Necessary EvilNecessary Evil
Tina Starr

41 Pages
Smashwords
Review by Rick Amortis

Smashwords is a wonderful platform for aspiring authors to showcase their stories in the most inexpensive, accessible medium imaginable. Ms. Starr has utilized this opportunity well with an expose of six short stories guaranteed to strike fear deep within the vortex of our imaginations.

ODED The Merciless: An outer space sci-fi tale in the after math of a grisly serial killing of twelve on board passengers. Ulrich the perpetrator is at last slain while his one survivor Meluna begs for salvation in the form of suicide before the ship arrives to the closest colony. ODED or On Board Director of Engineering is a central computer intelligence system that reanimates Ulrich to determine just who on board is more human than human.

To Feed The Hungry: Debby a philanthropist at heart meets a Tiki God who grants a wish to end world hunger at an insatiable cost.

Nature Boy: Matt discovers an eerie, surreal world likes beneath the bamboo gardens of his misfortunate vocation.

Cold Comfort: A retired mortuary makeup artist is hiding something more sinister than her abundance of domestic cats.

Red Tide: A teenaged vampire does the inconceivable and bites a dolphin.

Necessary Evil: Chloe a new agent finds the real estate market is more cut throat than one can possibly fathom.

I think what I admire most about Ms. Starr’s efforts is the wide spectrum of topics, genres and themes. She dabbles a little in science fiction, a little in suspense and seemingly effortlessly shifts gears to the macabre. A talented writer with a bright future is certainly one that is diverse. Until the author attains a universal level of exposure she may be best advised to focus on one genre before getting lost in a shuffle of other seasoned story tellers.

Her tales are brief, concise and engaging. Starr seems to have a knack for appealing to a large audience in a short span of time. Truly a talent while we’re submerged well within a short attention span generation. The author seems to get to the point without a lot of unnecessary exposition and back ground which is key in luring an audience and compelling them to venture further into the darkness of their imaginations.

Some of the jargon is a little over the top, a minor gripe that should not be considered the be all end all of any endeavor. Experts unanimously agree the one carnal rule of writing is to write what you know about. “The Nature Boy” tale had me so frazzled with Latin names for different kinds of bamboo, I found myself subconsciously skimming over the context just to be rid of the clutter. It’s not a major issue but ultimately some readers may abandon an otherwise terrific read if there’s too much overwhelming jargon. In this case, best advised to remember less is more.

Necessary Evil is a welcome escape into the eclectic, an unusual thought provoking series of stories with shocking twists that will resonate with you long after the fact. After all, isn’t that what great horror fiction is all about?

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