Skinwrapper: Stephen Kozeniewski
Reviewed By Steve Stred
‘Skinwrapper’ is my first go with anything Kozeniewski has written, but it certainly won’t be my last. I went into this very blind, only knowing that it works as a prequel novella to his release ‘The Hematophages.’
The story begins with a bang – throwing us into the world where the inhabitants live on a ship in outer space. From there, an attack occurs and the ‘skinwrappers’ arrive.
The novella runs along at a breakneck pace, which made it a bit difficult for me to digest why the main character doesn’t really do anything. Early on we get a line that says they wouldn’t hide as that would be certain death – but then that’s just what happens.
I liked the science fiction bent and the gore was great, descriptive moments that really painted a great picture.
One of my biggest fears growing up – why? Couldn’t tell you! – was that I would be somehow lost in space, floating away from my ship, watching my oxygen and battery levels diminish the further and further away I travelled.
Parts of ‘Skinwrapper’ gave me that claustrophobic feeling I used to get when I would have those nightmares, those moments of – hurry up and get away from the damaged area.
I do feel like I would have enjoyed more of this book is I’d have already read ‘The Hematophages.’ There is some random lingo that is used that I think may relate back to that book and the few destination locations mentioned throughout, I’m to believe they are probably discussed in ‘The Hematophages.’
Overall, I had a fun time, if not a bit of a jumbled read. I’ll keep my tabs on if I want to dive into ‘The Hematophages,’ but if you’re a previous fan of Kozeniewski’s and have read ‘The Hematophages,’ I have a feeling you’re in for a treat with this prequel.
A single word strikes fear into the hearts of even the most experienced starship crews…
Aboard the freighter Blue Whale, a young girl’s day begins like any other: texting her friends while her parents bicker about breakfast. Then, with a loud, sickening pop, their domestic tranquility is shattered.
A single word goes out over the emergency warning system…
The galaxy’s shipping lanes are plagued by a gang of vicious pirates. Suffering from all manner of terminal diseases, they require zero gravity to live. They also need a constant influx of fresh blood and organs, so their victims also become their unwilling donors. The band is so ruthless, so violent, that its very name has become a synonym for terror.
A single word that chills the blood, even in the utter cold of space…
The little girl finds herself alone, lost, and trapped aboard the vessel she called home, praying it won’t also become her tomb. She is about to learn there is nothing in the universe worse than being hunted by a SKINWRAPPER.
This prequel novella shoves you screaming back into the world of “space horror masterpiece” (Daily Dead) THE HEMATOPHAGES.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak horror fiction.
Steve is the author of three novels, a number of novellas and four collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve is also a voracious reader, reviewing everything he reads and submitting the majority of his reviews to be featured on Kendall Reviews.
Steve Stred is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife, his son and their dog OJ.
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