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4.01  ·  Rating details ·  170 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Horror on the lonesome plains!

When a band of westward pioneers - lost, starving, and desperate - stumbles upon an unlikely oasis in the middle of a barren prairie, Micah wonders if his family has finally caught a lucky break...or does this new Garden of Eden hide a forgotten terror behind a veil of earthly delights?
Kindle Edition, Fourth Edition, 86 pages
Published June 1st 2016 by Corpus Press (first published January 18th 2013)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Lynne King
Mar 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I really had to bring this review out again for Halloween as this author currently has another book out. I think that Evans needs far more exposure and today seems right to me. So also check out Candie Apple: A Halloween Tale

Firstly, can you imagine not eating for several days and then being persuaded to eat clay just to give you bulk and volume? Secondly, can you also imagine being in a wagon train when suddenly a religious fanatic called Lemuel has a “revelation” and wants everyone to leave th
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The year eighteen thirty-nine hadn't been a good one so far, and he hoped it wouldn't end up being the one carved on his headstone.

Led by a religious zealot, two families on the brink of starvation travel across endless plains, headed to some vague promised land in the West. Miraculously, they come upon a lush paradise, a veritable oasis in the midst of the dry and dusty prarie. In a green and shady grove, there are houses, still filled with the belongings of the previous tenants. Their crazed l
Evans Light
Jan 18, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: have-it

Amazon link:


This novella, ARBOREATUM, has been simmering since the summer of 2008, when I awoke at dawn one morning from an incredibly lucid dream. I ran to my desk to jot out a five page outline of the story before it slipped from my mind.

I shouldn't have worried. Bits and pieces of this strange tale have been bubbling up for the last three or four years - a bit here, a bit there - and I happily added each new piece to t
This was a short novella that packed a punch.

A religious fanatic and his small group of followers move out west in the 1800's. On the verge of starving, they discover a small garden of Eden, guarded by two native Americans. To find out what happened from there, you'll have to read it. I will say that I will never look at my apple tree in the same way again. Recommended to fans of horrific short fiction!
You know what's even better than having an independent author on your Goodreads friends list and conversing with him in an affable manner about books that you share a common interest in? Reading the writing of said independent author and realising not only is he capable of an affable conversation about books that you share a common interest in, but that he can also write an exceptional horror story.

Such is the case with Evans Light and his novella Arboreatum.

Filled with creepy imagery and sporti
Adam Light
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evans has truly impressed me with this one.
Arboreatum is so intriguing and well written.
There was a very smooth flow to the writing. I would consider this to be a perfect horror story.
I was fortunate enough to read it before he published it and
I really got a kick out of it.
Pretty much anyone who reads this novella will be left satisfied yet eager for the next book he releases.
Well done, Evans. I love it! I hope that I can one day
startle and mesmerize even a fraction as much as you do with t
Reeda Booke
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, novella
I have read several short stories by this author and have been quite impressed. This short, creepy novella did not disappoint. Great story! Recommended.
Jul 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Re-read--Still one of my favorites of Evans--along with CRAWLSPACE.....
Jason Parent
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
What's that old joke? What's worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm. Well, after reading Arboreateum, I can safely imagine something for worse than finding any segmentation or denomination of worms in an apple. In fact, I'm not picking any produce off the ground ever again.

