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Dreadful Skin [Cherie Priest] on wesatimunogo.cf *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. I ducked into a niche between a cabin and the pilot house and hiked my skirt.
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Such a complicated book. Priest loves to experiment with multiple POVs. In this case, six. This does and doesn't work. It doesn't work for the first story because we have five POVs thrown at us from the get-go, and then they're winnowed away as they're killed, but oy five POVs. It does work in that I see what she was going for with setting up five POVs who are then killed off one by one to narrow and focus the narrative.

Killing off five POVs doesn't narrow and focus the nar Such a complicated book. Hello authors, pull in close, my kittens. Here is a thing: I love plot that is referenced by or dependent on weather. I love it like meow. But if you forget to mention at the start of a chapter that it is raining cats and dogs, then later depend on that info once the werewolf arrives?

It feels like deus ex meteorologica. I do not like this. I do not want to hunt back through that chapter to see if at any prior point heavy pelting rain was mentioned. It makes me cranky. Other things that make me cranky: I have had no time to fall for your characters. I have had no time to get to know them. I would like to know them better before they are eaten. And Priest does amazing characterization with very small strokes, which is an art, and if she's reading this please teach a class for other authors, seriously you do it amazing -- and yet still I was like la, body count.

That was the first story. The other two stories were a magnitude better, and if you think I am not here for view spoiler [a victimized heroine castrating her rapist with a hand-scythe and tossing his junk around a church nave, hide spoiler ] we should probably go for drinks so I can explain myself, because I am SO here for that. On every day ending in y. Lovely Western Texas and surrounding environs. Sentences that give life for daaaaaaays. Weird inexplicable lack of passing the Bechtel Test getting a serious side-eye. A good time was had by all except for that dude in the church, and no one was sorry.

Apr 30, Ea Solinas rated it really liked it Shelves: This is is one of those werewolf stories for people who actually like werewolves, not pretty shirtless boys who happen to turn into wolves.

Dreadful Skin

That said, Cherie Priest's "Dreadful Skin" is a three-part novel that slowly unfolds a truly horrifying, sometimes shocking story. She packs the entire story with historical details, well-rounded characters, buckets of gore and truly monstrous monsters -- and it has a gunslinging Irish nun hunting werewolves. What could be better?

In the years afte Disclaimer: In the years after the Civil War, several people are on a steamboat called the Mary Byrd -- a gambler, a freed slave-turned-waitress, a hardworking captain, a deranged Englishman named Jack Gabert, and an Irish nun named Eileen Callaghan. During a thunderstorm, a monstrous creature begins killing the passengers and crew, and only one person might be able to kill it. A few years later, Eileen investigates a wandering minister in the Texas town of Holiness. Some say he is possessed by the Holy Spirit, but she suspects that he's secretly a werewolf.

And a few years after that, she is called back by a young man she met in Holiness, revealing that the religious movement has been corrupted by an evil man who turns into a beast -- a man named Jack. Gun-toting nuns, insane werewolves, Weird West settings and buckets of blood. Just the description of "Dreadful Skin" confirms that this is an awesome horror story -- and the fact that it's written by Cherie Priest makes it even better.

Her werewolves aren't sexy people-like-everyone-else, but a monstrous curse that only death can cure. And her writing is absolutely gorgeous, full of bleak poetry "The river washed us all clean. It washed us down to nothing but bones, and all our bones were the same" , religious undertones, and graphic violence.

She also has the knack for writing from the perspectives of many different characters, giving each of them a voice and history before the plot really gets moving. It makes them feel more real. The most "real" of all is Sister Eileen, a butt-kicking, pure-hearted nun who wanders the world in search of werewolves to exterminate, because she believes it is God's will.

But all of Priest's characters feel like real people, except maybe Jack -- the strong ex-slave, the gambler with a heart of gold, the wide-eyed Leonard, and the abused but not broken Melissa.

Dreadful Skin by Cherie Priest (2007, Hardcover)

Mar 03, Andrea rated it liked it. Dreadful Skin is the literary version of potato chips: A number of factors contributed to my dissatisfaction, and the sum of the whole was greater than the individual problems. First, there was the disjointedness. The book hops from head to head as if it can't stand to hang out in any particular one for more than a few pages. In the first part, where the narrator isn't immediately identified, Dreadful Skin is the literary version of potato chips: In the first part, where the narrator isn't immediately identified, it felt like half the time I didn't even know whose head I was inhabiting.

