ARC Review | Skinshaper by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000446_00071]Skinshaper by Mark Gelineau and Joe King
Release date: March 15th, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Barricades broken.

A mining town empty.

One survivor swings in a cage, waiting to die.

Ferran’s tattoos burn as horrors near. They should run. They should seek help. But to save a few, they must journey deeper into the heart of the nightmare to face an ancient foe.

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Seriously, how do Mark Gelineau and Joe King do it? I have LOVED everything I have read in the Echoes of the Ascended series. Skinshaper, the creepy followup to Rend the Dark, continues the tale of Ferran, Mireia and Riffolk as they travel across the kingdom of Aedaron to seek and destroy the Ruins (ancient monsters with the ability to possess humans). In this story, the three stumble upon an abandoned mining town that has been infested with darkness.

What has consistently amazed me about these novellas was how much detail and character development can be found within 80 to 100 pages. Skinshaper is no different and offers much more insight into the three main characters. Riffolk has been greatly affected by the loss of his friend in the first novella and is consumed by self-doubt. He doesn’t think he is strong enough to fight the monsters like Ferran and Mireia. I really like Riffolk because like the reader, he hasn’t been taught to not feel fear. The way he’s written allows you to truly understand the terror the monsters cause. And in this story, the monsters are so much more evil and gruesome. The descriptions of modified human bodies, bloody limbs, claws and teeth freaked me out! The close relationship between Ferran and Mireia was further explored and opened the possibility for an exciting third part to this series.

There is still so much to learn about these characters and it makes waiting another four months for the next instalment super difficult. All the novellas in the Echoes of the Ascended series have been extremely well written. I highly recommend Skinshaper, and its predecessor Rend the Dark, to those who enjoy fantasy and horror.

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