Book Review: Orchard of Skeletons by

Eli Wide depicts in his novel, Orchard of Skeletons, the aftermath of the devastation of the world rumored to be started by sick babies. He focuses on the other side of thriving communities, ruthless, with no rules, no morals, and no peace. Wilde whipped up a fresh storyline about the end of the world, robots, and war. He centers the story on the epic journey of two young people desperate to run away from chaos and anarchy. 

Eli Wilde is an English author who lives in the UK with his family and dog. He has loved writing since he was very young. He writes poetry, fantasy, horror, and literary fiction. 


Two runaways wanted only one thing – to escape from the filthy house of defilers and psychopaths. 

If caught, one of them would be dead, and the other would become a slave to the mountain people as a baby maker. 

Surprisingly, along the way, they encountered an unlikely protector and guide - a head of a humanoid. He had to find a replicant body if he wanted to save Isaac and Macy. 

In the world they live in, devastation was around. A town was filled with skeletons and ferocious wolves.

Will they escape from a fatal fate?


  • Why is the title “Orchard of Skeletons”? Discuss.
  • Describe the world in the story.
  • What happened in the past that led to the destruction of the world?
  • What is the relationship between Isaac and Macy? 
  • How did their relationship transform throughout the story?
  • What are replicants and what are their roles in the new society?
  • Books were not written and published anymore in the world in the story. What are your thoughts on that?


“Nothing is worse than being a nobody.” — Isaac

“I’m not sure if I see things the way you do. I can only see the shape of things I have touched. And colours, I’m not sure if the colours I see are the same as the colours you see.” — Macy

“People get things wrong all the time. I always get things wrong. It’s just the way we are made. Maybe they just wanted us all dead.” — Isaac

  • The author was able to make me care for the main characters. Macy is naive and illiterate but her innocence and curiosity strengthen her will to fight and live. On the other hand, what made me appreciate Isaac is his bravery and kindness to Macy. He could have escaped and left Macy but he chose to bring her. Since it was their first time to walk away from the house they treated as their home despite the affliction they constantly received, what was ahead of them was unknown and scary. However, they still persevered to find freedom. There are other characters in the story that are equally fascinating. The author was successful in creating them as distinct, relatable, and engaging.
  • The world the author created evoked curiosity, excitement, and terror. I couldn’t imagine the possibility of surviving in such a dead, ruthless world. 
  • Although most of the elements are commonly present in robot and apocalyptic movies such as destruction, robots, escape, and AI, the story is fresh and fascinating. The journey was rather simple and linear with little bumps in the middle. Despite this, the action-packed scenes and unexpected twists made it more engaging. The author doesn’t give all the information which actually piqued my curiosity as a reader. He didn’t give much background information about the villain, and even other people such as the mountain people or those who were able to escape the destruction of the Earth. I love that he reveals interesting facts about the main characters little by little, like an unfolding flower. 

  • The world-building and characterization are so good that I wanted to know more about the story. I have so many questions such as what happened to the babies whose remains were found in an abandoned facility, what happened to their mothers, and who are these people hiding in the mountains. I am intrigued by their community. The story is too short for me. 


Eli Wilde’s Orchard of Skeletons is two things – something familiar, something fresh. It brings a different take to a post-apocalyptic story that has familiar elements like those of popular end-of-the-world movies but offers unique characters, story world, and plot. 

The story describes the bleak situation of the two characters in a world full of destruction and chronicles their escape from ruthless people whom they thought were their family. When they were on the run, they discovered an unlikely companion, which is nothing but a humanoid head, that helped them navigate the skeleton-filled town, overcome the wild wolves, and fight their enemies. 

The well-written characters, both the primary and secondary, evoke a wide range of emotions. I cared for Isaac and Macy because of the terrible things that happened to them; I respected Ben because of his kindness and support; I abhorred Finch because of his monstrosity. Even though the storyline is simple, these well-rounded characters shaped a remarkable narrative. 

The plot is not boring, too. It is packed with action from the moment they got out of the house to the time when they faced Finch in a battle. Everything in between these events keeps me on the edge of my seat. I kept reading on to see if they made it out alive. 

The only thing that I didn't love about this book is its length. It's too short for me. I got so many questions about the mountain people,  the babies and their role in the pandemic, and the humanoids called the replicants. I wanted to know more about them. However, I still enjoyed the book. 

The Orchard of Skeletons is one of the best books I read this year. It is an easy read but it holds interesting characters, intriguing world, and gripping events. I highly recommend it.

Thank you, Eli Wilde and NetGalley for the ARC and the opportunity to share my honest thoughts about the book. 


Book Information:

Orchard of Skeletons by Eli Wilde
Published on March 27, 2023, by Witching Hole Publications
264 pages (eBook)

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