Since the beginning of their time on the planet, human beings have been driven to explore and discover.  While this has certainly led to many fascinating discoveries, it has also often been the catalyst for hardship and pain.  Greed and the need for dominance has frequently overcome the natural tendency of human curiosity.  Knowing all this, it is no great surprise that space and the many other planets it contains are seen as an excellent new frontier to explore.  However, what if during this exploration something is uncovered which was never intended?  Digging too deep and thus unleashing an evil which nightmares are made of.  In his book Seed of Evil, author Robert Friedrich presents this very scenario.  Readers who like their Science Fiction mixed with a strong dose of horror may find this story fits like a glove.

Essentially, the story follows the escapades of the protagonist, C.J. Phoenix, otherwise known as Corey.  First meeting a badly injured Corey in a hospital room, he proceeds to recount how he came to be in such a poor state.  Belonging to a squad of misfit, but deadly marines, Corey and his squad are sent to the colony of Mars.  All contact has been lost with this settlement and their task is to find out what happened.  The crew soon discover that this is anything but a straightforward mission.  Deep and invasive mining has unleashed something on Mars which could spell the end for more than just the colonists!  Will Corey and his squad of lethal marines successfully thwart this seed of evil which is germinating?  Or is their ultimate doom already a foregone conclusion?

This is undoubtedly a story which is full of fast-paced action which is laced with horrific elements.  In fact, the action begins at the very outset and continues until the end.  The scenes are visual and graphic, and at times it feels akin to being right inside a video game.  The tale certainly has a “Doom” flavor to it which is even accompanied by “levelling up.”  We are able to see this occurring with Corey as he kills various creatures and then obtains new, and more deadly powers.  If this is the type of book which you are seeking, then you will not be disappointed.  However, for me personally, there was just not enough story development.  It is lacking any type of detailed progression.  We are immersed in a climax of action from start to finish without a lot of background or build-up.  Due to this fact, I found that I just didn’t really care as a reader.  I was never able to become truly invested in the story as I just did not get captured by any background or building of relationships which otherwise would typically occur.  That in turns significantly limits the suspense and thus engagement in the tale.

In regards to characters, there is some description for the squad of marines at the outset of the story.  As a reader, you are eagerly anticipating what this crack team will be able to do.  Without giving away the plot, let me just say that this does not occur.  Once again, as a reader I was unable to develop any emotional attachment to the characters.  They are just not memorable.  As the protagonist, Corey is really the only character we are able to truly see develop at all.  However, the video game endless action flavor of this story stunted and overcame any character growth that could have taken place.

While this story did not appeal to me personally, there is definitely and audience and market for it.  Seed of Evil reads like a role-playing video game and it delivers intense action from start to finish.  A science-fiction, horror and dystopian mix all rolled into one.    If that is the type of genre and story you like, then it will deliver.

3 out of  5 Evil Stars for this One!