"Merkabah Rider: The Mensch with No Name" Book Review
Written by Edward M. Erdelac
2010, 234 Pages, Fiction
Released on September 1st, 2010
Author Edward M. Erdelac's epic supernatural western continues in the latest volume Merkabah Rider: The Mensch with no Name. The newest book includes four more stories featuring Rider, the Jewish Mystic in search of his former teacher and current nemesis Adon, who's responsible for the deaths of the other members of The Sons of Essenes, Rider's former brothers in worship. Rider is still reeling from the events of the previous book, Tales of a High Planes Drifter as Lilith, the mother of all demons, found out his real name which gives all of her children power over him.
Mensch with no Name starts up with The Infernal Napoleon, which pits Rider and a ragtag group of townsfolk against a gang of demons set to wipe the place off the map. Unlike previous stories, this one shows Rider meeting a fellow Jew on the battlefield in Gersh, a young boy with the strength of Samson. He sees a kindred spirit in Gersh and he's able to relate to him in a way that he hasn't been able to do for years. Rider learns more of Adon's plans as he encounters a fellow student of his old teacher, but this new pupil was trained in the dark arts.
The Damned Dingus sees Rider teaming up with Doc Holiday to retrieve his enchanted pistol that was stolen on a train ride to Las Vegas. The pair end up battling a mysterious beast in nearby caves that was sworn to protect a long-buried artifact. It's here that Erdelac starts to reveal a bit more of the overall story of Rider, hinting at Adon's end game.
The Outlaw Gods has Rider working with an odd group of Native Americans and the souls of their fallen comrades as they battle an ancient evil that was brought forth hundreds of years ago. More hints are dropped regarding the larger story here, too.
Finally, Rider literally goes to Hell in The Pandaemonium Ride. He's about to collapse from the torment that Lilith's children have been putting him through when he meets Kabede, a fellow Merkabah from a secret group. The pair venture below to meet Satan himself in an effort to call off Lilith's forces and get some answers. Lucifer provides some information, but can you really belief the Prince of Lies? And what will Rider do with this new information?
As with High Planes Drifter, Mensch with No Name would have benefited greatly from a decent editor or at least a capable proof reader. There are numerous grammatical errors throughout the book that should have been caught before it went to print.
The Mensch with No Name is presented in these four short stories told in chronological order. While the previous volume was more focused on setting up the world that Rider lives in, this one is more about advancing his quest to find and stop Adon. I'm not quite sure where it's going, but Old Gods are brought up a few times and that usually means Cthulu. Old squid-face hasn't been mentioned by name yet, so we'll see where this leads us. Rider is an interesting character with a deep past that we've only been given a small peek into. There's clearly more to this story and I'm hoping that Erdelac has more up his sleeve.