Written by: Matt Molgaard
Telling an original, or innovative story isn’t easy. Let’s face it, damn near every thought ever birthed under the sun has been explored. Even the rare genius ideas – someone else once had them, more likely or not. It’s this knowledge that makes any story that feels unique feel like a sunken treasure chest that just so happened to wash up on shore, three feet in front of you – rusty padlock already broken wide open for you.
I didn’t expect it from Mark Rigney, but I got it.
To be honest, I didn’t expect to read any of Rigney’s work in the near future. At some point (probably a year or so ago) I got a copy of Sleeping Bear from the good folks over at Samhain. Somehow that copy got misplaced. I found it today while trying to do a little garage cleaning in the new place. I made the mistake of opening it up, ended up spending the next two hours melting away water weight in scalding hot garage.
I don’t regret it. The book was top notch.
I don’t know much about Rigney’s Renner and Quist series, but I know this tale of strange Indian beliefs, headless bears, bear spirits and defilement of Mother Nature’s finer things, was stellar from beginning to end and worked perfectly as a standalone tale.
Rigney has a knack for realistic dialogue and clearly defined, likeable characters. He’s also fluent in pacing, not forcing the reader to drag through 200 pages of obvious filler. If the story had called for that king of length, I’d be quick to call that. But Sleeping Bear was a perfectly measured 72 pages. I give the man big respect for giving readers exactly what they needed, not a page more or a page less.
If you’re not familiar with Rigney’s work already, make a change. He’s currently being published by Samhain, and he’s definitely one of their finer talents. That much was proven in the excellent Sleeping Bear.