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Puppet Skin

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Hannah graduates from middle school on Friday. That's the day she transforms into a living puppet, like her parents and teachers before her. No longer a human girl made of flesh and feelings, but a perfect wooden new self, whose strings lead up from her limbs into an endless black void above. With no pain. No sorrow. No sickness. No fear.

But Hannah has begun to suspect tha
Paperback, 126 pages
Published July 18th 2016 by Fungasm Press
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Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it

sometimes i really feel bad for the people who are following my reviews on here. cuz one day i'll write a review for some literary fiction or popular genre book and the next day i'll review monsterporn or a children's book or a book with pictures of animals in silly hats and it must be so confusing: the people who started following me after they read one of my YA reviews will be horrified when the next book i read is The Trillionaire Tater Tots Caused Me Gay, and the people who started following
Leo Robertson
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I interviewed Slater about this book and more, here!

I’d heard Slater was a quality writer, and I knew bizarro was an interesting genre, but I didn’t expect to have so many reflections, especially not from a book of this size, and certainly not one pitched to young adults.

I’ll say it again: you’ll find that most genres are betrayed by their most popular books, because “most popular” is more often than not synonymous with “shit.” Some genres in general do better justice to certain topics: horror i
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I look forward to and enjoy anything from Danger Slater. Are you wondering how he pulled off this bizarro YA book? With loads of creepy world building, prose that creates stunning visuals, a strong protagonist and scenes vivid enough to stay with you for some time.
Hannah does not want to simply fall in line and give up her human form to become a puppet at the end of junior high, per the norm. As the day nears, she learns that world she thought she lived may not really exist. There is so much go
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book puts the lotion on its skin and does what its told or it gets the hose.
The Grim Reader
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It hasn’t been a big year for reading Bizarro fiction for me. Not because I have lost interest, but simply because I have bitten off a bit more than I can chew with my horror reviews and my TBR has spiralled out of control.

I’d been hearing a lot about Danger Slater. His previous book ‘I Will Rot Without You’ picked up a great deal of praise. Reviewers I trust and follow were really talking it up so I picked it up, but unfortunately it got smothered amongst my TBR. His latest release from Fungasm
Beware all ye who, like me, have an irrational fear of marionettes. Forget Pinocchio. Danger Slater has created a world where real boys and girls are turned into wooden puppets as part of their graduation process. This is the story of one girl who bucks the system and says fuck all ya'll!

Creepy as all get out, Danger has outdone himself with this one.

review to come.
Betty Rocksteady
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A young girl comes of age in a world where that means turning into an emotionless puppet. I was enjoying this book even BEFORE it got dark and twisted, because Danger Slater's prose is a pleasure to read. Fully fleshed out bizarro world with themes of creation and independence. Lots of fun.
Angela Crawford
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review. This is in no way reflected in my opinion of this story.

Puppet Skin is about finding out who you are as opposed to who you're supposed to be. Becoming an adult can be a difficult and sometimes horrifying time. Your body changes, your relationships with your parents changes, you start questioning the world around you. Danger Slater has added a whole new dimension of fear to this process as he introduces us to Hannah in this alleg
Ophelia Darkly
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If I were searching for one book that best described the genre of 'Bizarro fiction', I would, without a doubt, choose Danger Slater's 'Puppet Skin'.

This book is an exciting, interesting, and suspenseful read from page one. Firstly, the concept is entirely original. I wonder at how many times I have heard the phrase "there are no new ideas anymore". 'Puppet Skin' is a supreme example of how far from the truth that notion is. The metaphor that Danger Slater uses for transitioning into adulthood i
Michael Adams
Very interesting story about transformation and the act of creation. The primary storyline follows a very gnostic narrative as Hannah awakens to the strangeness beneath the surface of her already weird world, where children are made into wooden marionette-like puppets the day they graduate school. It continues, in its final act, in examining, through a bizarro lens, the thoughts and motivations of demiurges, and the interplay between creator and creation. Very imaginative and ultimately far more ...more
Paul Cutting
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Piss off Catcher in the Rye, here's a real coming of age story. Loved it.
Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Puppet Skin was an odd book to read. Good, but odd. It was my first foray into “bizzaro horror” so I really had no clue what to expect. Right away the basic premise makes you raise an eyebrow, but that’s not even the best/weirdest part. Danger Slater treats it as a fact of life that it is perfectly normal that when kids reach a certain age, they’ll be injected with puppet feed and turned into living puppets. The only thing that’s normal about it is that the main character, Hannah, is rebelling a ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Clever. That’s the first word that comes to mind after I finished this book. Review to come.
Pedro Proença
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fungasm-press
Bizarro has a long tradition of stories about transformation. I think of Cameron Pierce and Carlton Mellick III as the biggest examples of that. Stories where the protagonist starts out as a normal human being (or at least normal in the world of the story), and then undergo change so uncomfortable, we cringe while reading. Like Cronenberg, Bizarro has an excellent tradition of body horror.

And this is what have here, with Danger Slater's latest book. But not just that - we also have a coming of a
Dustin Reade
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A grim, playful little bizarro fairytale whose meaning seemed to morph and change from one chapter to the next. I mean, what were the Puppet People? What did they represent? Complacency or something more complex? It doesn't much matter either way, as the book is fun, dark, and funny and surprisingly deep.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lucky me, I met Danger Slater at the 2017 Cthulhu Con and this is the book I left the little Bizarro Booth with (well, this, A Pretty Mouth, and The Egg Man).

