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review 2019-07-25 16:42
SKIN by Kathy Koja, narrated by Suzanne T. Fortin
Skin - Crossroad Press,Suzanne Fortin,Kathe Koja

SKIN was way out of my comfort zone, but I'm so glad I gave it a shot. It was amazing!


This is the story of two women, Tess and Bibi. Artists. Body Art. Performance Art. Body Horror. Body modifications. Cutting. Lesbians. Bisexuals. Heart. Sculpture. Welding. Feeling. Cult Mentality. Hangers-on. Groupies. Darkness. Death. Wish you were dead. Wish I was dead. And finally? Love. I love you.


Written in a prose that was sharp, stabbing, and staccato-like, SKIN takes some getting used to. I took a stab at it above, (get it? HA!), and it's much harder than it looks. (Or in this case, harder than it sounds, since I listened to this on audio.) I was amazed at how much the author was able to get across in so few words. Seriously, I was and still am astonished by it all.


I don't want to go into the plot too much, because it should unfold as the author intended. However, I did feel for these characters, I felt their pain and their need to be heard and loved. Though at other times I wanted to punch them both in the face. Either way, this book reached out to me and made me FEEL. Also, I feel like I accomplished something by surviving the experience, because this book was brutal at times.


At first I didn't care for the narration at all, but then I realized it was the prose that bothered me. As I said above, it takes some getting used to. Once I was more familiar with the writing style, the narration settled right into my head and this became more of a visual experience than a literary one. I'm not sure I'm making sense here, but looking at the other reviews, I don't think I'm the only one having trouble describing this book.


It's gory, heartbreaking, thrilling, cringe-inducing stuff. SKIN makes you think, it makes you face your fears, even as the characters attempt to face theirs. This tale isn't going to work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me!


Highly recommended!


*I was provided an Audible Audio code for this book by the narrator, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!*

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text 2015-02-26 12:54
Reading progress update: I've read 147 out of 324 pages.
The Tooth Fairy - Graham Joyce

Horror expansion project read: This is much more than I expected, but I am at a loss to explain just how. It's shocking and spooky and darkly funny. I am mesmerized and disgusted and enjoying every minute of it,


the whole list: carla.booklikes.com/HorrorTBR

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review 2015-02-07 20:22
Don't think I don't see you coveting my Funhole!
The Cipher - Kathe Koja

But what did it all mean?

If you don't like reading books where that's the question you're left with after turning the final page, this might not be the thing for you.

This book is like a Rorschach splatter, and I'm not telling you what I think it all meant to me. I'd be embarrassed, I think, to expand on the matter with anyone other than a close friend.

It's dark. It's nasty. The only good people in this story are on the periphery.

If you like body horror. If you like art house films that shove the camera into the mess of humanity, then you'll likely enjoy the ever-loving shit out of this book.

Negatives? I think it would have worked better as a novella. And the OCR transition to eBook wasn't quality-checked as well as it could have been. There were some twisted fits of textual weirdness here and there throughout.

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review 2014-12-06 16:06
Book Review: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer

The Basics

Out of nowhere, Area X appeared. No one knows why or where from. In an effort to answer those questions, Southern Reach has sent out teams to research Area X. A different fate befalls each one, and now they’re up to group twelve, consisting of an all female team who have no idea what they’re getting into.

My Thoughts

What do I even say about a book that might easily be in my top five for this year? I adored this. It’s everything I love about science fiction combined with everything I love about horror. It does everything right. It was a mysterious and thrilling page-turner. It was compact, concise, and affecting. And it even managed to do things with characters that I’ve never seen done before in this genre.

For starters, it’s an all-female cast. All of them have what is considered predominantly male professions. You will not find hysteria and tears here when things get tough. There’s an emphasis on science and logic. Even our main narrator has flaws that are typically considered for male characters only, in that she’s emotionally unavailable, socially awkward, and logical to the point of seeming downright cold. The previous expedition was an entirely male team, and when we hear more details about that, they come off as way more unorganized and broken down than the female team. I can’t even express how much I appreciated that VanderMeer did this. That he broke those gender boundaries and rejected the stereotypes. This book is so feminist that I’m surprised more people haven’t latched onto it as an example of how gender-blind science fiction should be.

The biologist (all the characters are known only by their professions) can be seen as an unlikeable character, and I understand that thwarted a lot of people in reading it. They hated her. I admit that I don’t see it. We’re reading her journal, and while she does give some insight into her reasons for being there and her life before Area X, she still struggles to be open. I think in her writing style, what she clearly values, and how the most romantic she can be is in writing scientifically, VanderMeer created a very unique person. And he wrote her incredibly well. She was the perfect character to face a situation like the one she’d presented with and be perfectly transparent and fascinated but also not overly Maudlin. But then I’ve never struggled with needing to love a character to find them interesting and wanting more of their story. In a way, I did find things to love with the biologist. Mainly that she was so different than most of what I read regarding female characters.

The story itself raises questions, answers some, and leaves others for sequels as this was the first book in a trilogy. It’s made me absolutely ravenous for the next two books but not pissed about cliffhangers, so I’d say in that regard he struck a good balance. Enough to keep you reading, but not enough to feel frustrating as this book does have a loose conclusion to it.

I definitely intend to keep reading as I’m fully invested already, just from this slim volume. I think for fans of cosmic horror and any kind of weird fiction, this is for you. Do try to keep an open mind, as this doesn’t have the trope-y, sci-fi protagonists we’re all used to.

Final Rating



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text 2014-08-29 01:34
Society, 1989

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_(film)
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