Saturday, December 28, 2013

Nomads - by Benjamin Kane Etheridge -A novel set in the Orange & Black universe

4 of 5 Stars.   Review copy

A few years ago Black & Orange picked up a Bram Stoker award for best first novel.  Deservedly so, as Benjamin Kane Ethridge created a wonderfully complex story about two worlds separated by a barrier which can be breached each Halloween. There are forces on the other side trying to make the opening permanent and others working to keep that from happening.

The cover art, from Matt Dixon, depicts one of the central characters from the Black & Orange universe, Chaplain Cloth, and a number of his "children."  Cloth is one of many brilliantly iimagined characters that populate these tales.

Nomads is the second full-length novel in this series and there is also a collection of shorts called Reaping October: Stories from the Black & Orange Universe.  Each worth your time if you're in the mood for a totally immersive experience.  Be prepared, these works are not for the casual reader, nor for the faint of heart.

Nomads can be read as a stand alone piece, but I would recommend reading the other works first.  Once again, as Halloween approaches, the Nomads are called upon to protect the Heart of the Harvest.  If they are successful the opening between our world and the Old Domain will close for another year, if they fail the opening may become permanent and if that happens the world will never be the same.

The Black & Orange universe is so large and complex that I found myself lost at times, but never to the point where I wanted to leave.

Filled with many fully fleshed-out characters, Nomads, takes us on a trip to places unknown with people and creatures we've never imagined.  Not your standard horror monsters, but certainly worthy of the genre.  The climatic scene was mind-blowing and the ending was far from what I expected.  I look forward to seeing what Benjamin Kane Ethridge comes up with next.

Nomads is available now, in paperback and for the Kindle, at  Keep Halloween alive all year 'round.

Highly recommended.

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