Series: Rend the Dark #2
Publisher: Self Published (March 15, 2015)
Length: 48 pages
My Rating: 4 stars
Skinshaper is a stellar continuation of the story begun in Rend the Dark; Episode II (if you will) gifting readers with yet another horror-infused fantasy, which delivers more than enough action, world lore, and characterization to fully entertain a newcomer to this series or a faithful follower.
The opening here is pure gold. The viewpoint that of a woman suspended in a cage high above an abandoned mine and its attending small settlement. All her attention on the frantic flight of a lone man across the snow-covered landscape. The woman’s every instinct telling her he isn’t moving fast enough, isn’t going to make it, but her heart hoping he will be the first one to finally outrun the monsters from the darkness.
Then the gibbering voices from the tunnel begin, and she sees the nightmarish shapes moving across the whiteness. Even in their horrible, mismatched forms they quickly narrow the distance until the woman closes her eyes, trying unsuccessfully to block out the sounds that herald the races inevitable end.
The scene shifts in place and time. Our trio of companions (Ferran, Mireia, and Riffolk) following Mireia’s growing sense of horror and pain toward an abandoned mining village; a local which haunts her every waking moments and awakens her in screams when she tries to rest. But the trios determination to continue with their quest to destroy mankind’s unseen tormentors is undeterred, even as their partnership begins to fray at the edges due to Ferran and Riffolk’s constant bickering. Indeed, if not for Mireia’s patience and peacemaking, the companions would have long been torn apart in the face of the horrors they are hunting.
Once our heroes enter the eerily quiet village of Mireia’s nightmares, no sign or sound of people can be found, though there are signs of a desperate and sudden flight. That is until she discover the solitary figure twisting in the wind in an iron cage. Cautiously they rescue her, tend her, and question her. The answers they receive validating their arrival, but also setting off warning bells in Ferran and Mireia’s minds, for they have stumbled upon something far worse than they ever dreamed: a skinshaper from the ancient days, whose power is far above them all!
Creepy, suspenseful, emotional and pulse-pounding in equal measures, Skinshaper has the perfect mixture to satisfy every fantasy aficionado. Coupled with Mr. Gelineau and Mr. King’s tight plot and flowing, easily digested prose, this story sweeps along faster than any speeding bullet, dragging a reader behind the characters with ease. All of it ending in a conclusion which demands yet another episode as soon as the authors can put the finishing touches upon it. And that is why I highly recommend this and all the other Echo of the Ascended novella series, because they are pure fantasy fun which never fail to deliver.
I received this book from the authors and Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I’d like to thank both of them for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.