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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
End Matter: A Novella is a thriller written by Ezekiel Cartwright. Nathan Cartwright has always been fascinated by horror stories and the macabre. Even as a child, he'd naturally gravitate to the strange and grisly comics found on the comics rack in the corner drug store in the little town of Sky Valley, Maine. Now, as he was approaching his next great adventure, Nathan was concerned about the well-being of his son, Danny, and granddaughter, Angel. Danny was still burdened by medical bills after the lingering death of his wife, and he balanced earning a living as a beekeeper and working in the General Store with being Angel's only parent. Nathan knew he needed to do something to ensure that they would be well-provided for after he died. And so he went back to his old craft, writing horror stories. He was known, after all, as Grisly Grandpa, but no one else would ever know of the dark truths lurking behind the words he so carefully let out into the world.
Ezekiel Cartwright's dark fantasy, End Matter: A Novella, is atmospheric and spooky. Nothing's ever seen with great clarity; rather there's hints here and there of the dark under surface of everyday reality. Nathan is seen as a child gamely following a scream in the shadows to a strange path of bones and a smoldering ruin, as well as the curmudgeonly elder who is all too aware of the limits imposed on his lifespan. The author's story is flowing, and his writing is elegant and spare. Cartwright also created the cover art and illustrations, and they mesh so very well with the eerie nature of the story. End Matter is a tale to be read, and read again, and I'm sure I'll be thinking about this sly and masterful little novella for some time to come. It's stirring and filled with hints of eldritch horror hidden just out of view -- and isn't that grand? End Matter: A Novella is most highly recommended.