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(Exoskeleton #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,110 ratings  ·  123 reviews
A convict is given a choice at his sentencing: Serve a 25-year prison term, or spend one year in an experimental corrections program. As his only hope for redemption, he opts for the latter, and finds himself in a horrific situation that transforms him into something the world has never seen. EXOSKELETON is a dark, dark ride along the border between science fiction and hor ...more
ebook, 376 pages
Published August 2nd 2012 by Dark Hall Press
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Average rating 3.95  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,110 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book will make you think twice about where you take a leak.

An innocent man (Will Thompson) is convicted of a crime he didn't commit, and is given the choice of 25 years in a penitentiary or one year in an experimental program. He takes the latter option, but he has no idea what's in store for him. Not long after he reaches his destination though, he soon realises that it's not going to be an easy 12 months. The kinds of torture he is subjected to whilst confined inside a metal torture suit
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book had potential to be good horror with a unique way to terrify readers, and that's what makes it frustrating. An innocent man trapped in a torture suit for a year can tap into some primal nightmare territory. And it did have some promising elements: the complete loss of physical control, the fear of the unknown, the unrelenting pain and degradation. But about halfway in the plot became predictably formulaic and way too far-fetched to be scary. The archetypal mad scientist making a secret ...more
Marty Essen
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t think of many things more repulsive than a book that revolves around sophisticated new ways to torture a person. Why I chose to read it, I don’t know . . . . but I’m glad I did.

First of all, Shane Stadler is a wonderfully talented writer. Few books have ever sucked me in so fast. The tension build- up had me wanting to cover my face with my hands and read through the gaps in my fingers!

Once William Thompson (the main character) began his exoskeleton Compressed Punishment “treatments,” th
The Behrg
Apr 28, 2015 rated it liked it
"Exoskeleton" is the debut of physicist Shane Stadler, a novel about a new form of corporal punishment involving an exoskeleton machine rigged to humans who are trapped within and tortured for their crimes. I loved the concept and had been looking forward to this one. The creative forms of torture were by far the most interesting parts of this novel, but unfortunately they were diluted by the many peripheral characters whose stories were less interesting, filled with tired "govt conspiracy" trop ...more
Tracie McBride
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Exoskeleton utilizes several science fiction and horror tropes: the medical experiment gone horribly wrong, the malevolent secret government organization that will stop at nothing to achieve its aims, vengeful spirits against which the fleshbound have no defence, and let us not forget the bucketloads of excruciating and inventive torture employed against the protagonist. Stadler never lets the story devolve into cliche, but instead uses these tropes with originality and energy. The torture scene ...more
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Exoskeleton is the most powerful book I have read in an very long time. It completely captured my imagination and once I'd finished reading it I just had to read it again.
William Thompson is a convicted criminal who is given the choice of either serving a 25 year prison sentence or spending one year in the highly secretive Red Box where he would undergo unknown experimental punishments. He chooses the latter and as he begins his treatment and is introduced to the Exoskeleton, he is driven to to
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow - this is the first novel in a long time which I have felt compelled to read in one sitting. Not easy to place in one particular genre this novel has aspects of science fiction, psychological thriller and even religion. Imagine the ten worst medieval torture devices rolled into one then notched up to the nth degree and this gives you some idea of what the subject suffers. But would the authorities resort to such extreme measures merely to extract a confession? This novel asks as many questio ...more
Robert Graves
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those second-half books. The first half is good, but second half is really good. Overall, it's an interesting and well-told story. There's plenty of tension and action, but it's also highly philosophical and speculative. And, of course, it wouldn't be a good story without strong characters who elicit a variety of emotions. Basically, EXOSKELETON everything I want in a science fiction story.

