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Skinzz by Wrath James White #BookReview

A Punk Rock girl named Miranda is stomped, punched and kicked into a coma at a hardcore concert in Philadelphia, On a subway platform at midnight, an old black woman is burned alive. On a busy street in Camden, New Jersey, in broad daylight, a suspected homosexual is stabbed to death. A sociopath named “Little Davey”, a member of a racist skinhead group called “The Unrest”, is on a killing spree, eager to send a message to the lesser races … and he is just getting started.

In 1988, Philadelphia’s legendary South Street was a battleground. Fights between skinheads and punk rockers were growing more frequent and more violent. Concerts became bloodbaths as the two countercultures clashed. Mack and Jason were soldiers in the battle against “The Unrest”. They lived to kick ass. The fight is more serious than either of them were prepared for. If they want to survive, they’ll have to become even more ruthless, more vicious. They will need to be willing to kill.

The title, Skinzz, is across the top, the last two z's are at an angle and in black. There is the picture of a white, bald man in the center with metal spikes criss-crossing through his pried open mouth. The author's name, Wrath James White, is at the bottom of the cover in white letters.

Title: Skinzz | Author: Wrath James White | Publisher: Deadite | Pub. Date: 11 June 2015 Pages: 186 | ISBN: 9781621051886 | Genre: Horror/Crime | Language: English |  Source: Self-purchased| Starred Review

Skinzz Review

“The wind sounded sad and angry, violent, like a tortured spirit raging against existence.” –Skinzz, by Wrath James White

One does not open a WJW book and expect safety and warmth. His words are as passionate as they are violent, as beautiful as they are unflinchingly brutal. Skinzz is my second read from this author; I started with If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse, an extreme horror collection of poetry and prose. While the collection leans more towards White’s more extreme writing, it still has similarities with Skinzz. Both are personal explorations of life and love; one focused more on young life and love, the other on the experiences of what could be that same man all grown up.

Don’t misunderstand, this is very much a book about smashing skinheads and and living life right at the edge of destruction. Mack is a young black man known for his fighting prowess and propensity to look for fights with white supremacists and anyone else who threatens his circle of friends. With his best friend, Jason, he continues to spiral deeper and deeper into a situation that requires increasing levels of violence to stay alive. White is very skilled at ramping up the action and there are spectacular fight scenes. This should come as no surprise given the author’s history as a professional fighter.

Furthermore, there are multiple scenes that will be difficult for readers to experience. If you consider picking this up and have a desire for specific content warnings, please feel free to ask. Readers should expect language and extreme scenes of murder and violence towards the black and the LGBT community – this is not a spoiler. I will freely admit that the chapters written from the POV of the skinheads are some of the hardest I’ve had to read. Think of the curb scene from American History X and that’s getting close.

As I mentioned in the beginning, running through all of this is a story of friendship, love, and struggle. It may not be a scene or situation I can relate to, but the humanity is there. The rawness of emotion is tangible and important. While this book may not work for every reader, I certainly intend to seek out more of White’s work. Tread carefully with this one, it pulls no punches.

  You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads; however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks

Published inBook ReviewsHorror Book ReviewsStarred Reviews

One Comment

  1. Cherrie Croyle

    Horror and Crime??? I’m so in! 2 of my favorite things to read all in one! Currently I am reading The Dark Land by DM Shepard, a great horror with some paranormal, it’s been very good IMO. If someone needs a rec, try this one. Her writing about her home of Alaska is dead on and that makes it so much better. for her info.

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