Thursday, September 15, 2011

Review: Black & Orange by Benjamin Kane Ethridge

Genre: Horror/Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Bad Moon Books, 2010

This year the sacrifice has come...

Forget everything you know about Halloween. The stories are distortions. They were created to keep the Church of Midnight hidden from the world. Every October 31st a gateway opens to a hostile land of sacrificial magic and chaos. Since the beginning of civilization the Church of Midnight has attempted to open the gateway and unite with its other half, the Church of Morning. Each year they've come closer, waiting for the ideal sacrifice to open the gateway permanently.

Don't you love it when your expectations of a book are turned upside down? The cover of Black & Orange suggests the typical Halloween horror tale as does the prologue. Maniacal, pumpkin-headed fiends chomping at everything in their path - 'a horde of orange pit bulls' - and a sinister suited bad guy called Chaplain Cloth ripping out hearts. My own heart quailed at the graphic gruesomeness!

But despite my initial doubts what I ended up with was one of the best fantasy horror books I've read in a long while. The author has taken the Halloween/Samhain theme of the veils between the worlds parting and put his own very imaginative twist on it . The result is a well-written, well-paced story with a perfect mix of  realism and magic and a battle between Good and Evil that makes compelling reading.

The two central characters, Martin and Teresa, are Nomads, battle-hardened people who lack identity and are forever road-bound on an endless mission to guard the sacrifice. Their only direction is from notes left from a mysterious person called the Messenger. But matters have become even more complicated this year. Teresa has quickly lost ground battling cancer, while Martin has spiraled into a panic over being left alone. His mind may no longer be on the fight when it matters most...because ever on their heels is the insidious representation of a united church: Chaplain Cloth.
Though they move in a fantastical world Martin and Teresa come across as very real people tackling very real human issues which made it easy to connect with them emotionally and become invested in their future.

The writing style is simple, straightforward and easy to read and yet the author still manages to create the most vivid and original descriptive prose - always a winner with me - and I loved the humour.
Entertaining reading - I enjoyed it very much.

Bram Stoker Award Winner - Superior Achievement in First Novel

I received Black & Orange to read and review from Pump Up Your Book promotions.


  1. Sounds good! Never heard of it before!

  2. very good review. Now I will check it out on amazon *sigh* (the list goes on and one lol)

  3. Ooh, this sounds like the kind of book a Halloween lover could fall right into and get a little lost--perfect!

    Thanks for this great review, I'll be seeking out a copy of this one!

  4. I hope you'll all enjoy it. I di even though it was something out of my usual reading zone.