As a crime writer, I do have one complaint: I was annoyed that the author confuses a clip fo
Melissa Cohen koch
Exoskeleton - would make a great movie

What a page-turner. It moves fast because the POV comes from several different characters and action is nonstop. Reminded me of an evolution story from a prisoner convicted of rape, (a perfect specimen to be put into a program of “compressed punishment)”), to the government secretly creating a monster or hero weapon, depending on the psyche of the person in “treatment”. Great horror, sci-fi / government conspiracy type story. Using Nazi-style experimentation
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know I said 4 stars, but I'm a little torn about that rating. Yes, it DID take me a while to get into the story, perhaps at the 20-25% mark? But once I got to that point, I didn't want to let it go. It was a great, relaxing bit of horror. Yeah, maybe not perfect. But I'm very happy I read it. Ended a bit too quickly, maybe. Still, I recommend it, for sure. : )
Sandeep Deb
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Boy what a book! Single sitter...
Michael Brookes
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I found this book a bit of a mix. I liked the basic idea and it's very well told, however the early part of the story feels more like a litany of suffering than a plot. It's well described and does have a purpose, but is heavy going - especially if you're squeamish about medic procedures. It's well described and layered effectively, but I did wonder if there was a point.

Thankfully there is and the stories comes together for the middle part. It introduces some mystery and that provides a lot more
Brittney Martinez
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up tonight to finish this book. The story is captivating in its horror. Shane Stadler is a sick man who writes an amazing novel.

Edit: Okay, now that I've had time to sleep, here's what I think of the book.

The story follows several group of people, but it all centers around an experimental project that Will is taking part in instead of serving out a 25 year prison sentence for a crime he didn't commit. This experimental program turns out to be 365 days of torture. Why they are torturing
A mixture of science-fiction, mystery and horror creates the type of book the author intended - a dark and disturbing, yet engaging read. “Exoskeleton” is truly a fascinating and thought-provoking story that once you start you won't be able to stop as it literally lures you in. Written well and easy to understand that makes it easy for its reader to visualize the "Exoskeleton," and the sadistic and barbaric tortures that the protagonist experiences on a daily basis; all of which will have you ex ...more
Joe Eliot
Oct 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I expected a bit more than I got from this book. Yes it was dark and yes it was and in parts disturbing. It's believable that this is going on somewhere in the world. If it isn't then I imagine it could be one day.
There were, adnittedlt, times where I was holding my breath and wondering if good would prevail over evil. I particulalrly like the idea of 'seperation' of the spirit from the body by way of severe pain and punishment and these parts of the book did make me think.
The ending, I thought
Mar 10, 2015 rated it liked it
This is one of those books that could have, should have been so, so much better!!
Certainly not for the faint hearted, the torture sequences are extreme and until about halfway through seemingly gratuitous.
When the story does begin to unfold at about the midway point it really does have the potential to kick on but sadly never really gains the necessary momentum. The ending also seems to be a little rushed but leaves the gate wide open for part two!!
Enjoyed the book as one to pass the time; great
Sep 20, 2013 rated it liked it
It was an engrossing read until about half way through and the story went in a unexpected ( for me ) and unwelcome direction.
I felt the story had lost its plot and taken on another storyline that would have been great in another book.
J.J. Tuite
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Psychologically scary! I was completely hooked from beginning to the end! Lots of AMAZING torture! Probably not for the squeamish, but I would recommend it to everybody!
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
OMG! So good. Could not put down.
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 Would you rather? A game popular with today’s kids...I know I get quizzed with it by mine occasionally. Let’s try a few: (1) Would you rather be sentenced to 25 years in prison for a crime you didn’t commit or would you rather accept an offer of spending only 365 days in an experimental program called “Compressed Punishment?” (CP) instead? I really don’t know what I would choose and hope I’m never given that choice. OK, number (2): Would you rather read this book or would you rather save you ...more
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
ABR's full Exoskeleton audiobook review can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

First thoughts about the cover of Exoskeleton? What in the world!? Looks like a warped take on the Vitruvian Man sketch by Leonardo da Vinci. Is this going to be an observation book about the human form? How do those other symbols tie in? Hmm… This should be interesting.

