REVIEW: Made for Evil: A Twisted Compilation


A thrilling collection of 8 twisted horror stories that are based on real life themes. Tales so disturbing that no one can ignore. Enjoy the dark, diverse and suspenseful story lines that Made for Evil showcases, which features: a disturbed family finds dead bodies in their house and realizes that real life is imitating their novels; figurines are trapped souls that are constantly watching us; a soldier gets a second chance to be a hero by receiving messages that only he can prevent; a wooden pendant holds more than is bargained for; a religious man gets an answer to his prayers, but some prayers are best left unanswered; an evil child is killed to save the lives of the family, but nothing goes as planned; reflections in the mirror are more than face value; and the haunting story of a child that suffers from realistic night terrors.


Made for Evil: A Twisted Compilation by Martin Kane caught my attention with its variety of horror stories that sounded right up my alley. And while I found myself groaning over the clunky writing style and inconsistent formatting, the selection of stories that Martin provides gives insight to a good horror writer.

Each of the eight stories captures the essence of horror… without any real deliverance for me. If you’re going to write horror, the gore and darkness needs to permeate from the pages to nestle deep in my brain, and each of these started with interesting hooks that fell flat for me at every page turn.

From the predictable nature of the writer’s-book-turning-into-reality in the first story to the sins-of-the-father teddy bear much later on in No Child of Mine, I was left wanting. Even in the final story, Reflections, I felt nothing. No anticipation, no relatability to the character, no interest in seeing how the story ended.

Now, this isn’t to say that I don’t see some serious potential with this author. If you’ve followed my reviews for any amount of time, if I don’t DNF it, there has to be a kernel of good writing in the book.

Martin has the dark imagination necessary to write good horror. He has a solid baseline for each story: characters, setting and plot. What he is missing is another set of eyes from someone who knows how to do a developmental and line edit. A good beta reader or editor will kill all the unnecessary and distracting dialogue tags, the excessive tell vs showing that plagues the prose–I did not see any of the scenes in my head–and the flow of the dialogue that often felt wooden or forced.

I would love to see this again after the selection of stories have been refreshed, because, like I said, I don’t think Martin is a bad writer. I just think his style in this genre needs a good polish. He’s not far from the mark, and I bet they could be cleaned up to haunt my dreams.

I realize that I have incredibly high standards for horror, so if you’d like to give it a try, you can pick this book up here.

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