Sunday, June 17, 2018

[Book Review] Mask Beneath Her Face by Rafael Chandler

Book photo of Mask Beneath Her Face by Rafael Chandler

Mask Beneath Her Face by Rafael Chandler is an intense slasher novel filled with mayhem, gore, revenge, and characters straight out of nightmares!

Be warned: once you start this one, you won't want to put it down!

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way. 

Let's dive in!

Mask Beneath Her Face by Rafael Chandler 

During the 1980s, slashers terrorized America. With machetes and masks, these unstoppable killers stalked college campuses, quiet suburbs, and lakeside cabins.

Thirty years ago, Bobbi Metzger survived a massacre at her 16th birthday party. She spent decades putting her life back together.

Tonight, Bobbi will face a new killer: a high-tech slasher hell-bent on opening the doorway to an abyss of unimaginable horror.

How long can Bobbi survive this nightmare? What will she do to protect the people she loves? How much blood is she willing to spill?

My thoughts: 
Right from the acknowledgements, I knew this was going to be a great book. I mean "Now: let us travel to the 1980s and see what horrors we find there." ... YES, LET'S GO!

Sure enough, when I read the very first sentence of Chapter 1, I was hooked!

What an incredible tale! This novel included all of my favorite things when it comes to horror stories;

  • An opening first sentence that shocks you
  • A believable and captivating storyline
  • Excellent pacing
  • Wonderfully developed characters that you can root for
  • Interesting side characters that play their roles wonderfully 
  • Character backstories that you learn more about as the plot progresses
  • Great friendships
  • Incredibly terrifying baddies with haunting names
  • Realistic dialogue
  • Twists, turns, and shocking moments
  • Paranormal elements
  • Traps
  • Chases
  • Action
  • Lots and lots of gore

Many elements of this novel reminded me of other horror movies or books! Two that really stood out to me included the the slow walk of the slasher in It Follows and the terrifying ventriloquist dummy in Dead Silence. Eek, I get the shivers just thinking about them!

This novel was so wonderfully written! This was a book that I dreaded putting down; I just wanted to keep reading to see what happened next! I loved how the chapters switched between the four main characters seamlessly, really immersing the reader into the crazy web that connected the four.

Unfortunately, to avoid giving away too much, I'll have to leave it at that!


My favorite passages:
His goddamn day off, and he had to sit here wondering if this new murderer was a garden-variety psycho, or the type that comes back from the dead and cuts you up in your dreams.

Cris shook her head. "I need to concentrate," she said. "Tomorrow, I have to be completely focused. One mistake, and a sniper puts a bullet through my skull."
"Well, we don't want that," the spider said. "Your skull is where I live."

"This isn't a life. It's an EKG with the peaks pulled down and the valleys pushed up. Every day I get closer to a flat line. You three are the only bright spots in the dark..."

Skin graft had nicked him on a backswing, slicing a grin-shaped wound in Jesse's shoulder.

He stumbled through a thick wad of stubborn kudzu. Always the same, he thought. You're fleeing on foot, not sure if you're headed away from danger or towards it, and then the slasher lunges from behind a tree. Or worse, you look around, and there he is, grinning at you. Then he comes at you with that implacable stride, blade swinging like a pendulum --

Some days, she didn't even read posts or articles; she just skimmed the comments, astonished and repulsed and delighted by the vile torrent of sewage. It was a bit like overdoing the desserts at Golden Corral; she enjoyed it mightily, but always regretted it afterwards.

More droplets beaded up around the ragged wound in Sam's chest, then drifted upwards like snowflakes in reverse.


My final thoughts: 
A must-read for classic slasher fans. My goodness, what a great movie this could be! I will definitely be rereading this time and time again.

Thanks for reading! 
Horror fans! What was the last scary tale you read?