Book Review: Halfskin by Tony Bertauski

November 10, 2014 Blog, Book Reviews 0

Horrifying MondaysHorrifying Mondays is all about what scares us. The horror behind the curtains that we refuse to open, the creatures in the dark, and sometimes those creatures that are in the open!

Each Monday will bring a different horror… to help you cope with the horror that is Monday with the horrors that are in the fantasy world.




Horror for Today: Big Brother!

Or in this case MOTHER!

This is one great book but it isn’t about conspiracies. This is a total dystopian. Where a gal and her brother are fighting for their lives just because they have too many biomites. It’s crazy but crazy awesome!

Halfskin Halfskin
by Tony Bertauski
Series: Halfskin #1
on November 30th 2012
Genres: Dystopian, Horror
Pages: 276
Format: Audiobook
Source: AudioBook Reviewer

Biomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body. No more kidney failure, no severed spines or blood disease. No cancer. Pharmaceuticals become obsolete. With each dose of biomites, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier.

We become better.

At what point are we no longer human?

Nix Richards nearly died in a car accident when he was young. Biomites saved his life. Ten years later, he’s not so lucky. The Halfskin Laws decree a human composed of 50% biomites is no longer human. Halfskins have no legal rights and will have their biomites shutdown. It’s not called murder, merely deactivation.

Cali Richards has been Nix’s legal guardian since their parents died. She has lost far too many people in her life to let the government take Nix. She is a nanobiometric engineer and will discover how to hide him. But even brilliance can succumb to the pressure of suffering. And technology can’t cure insanity.

Cali and Nix keep a slippery grip on reality as they elude a maniacal federal agent dedicated to saving humanity from what he calls ‘The Biomite Plague’.

My Thoughts

You know I had to read this after seeing that cover.

And the synopsis… like what?!

Ok, so this starts and I was completely into the narration. Loved every minute of it. The storyline is all about Nix and the narration surrounding him was so good that I knew when he was talking or when his sister was talking. It really helped me delve into this rather mysterious and just plain weird story.

This is dystopian and I just love, love, love dystopians. There so much that the characters have to deal with and being that it is normally “big brother” it is hard to escape. In this case it is “Mother” which honestly is even worse. But Mother can see your every move, not through your TV or your cell phone, oh no! She goes much deeper than that, she can read your mind. That is if you have had any nanomites inserted.

Totally freaky already right?

So, the storyline was wonderful but I have to put some emphasis on the fabulous narration for this one. As I said above I could tell everyone apart, but there was more to it than that. I found my heart palpitating and the narrator’s voice (David W. Dietz, III) would get higher or lower. He has this great intensity that I have just not found in a lot of other audio books. It was amazing and totally added to the horror of what these people were facing.

And needless to say, my attention never wavered. Between the fabulous plot and the great narration this was one that I did not want to put down.

Even with this being a dystopian you would think that the government would be the ones to watch out for, but there are bad guys everywhere. Marcus definitely seems like a really crazy bad guy. By the end of the book I was starting to wonder if this guy is a bit psychotic. I don’t know but I like him! He definitely has an edge to his character that I just cannot pinpoint. It’s great!

In short: This is an amazing first part. The synopsis is weird but if you’re into dystopians, trust me, you’ll enjoy this one! It is worth the read, or the listen. Now on to book two, Clay!

For a complete review of the audio version, please see the review over at AudioBook




The Author

My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?

I’ve written textbooks on landscape design, but that was straightforward, informational writing; the kind of stuff that helps most people get to sleep. I’ve also been writing a gardening column with a humorous slant. That takes a little more finesse, but still informational for the most part.

I’m a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I’d rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That’s the sort of stuff I wanted to write, not the assigned reading we used to get in high school. I wanted to create stories that kept you up late.

Fiction, GOOD fiction, is hard to write. Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it’s only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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