words Alexa Wang
Tyrone Evans Clark’s Fiends and Grapefruit Book Covers, August 27, 2021.
CREDIT: Hollywood Book Festival
A new controversy has shook the fans of Tyrone Evans Clark book series Fiends: Session 1 – Invision Wellness and Grapefruit: Season I The Wrath of Love — barely a month after the second book pre-release / showcase that followed by similarities for both books and their connections to Xena: Warrior Princess.
In the past year, fans of the Grapefruit Season I book have submerged themselves into the novel and discovered that the main leading character Virtuous has some similar characteristics to Xena (played by Lucy Lawless). They both are strong independent women and who are champions when it comes down to fighting evil and this includes their own deaths. Xena and Virtuous have both come back from the dead. They also both have sidekicks who love them and are willing to go to the end of the moon. Xena has a strong bond with her partner in crime Gabrielle (played by Renee O’Connor).
Virtuous can’t feel complete without her precious Prince Victor who is also known as her lover on an intimate level. The similarities between these controversial fictional characters are crazy from front and back, and this isn’t even half of it!
In real life the actress Lucy Lawless is from New Zealand just like the writer fictional character Markus Bright from the prequel for Grapefruit also known as Fiends, but in the 21st Century. The first Grapefruit book takes place in New Zealand and Virtuous is also a New Zealander. The creepy part to all of this is the fact the Xena TV series was predominantly shot in New Zealand. The author of Fiends and Grapefruit, Tyrone Evans Clark visits there frequently during holidays.
Then last week, both books Fiends: Session 1 – Invision Wellness and Grapefruit: Season I The Wrath of Love received awards from the 2021 Hollywood Book Festival. It awarded Young Adult and General Fiction Honorable Mention to Grapefruit and Science Fiction Honorable Mention to Fiends. Both books continue to be criticized in good and bad ways due to their similarities and their connections to New Zealand culture and of course Xena.
I honestly can’t stop romanticizing over both books and their twisted plots that are stirring up the readers and testing their intellect. A fantasy novelist like Tyrone Evans Clark brought a lot of meat to his characters and having the prequel Fiends for Grapefruit was a fantastic idea. Even though some readers disagree and feel that both worlds shouldn’t be intertwined. The author was accused of doing too much with the stories, but creatives have been producing prequels/sequels to movies, books, and video games since the dawn of time.
In the prequel a.k.a Fiends, the book’s protagonist Markus Bright, is introduced to the reader as a New Zealander writer who lives in America and who is super uptight while taking life way too seriously. Throughout this story we are taken on a journey through the eyes of evil spirits. This is a major spoiler alert! I’ve noticed this book centers its energy on the Fiends more than anything else. The Fiends are the dark ones from the Grapefruit Series. Apparently the writer wanted the readers to get a better understanding of these demons living in the USA, not in New Zealand. The Fiends in Grapefruit are from the mid-17 Century era. The demons in Fiends: Session 1 – Invision Wellness lives in today’s world with advanced technology and science. This really stirred up a defiance amongst some die hard fans and readers. Though the main character has human characteristics along with feelings and being relatable to tons of people all around the world. It doesn’t mean it works well with its pre-existing storyline from the Grapefruit Universe.
Some writers in the industry also responded with some interesting remarks and others were pretty respectful.
Controversy is everywhere these days and it can work for you or against you, but the question is did Tyrone Evans Clark make the right decision creating it with his book series? Artists do it all the time and we might never know the reasons why and they might even get tons of backlash! But at the end of the day the writer has made you feel something. Some writers in the industry, however, are looking forward to how the story ends for Grapefruit Series and along with its prequel.