Equinox, by David Towsey, has a fabulous premise that drew me in when I saw the advance reading copy description on NetGalley. In this bizarre world, bodies are split like timeshares. Every day, at dusk and dawn, control of every person’s body switches to its other occupant. Imagine if every time you went to sleep, someone else took control of your person. They lived entire other lives, dated different people, had different jobs, different tastes in decor and hobbies, and generally just moved everything around while you were in blissful oblivion. The potential here is endless. I was excited to read about a cryptic relationship between two friends that could never meet, forever separated by a sunrise, only able to come to know one another via notes. Instead, I feel like I got a middling episode of a long-running British crime serial.
One half of our protagonist is Christophor, an infuriatingly named special investigator for the king. One evening Christophor is woken early by a call to the city prison. A young woman has torn her own eyes out, and the police suspect supernatural causes. The investigation takes Christophor far from home, to a village on the edge of the kingdom. Meanwhile, we occasionally get additional scenes from his “night-brother,” who is hard at work doing things like accounting.
I gave up on Equinox about halfway through because I just couldn’t bring myself to pick it back up anymore. There isn’t anything wrong with it per se. The characters are all aggressively fine, the murder mystery is interesting enough, and the locations, while uninspired, aren’t awful. However, I just couldn’t get over the fact that this book has such a brilliant idea for a setting and then just utterly fails to capitalize on it. I expected something more akin to the recently released MCU Moon Knight show, where you have different personas all competing to control the same body, desperately bargaining with one another to achieve their own personal agendas. The potential of madness and confusion is endless when you can naturally occlude half of all events that happen in a story and parcel them out over time. And Equinox just does none of that.
Looking at other reviews of the book it looks like maybe I quit just before things come together, but it’s not reasonable to make a reader sit through 200 pages of nothing only to start pulling in all the lost strands they were looking for in the back half. Maybe I will go back and finish this book when I have more time, but I just had a baby and would rather focus on books that keep me riveted in what little spare time I now have. So for now it will remain unfinished.
Rating: Equinox – DNF/10
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. The thoughts on this story are my own.