Puppet Skin is an intriguing exploration of growing up, rebellion, and art. The beauty of book lies in the mystery that Hannah pieces out; finding out the truth behind the world she's grown up in. A world where graduating from Middle School means turning into a wooden marionette.

This is a great "starter" Bizarro book; one that doesn't thr
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Puppet Skin
by Danger Slater

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book, gratis, by the author due to the fact that it was slightly marred by some stain of dubious origin (just kidding - it was coffee). This generosity in no way influenced my opinion of the subject matter. Really. If you write something and I hate it, I'll let you know. All opinions, tangents, and mind-wanderings are my own.

It's a shame that the Bizarro genre is not more well-known outside of certain circles because I know of
Kelby Losack
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
You know that part in Coraline where the parents get buttons for eyes and act all creepy? Page one of Puppet Skin made me think of that scene, but in Puppet Skin, it's just how the world works: you come of age, you get your strings. This is a YA novel, technically, but breaking away from "the strings" and cutting your own path is something that, I think, resonates with the rebellious teen in everyone. Something I dug about the book is it makes its point very obvious from the start, but instead o ...more
Michael Allen Rose
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Wonderful. Poignant. This book is a coming-of-age story sifted through the filter of bizarro fiction, and it's a lovely read. Equally parts philosophical and narrative, Puppet Skin delivers a fast-paced adventure steeped in big thoughts. What is our nature? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life, or what does it mean to be God? How does creation help us understand ourselves and our place in the universe? Danger Slater offers no concrete answers, but he does provide all the quest ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: danger-slater
This title was dark and creepy! It made me stop and think about how controlled our lives feel like at times. The hope is, we are like this character, and march to the beat of a different drum so we don't get strung along with the rest of the herd. There were elements in this that made me think of the film Coraline but with a more twisted and bizarre direction and ending. I was easily drawn into this tale and highly recommend the read.
Nick Cato
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well done, dark bizarro fairytale. Full review soon...
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hannah is a regular flesh and blood girl, but in this story, that ends when 8th grade does. Following graduation she is to become like her parents and the rest of the adults – a puppet – a wooden puppet controlled by strings that stretch into the sky. The sky is a mysterious black void where the strings come from. As you might have gathered from this introduction, we’re dealing in bizarro fiction and a novel concept.

Puppet parents place the same demands on their children as you would expect, ask
Nicholaus Patnaude
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Although I must admit to liking I Will Rot Without You SLIGHTLY more, Puppet Skin is definitely a winner. It’s an imaginative visceral trip down memory lane…hopefully. I say hopefully because this book reeks of the pains and joys (although much lesser so on that front) of adolescence. Do you remember that moment when you felt the need to grow up impinging upon you like the pincers of an insect—an insect who might also happen to have the head of one of your parents? If you answered no to this que ...more
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tightly told story about a living teenage girl in a society of grownup puppets who is about to undergo the ritual of becoming a puppet. Hannah is more rebellious, you gather, than most teenagers in this frightening and sad conformist world.

Haunting imagery throughout. Puppets are not relied on as the basis for creating an overall creepy vibe, but rather they are treated as real entities with real cycles of usefulness or function and the story is driven by the very real fear from a teenager's po
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bizarro, horror, ya, indie
Danger Slater's Puppet Skin is a graduation from R.L. Stine and Bruce Colville into the next stage of young adult horror.

Puppet is well-written and delicious, with a touch of body horror and a whole lot of teenage angst. Best for teenagers who already love a bit of terror and gore to their reading, I wouldn't suggest it as an introduction to the horror genre, but as the half-way point in the transition from gentler reading, like Goosebumps, into more adult titles.

I loved every minute of reading
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Teens, people who like thinking while they read
I really enjoyed Puppet Skin and the completely different view on the fear of growing up. However, if you think that is all this book is about, you're in for a big surprise.

I wish I could discuss all the nuances of this story but those would be spoilers so I won't go on. I will say that Puppet Skin goes in a direction that I wasn't expecting but really appreciated.

Good for ages 13 and up but maybe the more mature 13-year-olds. Some of the scenes can be disturbing.
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Danger Slater is a unique writer among a sub genre of unique writers. If you have yet to check him out this is an excellent book to start with. Weird, a little creepy and plenty charming, Puppet Skin is filled with themes anybody can relate to. The fear of becoming a cog in machine, growing up and losing what makes you you.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was an immense amount of fun to read, and had a surprising amount of warmth. It's perhaps more gentle than Slater's other work, more tender, but it's still got Slater at his imaginative best. It's a delightful tale and I recommend it heartily.
Natalie Pietro
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you were to tell someone a book haunted your dreams, would they believe you? If you told someone you dreamed your unborn child was a puppet with no mouth, would they believe you? If you told someone there was a book, a very special book that could haunt your dreams, would they believe you? I say take the plunge and find out for yourself. This is a book that needs to be read! Read by the lonely out casts, the troubled youth, and well anyone with two eyeballs that can comprehend a memory so bea ...more
Adrien Silvestre
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
From the summary I was expecting some weird mix of YA Dystopia and cronenbergian body horror, and I certainly got a lot of that, but I certainly did not expect a touching, emotional, nostalgic voyage. The story dances with dream like logic, oscillating between visceral slightly metaphorical horror, and deep thoughtful reflexions on the nature of growing up and of alienation. (I can sound so pretentious sometimes) Anyway : Well worth reading.
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Wonderland Award winning author Danger Slater is the world’s most flammable writer! He likes to use a lot of exclamation points!
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