Reviewsday: In the Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker

9781760111717In the Skin of a Monster deals with some pretty heavy questions. Like, “How do you move on after a tragedy?” “Can people forgive someone who looks like the person who caused them all manner of heartache?” and, most importantly, “What are the warning signs of a person planning on taking a gun to school, and what could I have done to stop them?”

Three years before the story starts, Alice’s identical twin sister took a gun to school and shot seven other kids before turning the weapon on herself. Now Alice is stuck in a small Australian town, wearing the face of the person who killed these people’s children, and no one’s coping very well.

Then, while out walking along the highway, Alice sees her sister, she’s sure of it.
Alice reaches out to grab the girl she thought long dead, and passes through into another world; a dreamscape version of the town of Collector, where all the dreams and nightmares of the townsfolk exist. Here, she meets Lux, a guy who’s been living in this dreamscape for years, hunting and killing many nightmare versions of Alice’s sister. Schoolgirl monsters that look like Alice, herself, who just wants to get home.

In the Skin of a Monster is a fantastic read that will put you in Alice’s shoes, challenge you, and show you a side of tragedy you didn’t know existed. It’s fantasy, it’s supernatural, but it’s also so very, very real, and unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

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