involving his fiancee’s death and maybe some darker pacts of his own that may come to haunt him later.
I really enjoyed this particular adventure and I can’t wait to read the rest. I don’t really have any dislikes towards it, beyond wishing a couple things would have been explained more (like his relationship with Victor, the ghost in the theatre; or how Joan died and what role he had to play in it; or how he was able to summon a particular carriage driver from the Beyond and what happened with the girl – I mean, he probably fulfilled his promise, but it was never mentioned so there was no finality to it). But those are things that could possibly be answered in the next installments, so perhaps I’ll receive my answers when I read on.
If you like this book, try…