Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg

Dreadful Skin by Cherie Priest

Title: Dreadful Skin
Author: Cherie Priest
Genre: Horror, historical fiction
Pages: 234
Copyright Date: 2007
First Line: "In 1870 the steamboat Mary Byrd vanished on the Tennesee River, somewhere between Chattanooga and Knoxville."
Cover: Background of slate blue. Foreground of a woodcut - a woman lies in bed, maybe dead or drugged. Closer examination shows a bottle on the table next to her and a manacle around her wrist. (There are other woodcuts scattered throughout the text.)
Best part: The premise - a nun with a gun chasing a werewolf through the post-Civil-War South. How can you not love that?
Worst part: Some of the style choices of the first section - the viewpoint characters are mostly writing from an after-death perspective, which doesn't make much sense to me.
Grade: C+
Recommended for: Fans of horror with werewolves and fans of historical fiction.

Eileen Carnaghan, an Irish nun, pursues something that is more and less than a man through the Reconstruction South. Along her way she meets many strange characters - gamblers, former slaves, steamboat captains, and tent revivalists. What will be the outcome of the final battle between these two fierce characters? And who will be lost along the way?

This is a very good book but it wasn't quite to my taste. I prefer dark fantasy to horror, and this was definitely on the horror side of things. Still, those who enjoy horror will find it a pleasing deviation from the norm. C+.
Tags: books 2009, fiction
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