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3.54  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  51 reviews
An SF thriller examining the repercussions of rejuvenation and cloning on individuals' sense of identity and on wider society. Caitlin Hext's first shedding ceremony is imminent, but she's far from prepared to produce a Snakeskin clone. When her Skin fails to turn to dust as expected, she must decide whether she wishes the newcomer alive or dead.

Worse still, it transpires
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Titan Books
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  210 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Priya Sharma
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tim Major has a talent for combining big ideas to create something exciting. With Snakeskins he gives us a SF thriller brimming with questions about identity. Caitlin Hext is a Charmer, one of a group of people able to shed their skin every seven years, giving them abnormal longevity. At her first shedding, the "Skin" she produces doesn't turn to dust as expected, resulting to a journey into the heart of a political conspiracy that threatens to divide Britain.

May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review coming soon!Caitlin Hext is a Charmer. She has the ability to produce a clone of herself every seven years. These clones are called Snakeskins. They are supposed to turn to dust seconds after the Charmer “sheds” them. Caitlin’s does not. Her Snakeskin is taken away by authorities to live out the minutes/days/hours until it turns to ash in a care home.

There are many secrets to the Charmer community and Caitlin Hext is about to be exposed to more than she has ever known about her histo
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, I would like to thank Titan Books for sending me an advanced copy of this amazing book, I was totally sold on the blurb and the comparisons to the T.V show Humans - it was everything I hoped it would be.

The Fall in 1808 was a seemingly spectacular event, an event which led to the rewriting of modern history, as whilst Snakeskins is a contemporary setting it is very far from the UK that we know today. It has a feeling of being trapped in time, an 80's vibe at times but with a dystopian f
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A distinctive transformation ensues with a shuddering comes the shedding and green light with the snakeskin arrival.
Caitlin a young woman still at college is to shed soon and faces many taunts and names she is a person not an alien or species like many label charmers, maybe a different breed of human, she wants to be seen as a human like her peers and facing inequality and difference from society and friends.
What happens to these snakeskins and where do they go?
Interesting aspects that need expo
Lauren Ellwood
Jun 20, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found it really hard to read this book so I couldn’t even finish it. I just thought he writing style wasn’t the best and the characters would just switch without any clear indication of who’s narrating the book. I never not finish books but this one was stressful.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, scifi
Finally couldn't bring myself to care. ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Snakeskins very much. Lots of original ideas and the premise made me consider questions that had never occurred to me before, which is a marker of good speculative fiction.

Particularly interesting is the exploration of what makes a person THEM, and this is done very well by looking at the relationship between Caitlin and her duplicate.

Would recommend this to fans of imaginative fiction, especially those who like big themes and conspiracy.
Mar 23, 2021 rated it liked it
I was really interested in the first half but terrible follow through. Why spend time introducing characters and sub plots only to do nothing with them? Did not like the end
Review to follow in The Library Journal.
May 28, 2021 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 07, 2022 rated it it was ok
A generally competent but unexceptional sci-fi thriller. The ending was pretty rushed, and the denouement was disappointingly slight. The thrills along the way were adequate. A decent airplane novel. Very comparable to Ruin's Wake, another sci-fi thriller from the same publisher I read earlier this year.

The blurb on the back cover compares the novel's storytelling style to that of contemporary multi-viewpoint TV shows, and I think this is a fair comparison, but maybe not in the way it's meant. I
Jack Deighton
Apr 19, 2020 rated it liked it
The supposed genesis of the conceit of this novel could have been lifted from John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids. In an event called the Fall, one day in 1808 green lights fell through the sky near the village of Ilam in Derbyshire. Unlike in Wyndham’s classic though, nobody was blinded. Instead a change was effected on the people living near where the lights fell. From that point on those few, since dubbed Charmers, on achieving adulthood shed a version of themselves every seven years. Thes ...more
You had me at backwards British sci-fi dystopia where some people spontaneously clone themselves. You lost me at the nonsensical character interactions. Got me back for the conspiracy mystery. Then lost me again at the point where you broke my suspension of disbelief. How that's even possible given how random the premise is I'm not sure, but I was fantastically disappointed with some parts of the big reveal.

Imagine a world where the UK is isolated from everyone else... But not because of Brexit.
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: titan
5/4/19 Full review tk.

5/8/19 One of my favorite things about this book is Caitlin Hext, one of our main characters, whose emotional journey as an insufferable adolescent thrust into dealing with the seemingly impossible causes her to perpetrate reckless acts in order to do good and, eventually, to realize how she used to be and how she’s growing as a person. It’s weird: I read a lot of YA, yet this adult SF novel is by far one of the most convincing portrayals of burgeoning maturity I’ve ever re
Jul 25, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable yarn, based in a similar (but not quite) Britain. This would make a good film - and one I'd happily watch. It's got all the hallmarks of a good old 50's sci-fi film, with conspiracy at high levels, an historical changing of the world, but also some more current themes: a grand policy of self-isolation in Britain and those high up in Government think that they deserve more, and damned be the consequences for the rest of the nation.

