Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review: Black and Orange-Benjamin Kane Ethridge

     I found this one in one of my Goodreads groups, just in time for Halloween. Black and Orange is Ethridge's first novel, and a very original one at that.

     Black and Orange's basic plot is that every Halloween, the world's destruction as we know it and the staving off of the world's destruction are in the hands of two groups of incredibly damaged people. The ones wearing the white hats in the story are the Nomads, people with links to another dimension. Every Halloween,  The Church of Morning (The black hat wearers) over in that other dimension tries to get things going with the Church of Midnight (More black hat wearers!) on this side to open the dimensional gates by destroying the Heart of the Harvest in one specially chosen individual in order to further weaken the dimensional fields and bring the two worlds together.

This time around, the removal of the Heart of the Harvest has an element that will hit the "EW!EWEWEWEWEW!!!" bone in your body.

Ethridge's character development is excellent. At no point does he take the easy way out with any of his characters, and the story shines even more for it. Barring one character in the book, all the characters are amazingly human, warts and all. This isn't meant to garner sympathy for some, or even any, of them. Hell, I found pretty much everyone in the book unlikable for one reason or another, but dammit if they weren't real.

Ethridge also needs to be commended for creating an underlying mythology for his story that is never fully explained, but only so far as to maintain an atmosphere of mystery and not just to leave a plot point dangling. For a first novel, this is overall an incredibly commendable work. Rating: Four out of five cracked-out monkeys.

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