Maya's Reviews > Skin Hunger

Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey
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's review
Jul 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: series-ongoing
Read from July 04 to 05, 2012

Skin Hunger is like Harry Potter gone bad. Imagine Hogwarts instead of a gorgeous castle with moving stairs as an endless labyrinth of caves and tunnels in complete darkness. Add Voldemort as the headmaster and food being available only as a reward once the student has mastered the requested magic exercises. And if he fails, no one will help ...

Kathleen Duey has created a very innovative work, with a fresh (and grim) take on the "magic academy" setting. I was quite impressed by how she deals with the issue of abuse and the relationships between the abuser and abused. A child abused by his father still wants that same father to be proud of him, to acknowledge him at least once. An unequal friendship can be very hard to overcome when the weaker one does have affection for his abusive friend, who can have some instants of gentleness. Skin Hunger also deals with fanaticism and egoism and I'm looking forward to find out how these problems will be resolved.

I was also happy with the rather realistic love story. Sadima doesn't fall in love because Franklin is so handsome and cool and mysterious, but because he understands her. But once she realizes that she can't get through to him, sad as that may be, she is also prepared to go on with her life on her own.

Skin Hunger is dark and depressing and not romantic at all. And I enjoyed every page. Well, I wanted to kick Somiss in the face so much and I'm despairing of the possibility that apparently whatever Sadima will try to do, she will fail, since he is still around in the present torturing children, but I loved the oppressing atmosphere and the suspense made me finish the book rapidly.

I can't say a lot about the story yet. This is the first book in a trilogy and it cannot be read as a stand-alone, because there is absolutely no closure at the end. Skin Hunger asks the questions that will be answered only in the later volumes, mostly in the third one, I suppose. So if you're one of the more impatient readers, it's maybe better to wait for the series to be completed.

Skin Hunger is worth reading if you're looking for something different and enjoy stories with a dark and oppressing atmosphere that do not focus on the love story. And you should be able to deal with children being abused. Even if this abuse is never approved of in the story, quite on the contrary the characters struggle to overcome it, as the reader you still witness children dying. If you need a comparison, Skin Hunger in that aspect isn't as bad as Hunger Games or Battle Royale, but there is more to stomach than in your average YA work.

I will definitely pick up the second book soon, but does anybody know what happened to the third one?
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Reading Progress

07/04/2012 page 244
68.0% "Somiss >:o I just wanna take his head and slap him against the wall >:o" 4 comments

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Emily May No idea about the third, unfortunately :( Hopefully she plans to write it soon!

Miss Bookiverse Thatsounds awesome. I spotted it in the library the other day, now I will totally snag it next time.

Maya Emily, I just checked her homepage and the most recent blog entry says she is within weeks of finishing the final book - yay :) Does the second one also have the same kind of open ending as the first?

Infinite, getting it from the library is definitely worth it. It is a particular book which not everybody will like - but this way you've got nothing to lose, apart from a few hours of reading time ^^

Miss Bookiverse Your rating makes me very confident that it won't actually be a waste of my time. Last time I checked the synopsis and thought it didn't really sound very original but if you liked it, there must be something to it :)

Maya well, it's too dark for some people and others weren't too happy with the open end and the almost complete lack of a climax in the first novel. And it's definitely not a romantic fantasy either. But it's certainly something different and original, so I hope you'll like it :)

Miss Bookiverse I was more afraid of a boring storyline, shallow characters and instalove.

Miss Bookiverse I just finished it and enjoyed it a lot, thanks for the rec, Maya :D I wish there had been more of a climax and not such an abrupt ending though :/ Totally looking forward to book 2 but at the same time I'm afraid there won't be a book 3. I just read a little discussion beneath a GR review in which a reader said that the author is in the last writing stages of book3 at the moment (apparently she says so on her blog, I haven't checked yet), so fingers crossed!

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