Blurb: Caitlin Hext's first shedding ceremony
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, z-2020

Thank you to Titan Books for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tim Major has done it again with a haunting sci-fi story. While sci-fi horror is not something I’m entirely new to, Major manages to continue to remix it. This concept of cloning, how it started, and how it is a problem for society as a whole was incredibly well done and interesting. The idea that Britain has completely secluded itself from the rest of the world due to the c
J.L. Slipak
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing

I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book is laced with sci fi and fantasy cross-over genre elements. Laced with politics and social aspects and filled with tension that grips the pages as your turn them. Very thought provoking. I found myself reading and pausing to think about what I've just read. Then I'd shake my head about Major's insightful ability to provoke the deepest of thoughts from the reader. All your thoughts about cloning in the future will need to
Kirsty ~ Paper Hearts Ink
Snakeskins is told from multiple POV’s and is a quick, immersive read. There’s Russell, a man trying to make his way up the political ladder. Then there’s Gerry, a journalist who’s not afraid to ask the difficult questions even if no one likes the answers.

But Caitlin’s story was perhaps the most compelling for me. I found her journey to be an authentic look at what it means to be a teenager navigating a world that expects you to fall in line and do as you’re told. Thought provoking and full of
S.E. Anderson
May 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This sci-fi novel has to have one of the most brilliant premises I ever read, and I couldn’t put it down. I got to read it while I was working the observatory, so I binged it from 2 am to 5 am in a single go. SO ADDICTING.

The book reads as a crime novel, political thriller, and YA coming of age all in one. Three stories intertwine in this alternate U.K., where a meteor changed the course of modern history. Isolated from the rest of the world, the U.K. is in its own microcosm, some of its own pe
Lizzie Crompton
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original concept for a story. I liked the main characters and how they all intertwined together at the end. Few unanswered questions and sometimes the story jumped from place to place without any explanation. For example, Cait was looking out the window in one paragraph and in very next paragraph she was talking to her uncle outside. A sentence in there explaining how she made her way out of the house would've made the story flow a bit better. Few instances of that occuring.

Overall though, good
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
DNF. Meh. I picked this up out of curiosity and the comparison to John Wyndham, whom I like.

The concept didn't grab me. A couple of the characters were fine but not great, and lacked depth. The plot seemed to drag on and was uneven in spots. The author seems to be trying to write social science fiction here, but is failing with simplistic social commentary and plot points that are really more fantasy that distracts and makes one think "really?" I kept putting it down and read three other books
I went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars. I ended up with a 3, because after 400+ pages I'm still not sure what happened.

The good news is: I could not put the book down. Snakeskins read like the middle novel of a trilogy. Knowing what happened before and what happened after the events of the novel might have made the story clearer.

Recommended for people who don't care if the plot lines make sense, as long as there's a fascinating story.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Snakeskins is set in the UK in a dystopian parallel present. Things are 'same but different'. On the different side is the fact that some people can shed their skins - a fact that helps them retain almost perpetual youth. I romped through the first 300 pages in one sitting (including missing dinner), but felt that the back end of the book didn't quite deliver on its promise. I enjoyed it nonetheless and will look out for more from Tim Major. ...more
Vincent Hernot
Mar 06, 2021 rated it liked it
I liked it, but a few months after having read it, I also realise that the enduring feeling is one of: it missed its target / it could have been more / it should have been more.
The main premise, even though it has been done before, is good, and seemed to lead towards something challenging. But the plot sort of takes over a bit too much, and we never really get to where, i keep thinking, we should have got.
Not bad, but can do better I think.
Lea Daly
Aug 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
I wasn't in love with the writing style, but I really got into the story! Kind of a slow start, but by the halfway point it was FULL THROTTLE. A nail biter!

I think the book attempts to ask important questions, but the pace doesn't really allow the reader to ponder that much (which I didn't really mind.)

Definitely recommend.
Emma Morton
Jan 01, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First read of 2022!

A super interesting read: following a meteor shower in the early 1800s Charmers "shed" every 7 years creating a clone that turns to dust. Following the narrative streams of a few central characters, a teenager about to shed for the first time, a governmental aide, & a reporter Snakeskins is a thought provoking read about what it is to be human.
Aug 25, 2022 rated it really liked it
The beginning is slow but it turns out to be a good read. The science fiction elements are great, but I do wish the book as a little longer so we could get more of the 'why' than just the description of what 'is'. I liked most of the characters. I picked this book at for 1.25. I don't think I would spend more than 5.00 on it
Keep and eye out for it as a used copy.
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fast paced and gripping SF thriller. The tensions and distrust between the Charmers and the rest of the population gets you sucked in and you really find yourself wanting to know what happens next. I couldn't put it down. ...more
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Really liked that this novel went for a new idea but took a little while to set the scene. After that though really got sucked in to a strange alternate world SF thriller
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Tim Major is an SF and horror writer based in York, UK. His books include HOPE ISLAND and SNAKESKINS, short story collection AND THE HOUSE LIGHTS DIM and a non-fiction book about the 1915 silent crime film, LES VAMPIRES, which was shortlisted for a British Fantasy Award. His short stories have appeared in Interzone, Not One of Us and have been selected for Best of British Science Fiction, Best Bri ...more

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  Kerine Wint (she/her) is a freelance writer, editor, and reviewer of speculative fiction for publications including FIYAH literary magazine,...
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