End Matter

A Novella

Fiction - Thriller - General
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 05/13/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

Hilary Hawkes

End Matter by Ezekiel Cartwright is an entertaining, intriguing and unique short novel/novella. Main character Nathan Cartwright makes money by publishing his novels in order to have something to leave his son, Danny, who is struggling to bring up his little daughter alone. Living in Sky Valley, an ominous wooden village with myths and rumors of witches and all sorts of horrors lurking nearby, Nathan’s inspiration comes from an unusual and alarming source - but will he be able to prevent the horrors of nightmares and fiction from becoming reality?

I thoroughly enjoyed Ezekiel Cartwright’s short novel and was intrigued and drawn into the story from the start. It is an absorbing and entertaining quick read that is carefully plotted and kept me guessing to the end. The book begins with Nathan’s reason for writing and there is a brief look back in time to his boyhood, the start of his fascination with thrillers, and a spooky occurrence that left him with his ability to create his scary and thrilling best-selling novels. The book is written from the narrator’s point of view and it unfolds at a good pace. Despite the shortness of the book, the author presents his characters, their personalities, and motivations very well and I found them realistic and believable. I loved the sense of mystery and secrecy, the hint of impending horror, and the twist of an ending. Ezekiel Cartwright is a good storyteller and readers who like short horror, thrillers and mysteries with a twist will enjoy End Matter.

Maria Beltran

End Matter by Ezekiel Cartwright revolves around the life of widower Nathan Cartwright as he faces his mortality. Also known as the grisly grandpa, Nathan is a successful thriller writer, although his debut works are in drama and romance. Nathan has two sons, the estranged Harvey, and Danny, the beekeeper who has a sweet little daughter. As Danny grapples with the emotional and financial strain of his cancer stricken wife, Nathan resorts to writing fiction thrillers so that he can help Danny out. There is, however, a price to pay that goes back to a rainy, eerie night a long time ago, when the young Nathan comes across a mystical grave. As events unfold, he has to do everything to keep a secret that endangers the legacy he wants to leave behind.

End Matter is a fiction thriller novella that clutches at the imagination. Author Ezekiel Cartwright views his subject from a distance, yet also intimately. Framing his story like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, he weaves together an incredible tale about a grandfather who is willing to face the horrors of his past to make the lives of his loved ones better. A master story teller in the footsteps of Edgar Allan Poe, Ezekiel’s 37-page novella is surprisingly filled with interesting and well-rounded characters, and a convoluted plot that still makes complete sense in the end. His words are sparse, but they are evocative and meaningful. And as Nathan, the reluctant thriller writer, grapples with the consequences of his actions, we accompany him along the way as we get lost in a story that is both heartrending and horrifying.