A Matter of Nurture by August von Orth *Short Story Review!*

I would like to give a huge thank you to Mr. von Orth for sending me a free copy of Neo-Opsis Issue 29. Visit his website physics-art.com for more of his work!

A Matter of Nurture follows Dani Diaz, a trained assassin as she deals with a target that leaves her rattled. Despite all of her schooling she takes an envelope addressed to her and discovers a secret about herself that will change everything.

This story was such a pleasure. I felt engaged in the mystery from the first paragraph and I was eager to know more about the protagonist. It had all the stuff I love: assassins, government conspiracy, and a question of identity. I only wish it was longer!

Von Orth’s writing style gives me the impression that we can expect more great work from him in the future. One metaphor that struck me in particular was, “…the bloody knife, as conspicuous as a hand-grenade with the pin pulled.”

His story raises complex questions about morality and the ways in which we view human psychology.

Lucrezia Borgia was a sociopath, no surprise, right? But there’s also a theory that Joan of Arc was a version of one. Their different upbringings made one a saint and the other a serial killer.

The nature vs. nurture issue comes up in nearly all discussions of human behavior and cognition. Are people born evil or are they made that way? A Matter of Nurture takes these questions and spins them around in a fascinating twist. I’d love to see more of Dani Diaz and her adventures of self discovery in this shadowy world of killers and patriots.

Final verdict: 3.5/5 Stars

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