Title: Starry Nights
Author: S. Kovax
Release date: November 3rd, 2022
Big thanks to S. Kovax for sending me a digital copy of this one. I read his excellent collection ‘The Uninvited Words – Tales of Horror and Dark Fantasy Volume I’ back in 2021 and have the second volume on my Kindle to be read soon.
Kovax had indicated that ‘Starry Nights’ was a novella that he really loved and wanted to see if I enjoyed it as well and after having read this, I found it really engaging and a refreshing take on the unknown that lures us in concept.
What I liked: ‘Starry Nights’ follows Margo, one of the leading painters in the world. She’s gorgeous, addicted to drinking and having fun and fucking whatever moves. But it’s not want she wants, not deep down in her soul, and after giving a farewell speech at her latest unveiling, follows in the footsteps of Van Gogh and moves to Arles, where he famously cut off part of his ear.
This is where Kovax really accelerates the narrative. Margo meets a young man, a fan of her work but also a painter in his own right and after sharing what his subjects are, they team up to paint together. It is a fascinating study on how creative people create, but also what happens when one wants something they’ve never had, while the other has achieved all of it and more.
The subjects were fascinating and it lead to a horrible reality, but also an expected direction, when placed in the context of the story leading up to that point.
The ending was great and I gotta sale, Margot was such an amazing character to follow along.
What I didn’t like: While I thought the subjects were intriguing and had me curious, I wish we would’ve had more about the who, the why and the what. This was most likely done purposefully (God knows I’ve gone that route before) but it left me dying to discover so much more about it.
Why you should read this: Kovax is a really gifted writer. He gets to the heart of what makes a character tick quickly and has the reader engaged and following along within minutes. This one hums along and, while I’m not a fan of the painting/art world much in real life, I do enjoy reading about it in a horror novella/novel setting and this worked really well.