I had previously read The Corpus Corruptum, which gave me a taste for Mr. Light's work (that collection of short stories being co-authored with Adams Light). The stories were unique, imaginative and intri
Edward Lorn
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ABOREATUM Review This was fun. Goofy, yes. Silly? You betcha. But still loads of fun. Reminded me of something you'd find on ScyFy on Tuesday morning at 3am. You can't take it too seriously, and must accept it for what it is. Granted, I probably shouldn't have laughed as hard as I did during the "bone shower," but I have a dark sense of humor.
I do want to know why Micah wasn't affected by eating the apple... Oh, never mind. I'm doing exactly what I shouldn't be
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Arboreatum follows a two-family group of migrants who decided to break up with their larger group days before. Led my a religious zealot who will make your blood boil with his logic, lost, starving, they come upon a beautiful green valley full of apple trees and empty houses just waiting to be used. Of course the leader of their little group decides that it is the sign that he it is the sign that he was right.
It is fast-paced and well written.
(view spoiler)
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of a good story.
Recommended to Robby by: Goodread Friends
Really enjoyed this novella. From the get go I felt like there was an emotional connection with Micah and his ongoing tale. A rapid read just because you can't stop until the end; (or is it)? Thanks, Evans. It's reading like this that makes me happy I finally broke down and purchased a kindle. Definitely will be checking on your additional and future works. Recommended for anyone looking for something maybe a little different and at the same time a dang good story. ...more
Janie Johnson
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-challenge
A quick fast paced story that never ceases in action. Very well written, unpredictable tale that sucks you in pretty much from the start. But beware, if you don't like unhappy endings you may be disappointed. ...more
John Wiltshire
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
This had better marketing and premise than execution. The writing was okay, but the plot really didn't deliver. It just was horrific.

Correction: I meant to write wasn't horrific. I guess I ought to expand that assessment a little. I'm reading Conn Iggulden's Stormbird, the first of his War of the Roses series. His description of the true, historical death of a Jewish citizen of France in 1410 is way more horrific than anything in Arboreatum. Trust me. History is great.
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror, terror, mystery
Recommended to Mollydee by: the author! :)
This was AMAZING!

I am still shaking my head.

Described as "Horror on the lonesome plains!" at, we find a story of a few pioneer families headed out west in the 1800s. It is a story about these families who, under the guidance of one of the male main characters, are supposedly on a Godly mission. Or at least the main character believed everything he had come to believe is what God intended for the lot of them. But after nothing to eat for days, nowhere to stay or call home, and no o
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri by: Evans Light
Review of ArborEATum by Evans Light
5 stars

When I grow up I want to learn to write poetic description like Author Evans Light. This is an electrifying and vibrantly vivid tale of Wild West horror. Religiosity becomes psychosis on a long journey West across the plains, putting families in jeopardy, and crossing boundaries that should never have been crossed. Abuse of power is abuse no matter who wields that tool, and Lemuel—self-appointed “Messiah,” propounder of religious visions—leads a small gr
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dirt is edible - I can't imagine being so hungry that I would scoop up clay and eat it like it was ice cream. This is an excellent way to begin this story and really grabs the readers attention. It is an interesting choice of setting, 1800's heading west across the prairie in a wagon train, so not what I expect from Evans.

Micah, is an interesting young man, while young he seems to have a firm grasp on the situation and understands the predicament he and his family are in. Lemuel is an odd one,
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arboreatum - well, what can I say? First off - the title - Oh-so-clever. Wonderful, in fact. Kudos and claps for that alone!

The story. Not a lot of characterisation, but this was excusible in the fact that not a lot was actually needed. Sometimes it's just not necessary to understand the hows and whys of the people, and this was one of those times: the people were there to support the 'big bad', as it were.

The big bad? Well, cross the first evil with 'when nature goes bad' and you'll get... this
Jeff French
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine being a pioneer and heading into America's unclaimed west. You've separated from the main group and are weak, hot and exhausted. You haven't eaten for days and the kids have resorted to eating mud to dull the hunger sensation. Every day you wonder if it will be your last. Then you see a lush valley filled with grass, lakes, fruit bearing trees and even houses ready to be occupied. Sound too good to be true? It is.
Light is firing on all cylinders with Arboreatum. First he has great charac
Brenda Seaberg
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r2r
Well, I'm 2 for 3 with this author - and even the one I didn't care for much had a good storyline. I really enjoyed this story a lot, though.

Micah and his family are heading west when one of the men, who fancies himself quite a leader, decides he knows the way better than the rest. Unfortunately for Micah, his father is a friend with this man, and so his family joins.

It's a quick read, but it certainly held my attention. I look forward to more stories by this author.

Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Abboreatum starts off as a tale of two families traveling westward during the 1800's and the hardships they are facing, primarily near starvation. It appears their prayers have been answered but everything is not as it seems. This is a completely original story and really grabs you right from the start. It has some very compelling characters and is very well written. I could have read another 200 pages of this story. ...more
Adam Vanzant
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story is so creative and fast moving. There is no loss of detail, I almost felt as though I were watching a movie. This has everything, a sense of despair, a love story, action; it was really quite a pleasing experience and you will be pleasantly surprised by the end.
Laura Thomas
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Evans choice for the cover of his book. And the title. Oh, so true.

Many of the families refuse to follow Lemuel’s delusional demands about leaving the established route and taking the wagon train off to find the Garden of Eden.

The mad man sets off, taking Micah and his family with him.

Now all appears hopeless. They are lost on the prairie, there is little water, and no food. Looks like they will perish here and become a part of the sifting dust.

Finally, when the sun is at its zenith,
Todd Russell
This nature gone bad novella set in the 1800s came as a recommendation by a Goodreads friend and the author's brother, Adam Light. Character Micah witnesses the father of a girl he is fawning over murder a couple Indians in a heavily wooded area. The trees witness the carnage along with young Micah and thus the Rush song, "The Trees" kept playing repeatedly in my head. There's trouble in the forest...

(Sidenote: does the author like Rush?)

The writing is good and there is a good effort with charac
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It takes much sacrifice ... As I carefully read into this story, I was startled by the name "Lemuel". Oh no, I thought - as in 'Laman and Lemuel' - or was he a biblical king.

In Mr. Light's horror novella, Lemuel is the religious leader of a small group, two pioneer families basically, that travel into a perilous uninhabitable wilderness in the year 1839 because this is what a delusional, power-crazed Lemuel feels Heavenly Father is commanding them to do.

Sure enough, further into the story, Hyru
Nev Murray
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favs
A band of pioneers head west in 1839 moving to a new "promised land" that their zealot leader is convinced awaits them. At the edge of death from starvation the small wagon trail eventually reaches what seems to be a new Garden Of Eden. 2 unusually large apple trees in a lush garden complete with 2 empty houses and enough provisions to last a year.

Their leader is convinced it is a sign from God but young Micha is not so sure. Before he can learn to explain some weird happenings he is distracted
Another good story. I especially enjoyed the western frontier sort of setting. The character of Lemuel was very easy to imagine, and to dislike. I liked Micah and the others, and was hoping for things to turn out good for them. Once the bad stuff started happening, though, it was on. The pace was fast, the gore wasn't held back, and nor was it overdone. I quite liked it. Of course, I was a little sad by the loss of some of the characters, but it was well done. I also liked the explanation of wha ...more
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure how to review this novella without giving away plot elements. But I will do my best. First and foremost, “Arboreatum” is a well-crafted tale of horror. Author Evans Light uses historical elements to craft a clever story of religious fervor. Using Native American lore, ancient mythologies, and Biblical symbolism, Light has written a story you will not soon forget. The plot elements are complex with deep symbolic meaning, but the story is simply entertaining. You may come away wonder ...more
Marilou Johnson
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free-books
Wow! This short story was not what I was expecting it to be.
A group of people heading out west, with a dwindling food and water supply and little hope of survival, stumble upon an oasis of sorts. Only in their worse nightmares could they have imagined what would soon happen.
Evans is a master storyteller, with great descriptive writing. I will definitely be checking out his other works and look forward to his first full length novel.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2013, kindle
After a revelation, Lemuel leads two families away from the main caravan and to the brink of starvation until they are saved by the discover a sparkling green valley. Or so they think...

A story of this length usually doesn't give much character development but I felt I got to know exactly what I needed to about all the characters. The gruesome & gory detail was great and the pace was fast.

Good read!

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Evans Light is author of Screamscapes: Tales of Terror, the upcoming I Am Halloween, and more. He is editor of Doorbells at Dusk and the ongoing In Darkness, Delight horror anthology series, and is co-creator of Bad Apples: Halloween Horrors and Dead Roses: Five Dark Tales of Twisted Love.


Evans lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, surrounded by thousands of vintage horror paperbacks. He

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