This sense of disorientation was relieved in the last part of the book, where the narrator was identified in the chapter heading, but even so, the skipping around between viewpoints left me dizzy. Another major issue for me was that I didn't connect emotionally to any of the characters. I just didn't care what happened to them. None of them was developed in much depth; some of this was probably due to the head-hopping. My lack of empathy for the characters was enhanced by the feeling of the outcome being predestined that pervaded the novel. We already know at the beginning that most of the characters on the riverboat will die.

So the first half of the story, gruesome and energetic as it is, feels pointless. But even after those characters have dutifully sank to their watery grave, the writing still projects an air of predestination, as if what will happen will happen, and how we get to the end doesn't really matter. So, it was ok. I'm glad I read it, because I enjoy most of Cherie Priest's writing enough that I wouldn't have wanted to miss one of her novels.

But if a reader is looking for a "monster on a steamboat" story and isn't so attached to Priest, she might do better with George R. Martin's Fevre Dream at least, if she doesn't mind some truly nauseating violence along with the character development and suspense. Cherie Priest has just catapulted to the top of my must-read authors list with this book of three short stories about Irish nun Eileen Callaghan's hunt for a werewolf in Dreadful Skin.

The stories are set in the last half of the 19th century, in a variety of locations: The shifting first-person narratives of the characters on the steamboat the Mary Byrd Cherie Priest has just catapulted to the top of my must-read authors list with this book of three short stories about Irish nun Eileen Callaghan's hunt for a werewolf in Dreadful Skin. The shifting first-person narratives of the characters on the steamboat the Mary Byrd give the story a disjointed feel that lends to the horror of the story that develops. The final sequence, the showdown in Mescalero between the werewolf pack which Jack has created and the strange mix of the Irish nun, the Texas Ranger, the lover and the fallen woman, is such a bloodbath that my eyes were riveted to the page in fascinated horror.

I can't wait for more by Cherie Priest. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What can I say about a book which made me want to throw it across the room for the first third?

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Priest indulges in one of my least-favorite literary tricks, the " If there is zero explanation for how a dead person is telling his story, then I don't want to read it. The second part was a bit better, and I did like Ms. Priest's take on werewolves as monsters rathe What can I say about a book which made me want to throw it across the room for the first third? Overall, I will chalk this up as a not-bad effort by an author who has clearly gotten much better since she wrote this.

Recommended to Jessica by: A little known book that I think deserves more shelf time, I wish I had the power to stock it in the horror section where I work. It's a refreshing addition to the werewolf genre and should be a staple of reading lists on like subjects. Violent and gothic without romantasizing, I still found the text to be beautiful. The characters are unique, the settings southern and lush.

Why it did not get raised to five stars, was the format of three sections. I saw the author's intent in splitting to illust A little known book that I think deserves more shelf time, I wish I had the power to stock it in the horror section where I work. I saw the author's intent in splitting to illustrate a sense of passing time and journey, however I think it can be done without such hard lines. We got maybe one or two chapters inside Jack the antagonist's head and I was disapointed when this did not continue. Dec 29, Coki rated it really liked it.

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Described as a Southern Gothic but I thought it felt more Western in the sparseness of language and stoic heroes. Almost feels like a serial with the multiple POV and the asides that bring the reader up to speed between parts. Quick read but well done and satisfying. Danielle "The Book Huntress" Hill. I really enjoyed the different writing style used to tell this story. Also, great characters and setting. Really innovative and refreshing. Aug 21, Abigail Hilton rated it it was amazing. Literary werewolf story with religion, steamboats, and gun-toting nuns.

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The Mary Byrd is a steamboat known to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances in the late 19th Century. For her latest round of passengers, this will be their final voyage along the Tennessee—all but two will find the muddy waters of the river their new home. The only question is: Their outcome will be determined by the rise of the moon, the depth of the waters, an The Mary Byrd is a steamboat known to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances in the late 19th Century. Their outcome will be determined by the rise of the moon, the depth of the waters, and the skills of an Irish nun with a revolver nestled within the easy reach of her garter holster.

The varied cast of distinctly bold personalities helps to tell the story through alternating points of view for the first part of the book, but they do so in the first person. The results are intimate and wretched confessions from each character as they indulge us with insight into their past, but awkward transitions between chapters ruin the balance between story and momentum although this remains my favorite section. Sometimes it was not easy to identify who was speaking until a page or two into a new chapter.

