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Skull Full of Kisses / Michael West

Graveside Books / February 2010
Reviewed by: Michele Lee

With Skull Full of Kisses Michael West throws his tales into the long list of single-author collections available to horror readers today. With ten tales of love and monsters, Skull Full of Kisses gives readers more meat than many other lengthier collections out there.

West's style is easy to read, but well-paced and well-formed, delivering solid stories page after page. While there are a few standouts, there aren't any truly disappointing tales included between the covers. The best of the best include: opener "Jiki", a tale of a Yakuza initiate disposing of his first assigned kill via his boss' pet demon; "Einstein's Slingshot" a Twilight Zone-inspired tale of monumental scientific mess-ups and dinosaurs; and the almost-sweet "Good Night", the poignant closing tale of a man trying to console his grandson after the boy's mother dies in a car accident.

Longtime horror readers will come to expect a dark turn of events that may make some of the tales come off familiar, but no less well-written. West displays a strong knowledge of the genre and its readers and also a level of skill that reflects reliability in forming tales, fleshing out characters and setting a tone that brings good tales to life. Midline horror for those looking for something good, and entertaining, but not too experimental as to lose audience interest, West's collection delivers a spectacular assortment of cultures, themes, and settings sure to keep readers engaged and up at night.

Purchase Skull Full of Kisses by Michael West.

Posted on Monday, February 15, 2010 at 04:38PM by Registered CommenterDark Scribe Magazine in | Comments Off

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