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A Side by Side Review- An Army of Skin by Morgan K Tanner

Editor's Note: I'm really excited about this Side by Side Review and we hope to do more of them. This book seemed like it was going to be a little too much for my sensibilities but the author was so professional in his review request that I wanted to be able to get his book reviewed somehow. I knew that Donnie and Alex would be down for this and I was curious to see how their experiences would line up. Their reviews follow.


Alex's Review:

"I wiped the corpse's sticky blood and my own sweat from my brow.  Taking a step back I cast a critical eye over the finished piece.  Not bad for a first attempt, but in reality, it was nowhere near the picture in the textbook."
I knew from the moment I read that opening paragraph that Morgan K. Tanner's An Army of Skin was going to consume me.  The first glimpse into our protagonist's inner monologue already told me everything I needed to know:  this guy is going to be twisted!  You get a feel for the dark and sick humor from the first page. And what follows in the next 100+ pages is a surreal mental breakdown mixed with plots of revenge, flayed bodies, despair, panic, and reanimated human skin suits.
I found the premise of the book fascinating and that is what sold me on wanting to read it in the first place. And it did not disappoint!  I mean how many books have you heard of or read that focus on a man skinning corpses, turning them into art, and then seeing them "re-animated?"  I had to know how this could possibly be a thing!   Our narrator has the analytical mind of Patrick Bateman, the lust for skin of Buffalo Bill, and the artistic prowess of Delia Deetz. You can't help but be fascinated by him.    
One of my favorite aspects of this story is just how the author crafts the journey of the narrator.  When the book opens I found myself siding with him and supporting his agenda. He is out to get revenge on the doctor he holds responsible for the death of his mother.  He has a plan to frame him and take everything from him the way this doctor did to him.  But as the writing unfolds, the reader starts to see the psychological nightmare and mental descent for what it is.  Is this justified?  Is our narrator going insane?  When do addiction and consumption overtake rational and cognitive thinking?
This book has blood, horror, and madness.  It is a great debut novella by Morgan K. Tanner and I am excited to see what unique world and story he will deliver to us next.  If An Army of Skin is any sort of indication of what we can expect from him in the future then we are all in for many treats and dark surprises.

AN ARMY OF SKIN Review, by The Horror Hypothesis


“In death, you can stare in wonder at life” -Morgan K. Tanner


Trevor King has a problem.  He can’t quite figure out how to flay and display a human corpse.  When the skin of his victims become sentient, obedient instruments of murderous revenge, well, things get complicated.  


Okay, Trevor King has a few problems.  


In Morgan K. Tanner’s, AN ARMY OF SKIN, the reader is taken on a grisly descent into madness.  The novella’s unreliable narrator, Trevor, seeks revenge against Dr. James Mellick, the man who may have indirectly caused the death of Trevor’s mother via malpractice.  


Constantly teetering on the edge of sanity, Trevor spends the bulk of the 113 pages swimming in a sea of prescription pills and trying to maintain his day job while moonlighting as an amateur serial killer.  However, his hands aren’t the only things shedding blood. Like Julia Cotton in Clive Barker’s THE HELLBOUND HEART, Trevor lures unsuspecting victims to a secluded warehouse where the skin take life and help him carry out his malevolent plan.  Remember the iconic scene in FANTASIA, when Mickey puts on the sorcerer's hat and puts the broom to work? Imagine that scenario, but with human skin.


I greatly enjoyed this novella.  I found the pacing in the second half to be more enjoyable than the first, but Tanner really sticks the landing.  The ending is phenomenal.  


I also find it disturbingly hilarious that a piece of writing about killer skin is written by an author with Tanner as a surname.  Too awesome.


4 out of 5 stars. 


-Donnie Hypothesis

The Horror Hypothesis - Night Worms Bio


Donnie Hypothesis is an avid reader, writer, and collector of horror fiction.  He runs the Bookstagram page, “The Horror Hypothesis,” which advocates for the Horror literature genre as a whole.  He currently lives in Central Virginia where he spends most of his free time reading, making music, playing video games, and watching movies.   

Alex has always had a strong passion for horror, whether it be in books, movies, or TV shows.  In addition to the Night Worms, Alex is also a member of the Ladies of Horror Fiction team.  He currently lives in Alpharetta/Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys life with his husband, cat, and wine.

Instagram - @findingmontauk1
Twitter - @finding_montauk


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