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Reviewed by Lorraine Cobcroft for Readers' Favorite
Chasing Eleven by Dan M Kalin is a collection of eleven multi-genre short stories by a single author. The first story in Chasing Eleven did not disappoint. Readers can't help but recognize the President referred to in Charisma, and many will doubtless cheer witch Simona's bravery in using her powers to reduce the influence of a leader who has, perhaps more than any other, polarized the American public and perhaps the entire world. This story was truly a delight. While I appreciated his honest warning of explicit language, sexual situations, and violence, I did not find Dan Kalin's explicit language, or references to sex or violence in any way a detraction, as there was no frivolous or inappropriate use of language or violence for shock value. Rather, the references were genuinely incidental to the stories, though several of the stories did feature violence.
Having thoroughly enjoyed reading Charisma, I moved on with heightened expectations, but sadly none of the ten stories that followed measured up to the quality of Charisma in my opinion. Nonetheless, as an author, I appreciated the salient warning in Opt Out and found the story entertaining. Lu's Death Ride seemed a little slow and the dialog not quite genuine, but the gruesome ending was an unexpected delight. Socially Secure followed a similar pattern, seeming a little slow, but climaxing with a thrillingly dramatic end. Piece of Cake began as an amusing saga to which many homeowners will relate, but the end might distress readers who took a liking to poor Tim. Readers' tastes differ widely, though, and eight enjoyable stories out of eleven is certainly adequate to make the book worth buying and reading. No doubt other readers will respond differently to the stories I found unappealing. Overall, I think Dan Kalin has done well in creating this entertaining collection.