The main character is Will Thompson. He’s an inmate in an advanced treatment facility. He’s there to do a condensed sentence. Rather than spending the maj
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*If you do not like horror, if you are squeamish about medical things, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK*

It's hard to believe that this is the author's first book. He is either very talented or has very good editors. I'm thinking both is true. The storyline is incredible. I loved the narration from all different angles. The characters were interesting and had everyday qualities that made them believable. The plot is so sinister and dark!

As far as the format, some of the chapters are really long. However, t
Derek Davis
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I downloaded this ebook, really, because it was cheap and because, at my decaying age, I've been seriously hankering for an exoskeleton of my own. Reading this might change my mind.

It gets five stars as much as anything for being an amazing first novel. It's a fast, compelling read, and the details are riveting. And it's uncomfortably close to the kind of horrific reality that we see unfolding in government-sponsored torture like waterboarding.

A falsely-convicted prisoner signs himself off for a
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Meh. I began with the audiobook and the narrator was terrible enough that I knew I would never get through it. I listened to the Kindle version TTS instead, and the robotic voice was way better! Lol. Okay, so I was very intrigued by the storyline for this book and was very hopeful it would be an exciting story due to the reviews but well... It just didn't work for me. I think I expected the suit to be more horrible. I expected a bit more misery from the main character wearing it and I just wasn' ...more
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Will Thompson has been convicted of a crime with circumstantially evidence and some potentially bought testimony. His conviction and sentencing makes him a prime candidate to be recruited for…experimentation. All the things that people suspect might happen to a prisoner who becomes a non-entity come to life in this work about a man who endures torture one day at a time because he volunteered.

Very intricate conspiracy is woven into this book and it is well crafted. I especially liked how the auth
Rita Dinis
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's been ages I haven't read something as good as this. In the middle of so many bad quality prosa constantly being shoved on our faces, 'exosqueleton' is breath of fresh air. Wonderfully written, scientific details on its best, and the plot - amazingly conceived. The pov's variations were very well mixed and allowed us to fully undestand the dephts of the plot. This debut novel is a good example of how a story with a complete background may be laid and fully understood. I loved each and every ...more
Iain Clements
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
The story is set in the near future where we meet William Thompson (the main character) as he starts a 1 year "compressed punishment" programme run by the government after he is given the choice between that and a much longer prison sentence by his judge.

The compressed punishment programme begins work on William immediately, and as we progress through the story the true intentions behind the programme are slowly revealed.

As many reviewers have already commented, the torture scenes in the story a
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was both repulsive and sickened me to my core but also gripping and I could put it down.

It's very rare that a book will make me cringe or even feel nauseous but this did that. That's why I love it.

The torture experiments that they inflict are possible with today's technology and I think that's why it hit so hard. I could fully imagine this happening in this day and age and it makes you this actually happening somewhere in the world? A scary thought.

I wish there was anoth
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible-books, horror
This was an excellent book to read right around Halloween - definitely had the creep factor going (although not in the traditional ghouls sense, but just the horror of the situation). I have a bit of claustrophobia and can't stand anything on my face, so the concept of having this exoskeleton covering your entire body and controlling your every move gave me the willies! The description of the torture Will experienced was very graphic, which made for an even better listening experience.

I enjoyed
Sam H
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant spine tingling horror, fantasy book. The book puts our unlikely hero Will through an extensive journey of unmentionable horrors. The author is cleaver in the way that he describes the horrors in detail but not extensive detail that will leave the reader walking away from the book. The book has a good plot which is character driven. He has created a number of characters who are well developed and engaging, I hope to see more of them in the sequel. The story is fast paced and a ...more
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Shane Stadler is an experimental physicist. He has worked at numerous government research and defense laboratories, and is currently a professor of physics at a major research university. EXOSKELETON is his first novel.

Other books in the series

Exoskeleton (3 books)
  • EXOSKELETON II: Tympanum
  • Exoskeleton III: Omniscient

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