Dreadful Skin

Cherie Priest

If you like your werewolves conflicted—struggling to control and harness the beast within—Cherie Priest’s new illustrated novel fits the bill. Set in the 19th century American west, the overriding question is less one of the supernatural than of natural monstrosity. Does evil result from the werewolf curse or does man choose to actively pursue and loose it? While the multiple points of view are a bit distracting at first, each voice eventually takes on a clarity that makes the story compelling, while the illustrations carry the sensibility of the period. And who wouldn’t love a nun who puts her faith in a Colt pistol with silver bullets rather than the Christ? Priest’s first novel, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, made gothic mincemeat of Southern history. Dreadful Skin solidifies her horror cred.