I am joining the blog tour today for dystopian novel Equinox by Paul McCracken. Many thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part, and to Paul for providing me with a copy of the book.
War consumed the world at the end of the twenty-first century. A new dominant empire reigns, the Denestra Empire.
The Empire put tight restrictions on its people, denying them the freedoms that Denestra viewed as fuel to conflict in the past.
A resistance movement rises but is only given real hope when a map is handed down to its leader, a map leading to a powerful device created by one of Denestra’s former enemies, a device that could turn the tide of war.
Cleo Kennedy is the former commander of Denestra’s elite military unit, The Purgery. After a betrayal, Cleo now fights the Denestra Empire alongside a former smuggler, Seif. Cleo is enlisted by the resistance to use the map and find the rumoured device before the Denestra Empire. It is a mission that could bring the end to the conflict and bring Cleo closer to those that have betrayed her.
Equinox is a fast-paced, action-packed novel, rich with detailed worldbuilding. With some dystopian fiction, I can find it hard to picture the world that the characters find themselves living in, but that certainly wasn’t the case here, and I came away with a vivid picture of Dinestra and its surrounds.
While lacking nothing in terms of drama and imagery, I did find that Equinox was a little short of emotion for my personal tastes. However, as regular readers will know, I am a sucker for emotion heavy heartbreakers, so other readers may find that there was the perfect level of emotion for them in this book. I could also see that the very reserved nature of the characters may have been a deliberate style choice reflective of the lives they were living, and, especially with Cleo and Fhey, the training they had undergone.
If adventure laden with thrills and spills is your kind of thing, then Equinox is the book for you, and if Paul McCracken could be persuaded to write a sequel, I would certainly be interested to read what happened next for his characters.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Northern Irish novelist, Paul McCracken was born 16th January 1991 in the Ulster hospital, Dundonald, just outside of Belfast. He grew up in the Castlereagh area of east Belfast where he also went to school.
Ever since he could hold a pencil, he wanted to be an artist and no-one, not even the school career advisor could tell him otherwise. He left education with only three GCSE’s and an Art diploma. He tried to make it as a fine artist whilst also trying to find any work to support himself financially. However, the more he learned about the commercial art world, the more he wanted no part in it.
In spring 2011, he enrolled in a five day film making course through the Prince’s Trust charity. He always had a passion for storytelling. During the course, he impressed the owner of the studio at which the course was being held, through the raw creativity he displayed. The studio owner was the first to encourage Paul to write his own material, that material being screenplays. After leaving the course with new found confidence and ambition, Paul started to learn the craft of screenwriting and got to work writing his very first feature film.
After securing full time work later that year, he found a renewed inspiration to write again and wrote a full length film script in the space of a week. Paul kept on writing other projects as well as continually editing the first script, but he kept the fact he was writing close to himself as he didn’t want to face any negativity if he were to tell anyone. The script would go on to score highly in an international screenplay competition, based out of Los Angeles. It would then place in the quarter-finals of the same competition for the next two years in a row, accompanied by another screenplay that Paul wrote next.
Years later, after entering competitions, pitching, submitting and doing some occasional freelance scriptwriting, Paul wanted to find a way to get his work into the public eye. Writing a novel was a challenge that seemed daunting but also exciting. Having first thought of converting his best script into a novel, he decided to come up with a completely original story.
In 2018, he self published his debut novel, Layla’s Song.
In 2020 he secured two book deals with two different English publishers. The Conrad Press and PM Books (Imprint of Holland House Books). The first of these books was Where Crows Land, a detective thriller set in Belfast and published by The Conrad Press.