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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 16, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 51
The Orchard of Flesh bears dark fruit
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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The Orchard of Flesh bears dark fruit

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

THE ORCHARD OF FLESH
BY CHRISTIAN BAINES
BOLD STROKES BOOKS


The latest book from Christian Baines is The Orchard of Flesh. The second book in the Arcadia Trust series, a suspense thriller with a supernatural bent, completely stands on its own. With subtle and graceful building of a story, Mr. Baines' creations of a world with vampire and werewolf elements adds an uneasy tingling to the reader as they are drawn further and further into the novel.

Taking place in Sydney, Australia the main character is Reylan, one of 'the most fortunate of races that will never know the suffering of age'; in short a vampire, although they prefer being called 'Blood Shades.' Reylan has a 'Mannequin' named Brett, a human that a Blood Shade has chosen to become dependent on their supernatural blood source making the human permanently connected to them. Usually a Mannequin is connected to one source, but when several Mannequins begin to go 'rogue' from feeding on several sources, danger and disaster are potentially brought to the counter-culture world of Sydney's supernatural side. When The Arcadia Trust, a group of networking Blood Shades, Shape Shifters, Witches/Warlocks, and a human former nun, contact Reylan to further investigate the growing dangers, he understands the extreme potential menacing threat to his community. With the help of several other members of The Trust, including Jorgas, a man with romantic interests who is still getting comfortable with being a werewolf, Reylan pursues the perilous threat that lurks beneath Sydney's underbelly.

The Orchard of Flesh is a well-written suspense adventure that takes the reader on a thrilling ride. The new approach to the vampire and werewolf genres is definitely appreciated, with different twists on the classic views of the Nosferatu. Mr. Baines' characters easily come to life on the page as well as inside the reader's imagination. They are well developed with good and bad personality traits allowing us to find an identifying quality somewhere within them, and they are all easily pictured in the mind of the readers. The storyline is intriguing and pulls the reader into its plot from the very beginning. While there are sex scenes, none are over-the-top or excessive, and are fitting to the characters' behaviors at the time. The Orchard of Flesh is a good book to curl up with in front of a roaring fire, with a nice glass of wine, as the dark of winter sets in around you outside. While reading the first Arcadia Trust novel (The Beast Within) isn't needed to get a full feeling and appreciation for the characters continuing in The Orchard of Flesh, my interest has been sparked enough to add it to my reading list.

Christian Baines has written three novels to date: The Beast Within and The Orchard of Flesh are part of the Arcadia Trust series. As the cliffhanger in The Orchard of Flesh implies, a continuation is obviously being planned. Mr. Baines' second book, Puppet Boy, is a stand-alone novel and a finalist for the Saints and Sinners Emerging Writer Award in 2016. Puppet Boy tells the story of a trio of friends and the dark paths all three of them inadvertently explore.

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Hedwig rocks!
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Vietgone should not be forgotten
Try to see it!

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Stevie Nicks mesmerizes and The Pretenders rattle a full Key Arena with unforgettable show
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Have yourselves a Hammy little holiday!
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Café Nordo serves up an out-of-this world holiday extravaganza
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Gay City Arts co-presents: 9 OUNCES:

A One-Woman Show by Anastacia Tolbert 12/15-12/18

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GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS:

Moonlight, 'Transparent' and Tom Ford lead LGBT nominees

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Author Jake Biondi previews his sixth BOYSTOWN book - available December 16!
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The Orchard of Flesh bears dark fruit
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Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey coming to Key Arena in April
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The Force is with the exhilaratingly powerful Rogue One
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Winsome La La Land a musically euphoric romantic adventure
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Insultingly melodramatic Beauty a facile waste of time
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Thoughtfully unforced Things to Come a lived-in triumph
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