In The Starved: Inception by Rick Ochre two men, Carl Yoder and Hank Phipps are volunteers in an experiment into starvation. The experiment brought them closer together and changed their outlook on life – in more than one way.
Rick Ochre’s book is a solid read. It’s enjoyable and short enough to get through in one sitting if so desired, without feeling as if the story is rushed. The plot becomes clear quite early on, and despite one twist halfway through follows a predictable path. This is not necessarily bad – but to me was less of a horror/thriller because of this, as there were few thrills to be had, very little suspense or gore (aside from the obvious). This is not a book that is going to stop you sleeping – in fact I read it in a tent during a storm and didn't get as much as a goose bump. However the interesting psychological aspects made up for the lack of thrills.
The Starved is let down by its length –at 151 pages it is more of a novella than a true novel, and whilst it doesn't feel like anything is missed out of the story it is disappointing that the author gets bogged down in pages and pages of describing the domestic arrangements of Yoder and Phipps, particularly the insecurities of Yoder’s wife. Whilst this adds depth to the characters, it doesn't add to the plot and is mildly offensive to women (although well in keeping with the time the story is set). These pages would, in my opinion, have been better spent adding in a little suspense.
The Starved: Inception is out May 4th and is available from Amazon.co.uk for £2.60.