That was more frustrating than I realized and not at all what I have come to expect from the author of Boneshaker and Clementine two books with characters so indistinguishable from one another as to never cause confusion.


  • America Beware (Killer Insects);
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POV aside, the story itself is an interesting mixture of urban legend and paranormal horror thriller. The cover, which is wickedly alluring in a nightmarish sort of way, makes it clear this is a tale about werewolves. With differing opinions and supposedly second-and third-hand references changing his appearance and modus operandi, the main thing to understand is: Jack can jump really, really high. Ravaging women, wreaking havoc—that sort of thing. No one knows who or what he was, or even if he really existed.

The characters were bold and intense, fully formed into demanding voices that drew my attention with the confidant vernacular of their Southern tongue until I was queerly charmed with their disgraces. Aside from drawing sympathy over their impending death, their backstories have little affect on the main plot: Eileen chasing down the elusive Spring-Heeled Jack. And I believe Cherie Priest does flawed well. In this case, the strength of her characters is weakened by disjointed sections and an unsettling time gap.

The intervening years are lost, as if to imply how she got from Point A to Point B is irrelevant. Although in the long run we understand she survived; she never stopped hunting. The final section improves, however switches tack completely. Part three alternates with epistolary conversation between Eileen and Leonard Dwyer a minor character from part two , diary entries, and confessions into an interesting mixture never entirely predictable and always fascinating.

Her Nun persona sloughs off, as if through the rough years on the hunt it has stopped being effective. There are undercurrents of predator vs. If only navigating our daily lives were as easy as avoiding the werewolves. Of course, manipulative, greedy, and harmful individuals are sometimes hard to distinguish, but Priest acknowledges this with a bloodthirsty relish. Descriptions of carnage might offend those of certain dispositions i. I bravely soldiered on and managed to get through the entire book without feeling scared so much as a little sick to my stomach and slightly disturbed. There are no great insights into the Spring-Heeled Jack legend, but it was an interesting pairing.

And she did make the jumping rather sinister. Dreadful Skin is a Cat and Mouse Tale of revenge perfect the for Halloween season, or for any time you want an unnerving pick-me-up. Apr 03, Crim rated it liked it Shelves: Cherie Priest is good at writing characters and atmosphere though, but the books runs a bit too sparse, especially in the last chapters.

I was surprised to find it's actually novel-length, and then more surprised to find the book is actually a collection of three shorter, related works. The main character, Eileen Callaghan, is what connects the three stories. Eileen is trying to track down a werewolf. The first story, "The Wreck of the Mary Byrd", is hard to follow because Priest writes the story in the first person, but I have Dreadful Skin as a part of the Cherie Priest Bundle ebook, and I went into it thinking it was a novella. The first story, "The Wreck of the Mary Byrd", is hard to follow because Priest writes the story in the first person, but features multiple characters this way.

Even when Dreadful Skin moves west for the concluding novel it still holds firm to its southern roots.

It made me think about heat and blackness and the forboding sense of dank possibility that lives in the bend a river at night. Dreadful Skin follows the two as Eileen hunts and Jack evades. In the first story Eileen is just one of many voices and although it is clear that she is alone in knowing what Jack is, the other characters are just as significant to the narrative. Priest keeps the plot evenly drawn between all of them, moving from person to person as awareness creeps in on how badly it is determined to kill them all.

In the second piece of the collection Priest moves Eileen to a traveling tent revival and introduces the good Reverend Benjamin Aarons. More importantly, this is the story where Eileen meets the people who will figure so prominently in the end, and will be responsible for bringing her and Jack together again.

But dark was coming. And there was the pound of the music and the crushing sweat of anxious bodies, the toxic perfume of a tent filled with blood. And then moments later there is the right Reverend in his glory: We are here for the sound of salvation, as comes through Jesus Christ and no one else -- no where else. There is no store that sells it.

There is no thief who steals it. He returned to London a violently changed man, infected with an unnatural sickness that altered his body and warped his mind. Eileen Callaghan left an Irish convent with a revolver and a secret. She knows everything and nothing about Jack's curse, but she cannot rest until he's caught.

His soul cannot be saved.

It can only be returned to God. In the years following the American Civil War, the nun and unnatural creature stalk one another across the United States.