Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Black And Orange by Benjamin Ethridge

It is almost October 31st, the high holy day of the Church Of Morning and The Church Of Midnight.  Separated for eons by the gateway between two worlds, this day is the sole chance each year to push the gateway open and reunite the churches into an one entity that can control all universes.

In order to force the gateway open and have it remain so, each year a Heart is chosen.  The sacrifice of the Heart makes the gateway easier to open; October 31st is the day of the Hunt.  But there are opposing forces that do not want to see the churches united in their evil purposes.  The Nomads are charged with protecting the Heart each year.  Nomads live off the grid, endlessly traveling to escape detection so that can perform their sacred duty each year.

There are also power plays within the churches.  Bishops plot against bishops while Archbishops plot the overthrow of their peers on the other side.  There are constantly shifting alliances, deception and subterfuge as each individual jockeys for power and position.

Benjamin Ethridge is a new name in horror, but Black and Orange indicates that he will be one of the masters.  There is a fine line in horror, to be suspenseful and ratchet up the tension to a fever pitch while not going over the top.  Etheridge balances on this line and never strays to one side or the other, creating a perfect pitch that leaves the reader breathless and eager to experience more.  He also avoids the pitfall of making all the characters so obnoxious that the reader can't care much about what happens to any of them.  Black and Orange is a great new entry into the world of horror, and highly recommended to readers who love this genre.

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