Sometimes all it takes for me to pick up a book and read is a sweet cover and Skinner is one of those books. I just love the look of that thing and thankfully, the inside was pretty good too. David Bernstein has crafted up a pretty interesting narrative about monsters and the fight to stay alive, which keeps the pages turning long into the night. Skinner is about six friends heading out to go cottage camping for a weekend and along the way they get into a car accident, due to a terrible snow storm and take refuge in a nearby camp in the woods. Due to the massive amounts of snow falling, the group are stuck in the camp for the night and it isn’t long before a monster in the form of a wolf shows up and starts manipulating and stalking them. You see, this isn’t some normal wolf, as it’s actually an intelligent being centuries old and this is his mountain and once you get stuck here, you become his property, ready to be skinned and hung up on the walls for display. Pretty gruesome stuff.
At first, when the monster was introduced, I was a little worried that it was going to be some hokey stuff, but Bernstein plays down the craziness of the creature and instead focuses on the group of friends trapped in the cabin, who are slowly going crazy and turning on each other. You see, the monster, known of the The Old One, can read minds and hypnotize you to do his bidding. Sadly, not much else is explained about The Old One, with only a few pages dedicated to this thing. We know the creature has been around forever and has people doing his bidding, but what is the point of killing these people and what kind of power does he exactly get from them. If you’re expecting the ending to explain this, prepare to be disappointed. In fact, I was quite annoyed with the ending, as it seemed fairly cliche to me. Overall, this is one book that I wouldn’t of mind having been a little longer. I guess the potential for a sequel is there, one that can focus more on the creature.
Skinner plays down the monster and focuses on the people, which some people might find a little annoying. I do wish the monster’s background was expanded upon, but either way, the book was quite interesting and had some really nice twists and turns happening. I look forward to reading more from David Bernstein and I also hope a sequel to Skinner will come out in the future. Recommended for sure.