In Sheep's Skin by Scott Hale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Re-read for spooktober! 10/17/21
This is definitely no weak-ass horror novel. It's not sitting around, afraid to dive right into the squeamiest and bloodiest aspects of the human heart.
Werewolves, cults, and murders only barely scratch the surface. And if you're looking for a paranormal romance, then I'd definitely tell you to read this, too -- because I'm also a bit twisted. This is an ultimate anti-romance. It has so many of the same features, but really, I can only describe it as a romance dystopia.
Are they bad for each other? Yes. Do they keep coming back for more punishment? Yes. Is it awesomely bloody? Yes. :)
This really needs readers, folks. I'd love to see people's takes on this.
*** Pre-Release Review ***
It is my total pleasure to say that Scott Hale has done it again. In a field that has provided so many variations on a werewolf theme, he has, in full awareness of all the conventions, outdone the lot of them.
No cute, loveable werewolves here.
Only complicated human dynamics, fantastic use of Liminal Space (look it up if you're curious), and some of the most gut-wrenching transformations (psychological or meat-grinding) I've ever read.
And I've read a lot of great horrors. I'm no slouch. But when I say this hits my originality radar, I ask you to pay attention. There are several layers of mirroring going on in the story. There are many instances of true surprise. But do you know what the most impressive feature is?
The inevitability. The sick, twisted feel of inevitability.
And this is extra impressive because these two kids are not stupid. They're fully aware of themselves and the danger and their own shortcomings. They do what they can.
But I've got to be honest... I've never seen a more twisted co-dependency relationship in fiction. I mean, there are a LOT of those in fiction, movies, REAL LIFE... but this one pretty much takes the cake.
The full-moon cake. :)
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