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Friday, 11 April 2014

Seed of Evil: An Ancient Evil Rises (Saga of Evil) - By Robert Friedrich


From a distant galaxy far beyond our time, the most ancient of all EVIL awoke before descending upon our unsuspecting galaxy. The planet it reached never faced such a threat, but didn’t submit to it, either. In a final attempt to survive, a prison between dimensions was built, the last hope to hold the DARK POWER for an eternity. The planet withered and died, and its people found a new refuge among the stars. That planet is now known as: Mars. 

But even eternity doesn’t last forever. Ignorance and an infantile arrogance of a nation leads to its release. And once again, it only leaves death in its wake. 

Read the fast-paced Sci-Fi/Horror, where the elements of OCCULT meet with an advanced MILITARY thriller, wrapped in a colossal battle between good and evil. 

The first part of a new, long-awaited Saga, from the internationally renowned author of “The Darkness Within” will give you a gulp of a SMASH HIT and will leave you wanting more…

Well, that's the blurb from the Author's Amazon page, the link for which can be found RIGHT HERE - but what did I think of the story? More importantly, does anybody care what I think? Probably not, but at least I can happily convince my self otherwise, because self-delusion is a wonderful thing.

For a novella which consists of just 101 pages, Seed of Evil has a veritable plethora of influences and ideas. There are whisperings of the movie Aliens, smatterings of Warhammer 40K and even a dollop or two of the calamity that was Starship Troopers - but don't let that last reference put you off. My recollections of the military science fiction masterpiece by Robert A. Heinlein have been distinctly tainted by the turkey of the 1997 movie version directed by Paul Verhoeven. I've mentioned before my utter loathing and contempt for that film adaptation - and it's only Denise Richards that has made me watch it possibly half a dozen times or so. Well, she's worth it. 

When I say that this story seems (for me at least) to have a number of influences, I don't wish anyone to misconstrue that as any sort of criticism, because it's not. Any sense of familiarity, and even cliche, is more than off-set by the pacey story, plot structure and the pleasing writing style of Robert Friedrich. However, more of that in a moment or two.
Seed of Evil is set later in the 21st century when both our own Moon and the planet Mars have now been colonised in an effort to extract the wealth of their natural resources. After all, both are devoid of any sort of alien life aren't they, so what could possibly go wrong? Well, in the case of Mars, things have gone a more than a little pear-shaped after contact with the colonists has been lost, shortly after they had discovered a structure on the red planet of unknown origin. 

As a result, a team of elite marines have been dispatched to investigate the loss of contact and confront whoever, or whatever, stands in their way. I won't say any more in an attempt to stay spoiler-free, suffice to say that Corey (the marine from whose point of view the story is told) and his merry band of grunts find a little more than they bargained for.

If you read this story with the expectation of a slow build up of considered character development and a richly layered plot then this may not be the book for you. However, if you are in the mood for a fast paced, sometimes breathless story that within a couple of pages is relentlessly dragging you along by the short and curlies, along with the rest of the marines into the chaotic violence of bloody battle, then this might just be for you. 

I consumed this story in an afternoon, along with a requisite glass of red wine and was enjoyably swept along into an alien world full of excitingly written combat scenes each containing their fair share of bloody horror. And that is the very appeal of this book, for Friedrich has crafted a plot that may well be familiar, but has formed it into an appealing mix that will please both science fiction and horror fans alike. I am in no way saying that that this is a story devoid of intelligence and sub-text, for a start, as in the movie Aliens, we have an allegory of the dangers that military over-confidence and arrogance can tragically lead to. 
The cheese is optional - the rest, essential.
However, this isn't meant to be anything of an overly serious lecturing science fiction novel. This is not Asimov or Phillip.K. Dick - again that is absolutely not criticism of the author here, I for one am just as happy reading Warhammer as I am reading Phillip. K. Dick. Not all science fiction has to be overly Intellectually sermonising, which clearly wasn't the writers intention in Seed of Evil from the start. Believe me, that is no bad thing. The wonderful thing about sci-fi & horror fiction is that there are styles to suit all moods and desires and if you desire a thrilling story, high on delicious blood-soaked action then this is the book for you.

As far as I'm aware, Seed of Evil is designed to be the first in a lengthy saga, and the book has that distinct feel - in fact it could work equally well as a seperate prologue story to a large scale movie screenplay. I'm interested to see where the next instalment takes us and also looking forward to hopefully receiving my very own signed copy from Robert (hint, hint).

Seed of Evil is a highly recommended small slice of high octane sci-fi horror that will carry you along it's roller coaster ride of blood-soaked interplanetary combat! I enjoyed it immensely.

Copies of the book can be found at the Amazon link RIGHT HERE for UK buyers and HERE for those in the States.

For more information on Robert and the rest of his works then click at the link at

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