Reviews

Compelling, Era-Spanning, Paranormal Fun

Compelling, Era-Spanning, Paranormal Fun
By: RDD on Jun 09, 2015

In Onyx Webb, Book #1, Episodes 1-2-3, Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz have created the beginning of a decades-spanning story of interconnected families as they experience the supernatural and handle what life throws at them. This volume introduces a whole host of characters, among them their titular character, Onyx Webb, who is visiting the 1904 World’s Fair in Missouri; Koda Mulvaney, heir to the Mulvaney fortune in 2010 (and whose grandfather appears later as a youth in a flashback); Juniper Cole, who is abducted the night of her prom in 1979; and assorted family, friends, acquaintances, and people tied to the stories of these three. Fenton and Waltz shift perspectives from one character to another as they go along, following the narratives of each and exploring the ways in which these characters are connected. In this way, their narrative format resembles that of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series, while their non-linear story full of flashbacks and flash-forwards evokes Alan Moore’s use of the same technique in Watchmen.

Fenton and Waltz carefully introduce the supernatural elements into their story in a way that feels natural to the reader, so that, by the time the authors begin to focus more heavily on mediums and spirits, the reader is well prepared and can easily follow. The episodic nature of the book prevents it from following the traditional narrative format, but Fenton and Waltz include in their introduction a schedule for release of subsequent books along with their promise to finish the series so that faithful readers can continue to the climax and conclusion. The biggest drawback to Fenton and Waltz’s formatting of this series is that the various characters’ narratives become more engrossing and the reader can see the first connections in Episode 3 just before the end of the book, though Book #2 is due out in July. Notwithstanding this minor issue resulting from formatting, Onyx Webb is an interesting read with compelling characters that will certainly entertain fans of paranormal fiction.

Onyx Webb goodie box.

Onyx Webb goodie box.

Finally, a note about Fenton and Waltz’s special blogger goodie box that accompanied the copy of Onyx Webb I received in exchange for a review. The goodie box included an armband, a piece of onyx, rock candy, a toe tag, and severed Barbie doll legs. All of these items either connect to the story or are for fun, but it demonstrated to me the commitment of the authors to their character and their creation and helped put me in the right frame of mind for reading the book.

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