The Fifth Horseman

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The Fifth Horseman by Jon Smith is the supernatural story of Emma, a woman who is fed up with how her life is going. She decides to end her troubles by jumping off a building. Sadly, her flatmate Mark shows up attempting to get her to rethink things, as well as delivering an unwanted declaration of love. Instead of hitting the sidewalk, the pair are suddenly whisked away by a skeletal being on a pale horse, Death.

Something has caused their life’s hourglasses to freeze in their final moments. Not knowing what to do with this duo caught between life and death, Death takes them home to Limbo, where they eventually become his apprentices. These unlikely reapers soon learn not all is well in the order of death, and if the issues progress, it could end the world. Can Death’s problems be the salvation of their existence?

Jon Smith has crafted a beautiful world that is easy to imagine yourself transported into. It gives a unique twist on the afterlife. I liked the blending of ideas like the Christian horsemen and Greek ferryman. I love that Death has a cottage by the River Styx where the dead trends of yesteryears are his décor and food options. This is a similar case we find with the other horsemen, whose homes also collect items of their area of expertise from the bygone era. This humorous fantasy novel has entertaining humor throughout. Readers experience things like a curmudgeon Death, who’s getting too “old” for the job, and a gold-obsessed ferryman, Charon, who bemoans the lack of gold coin on modern souls. We even have Pestilence, who’s so into his job of creating illness he tests his new diseases on himself sometimes. The book, while funny at times, also had great thought-provoking moments that make you contemplate life.

If I have one recommendation for this novel, it is to add some translations of some French phrases. Some you can guess, but some are not entirely clear about what is being said. I think a footnote for these would be helpful for readers less familiar with the phrases.

The Fifth Horseman by Jon Smith is a comical fiction novel that readers who love a good spin on death will enjoy. This book created an exciting story of the afterlife and what happens when its delicate balance is upset. It had great depictions of the horseman, the ferryman, and just two average joes who are caught in the middle of the game of life and death.

Pages: 320 | ISBN: 9781838452940

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The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on November 11, 2022, in Book Reviews, Five Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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