Book review: Puppet Skin – Danger Slater


It hasn’t been a big year for reading Bizarro fiction for me. Not because I have lost interest, but simply because I have bitten off a bit more than I can chew with my horror reviews and my TBR has spiralled out of control.

I’d been hearing a lot about Danger Slater. His previous book ‘I Will Rot Without You’ picked up a great deal of praise. Reviewers I trust and follow were really talking it up so I picked it up, but unfortunately it got smothered amongst my TBR. His latest release from Fungasm Press is ‘Puppet Skin’ – a book that is described as a coming of age horror tale and one that I decided to dig into straight away.

After reading ‘Puppet Skin’ I will say that this is one of the most original and brilliant coming of age stories I have ever read. We follow Hannah as she approaches graduation; a graduation that will see her transformed into a puppet! Sounds bizarre, yes, but bear with me. It really is an excellent read.

‘Puppet Skin’ is a metaphor filled journey through a bizarre world, but is incredibly accessible thanks to Slater’s terrific storytelling. There are some brilliant ideas at play here, from the strange world that Hannah inhabits, to the man in the moon, the puppeteer. Hannah is an excellent character, with all of the questions and insecurities of a girl her age being fully explored and realised. There are elements of horror; body horror (one of my favourites!), which appear later in the book that provide yet another strange slant on this engaging tale. ‘Puppet Skin’ is a novel everyone will be able to relate to or get something from. I love how Hannah is against becoming a puppet, rebelling against the norm and unwilling to be just another cog in the machine, it reminds me of a younger me, all those years ago. Coming of age novels tend to be long reads -‘Puppet Skin’ is most certainly not, but Slater manages to put enough into it to make you feel connected to the stories characters and invested in their future.

I really loved this book. If you are new to the Bizarro genre, then I urge you to use this as a gateway to what the genre can offer. It’s brilliantly written, accessible, weird, emotional and one of the best genre books that I have had the pleasure of reading.

Buy ‘Puppet Skin’ from here.

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