Review: Black & Orange by Benjamin Kane Ethridge

Forget everything you know about the eve of All Hallow’s Eve. 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 their other half, the Church of Morning.

Each year they’ve come closer, waiting for the ideal sacrifice that will open the gateway permanently.

This year that sacrifice has come. And only two can protect it.

Review

The idea of live little pumpkins on a manic hunt and eating people is something I find quite unsettling and also something I haven’t come across in any horror stories until now. This revelation surprises me because it is a great idea and it adds that little extra to another Halloween story.

Not only is the rampaging pumpkin concept an excellent addition to a time of year that is used for Horror material, but the concept of the whole story is a refreshing one to begin with. This isn’t all about pumpkins, it’s about two worlds becoming one – something of which will bring a lot of horror to the world as we know it – and a duo trying to stop it, not including sub plots. The concept is something I find thoroughly enjoyable on many levels. I’m a Goth at heart and can’t help but love an idea with killer pumpkins and the villain, Chaplain Cloth, having odd coloured eyes, being dressed in a suit, and making even his followers shit their pants. I also have a soft spot for Paganism and Wicca, am also a Buddhist at heart as well, and while it isn’t politically correct towards those in any sense, I still found the idea of balance interwoven with all this menace and impending doom, something that I could connect with.

The idea of the Old Domain is another aspect of this story I enjoyed and would love to be able to read more about. It gave me the feeling of a kind of world of fairy that has gone to hell, basically a place of magic that is twisted with an old world sense of power, akin to Shivering Isles (or at least that’s what it reminded me of).

While I found that Black & Orange wasn’t as captivating for me as I would have liked and there were a few times during action scenes where the description would hinder rather than help picture the sequence properly, I could still appreciate the pace and I became thoroughly invested in the characters. There were times when I felt such an impulse to continue on with the story because of these characters, in between reading, that I wanted to drop everything to find out what would transpire next. This also included, several times I might add, where I’d awoken in the middle of the night and a very tempting thought would cross my mind – I’m awake now, maybe I could read just one more chapter… This is a phenomenon which I find not to be common for me when it comes to reading books because I love my sleep! Unlike willing to sacrifice an hour or more before bed time, I was willing to sacrifice that time during the middle of the night so I could once again be immersed in the tale, with the character’s journeys, that Benjamin Kane Ethridge had created.

If you’re after a scary dark fiction centred around Halloween you’ll find that Black & Orange is probably not what you’re looking for, but if you’re looking for a well written, at times disturbing piece of fiction with a dark theme, well rounded characters, a refreshing concept on a well used idea, then Black & Orange is going to be right up your alley.

  • Genre: Dark Fiction
  • Demographic: Dark Fiction lovers & those who want to dip their toes into the genre.
  • Rating Out of Five: 4
  • Format: Paperback, provided for free with thanks by Pump Up Your Book.
  • Find At: as an eBook via Smashwords and Amazon
  • Published: March 2011.

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