Thanks to NetGalley and Neoplastic Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: 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?
Before I start my review, I need to issue a warning. Do not. I repeat—DO NOT— make the same mistake as I did, and read Mask Beneath Her Face right before bed. If you do, I can guarantee you will have a difficult time falling asleep!
To give you an idea of how much I loved this book, I started it at about 3:00 on a stormy afternoon, took an hour and a half off for supper, and then was fully emersed in it until I finished right before midnight. Then I stayed awake, staring at the ceiling, twitching at every creak in the house and scraping of branches against the window for at least another hour before dropping into an uneasy slumber.
The premise is that there was a huge outbreak of slashers (think Jason, Freddie, Michael Myers, etc.), and claimed untold victims in their bloody mayhem. Bobbi and the other main characters in the stories are all survivors, sort of. Bobbi has spent the years since her sister and friends were massacred running from the supernatural monster that’s still after her. She copes by drinking and popping pills. Jessie, likewise haunted, lives as a recluse, terrified to have mirrors lest the slasher who haunts him, steps out of one to finish the job. Sam, a school counselor, seems to be doing better than his two friends, but is hiding a secret that puts him at risk physically as well as psychologically. And finally there’s young Cris. She’s a victim of human monsters rather than supernatural ones, but as a result has some dark ambitions that will shock the others. These are all flawed characters, yet well-rounded ones and I was surprised by how much I grew attached to them, especially Sam and Cris.
The world-building and plot are just insane. I’ve read other slasher books, but this blows them all out of the water! It’s bloody and gory and thrilling to the extreme. If this was a movie, I probably would have covered my eyes during some of the scenes, but since this is a book I couldn’t do that, hence my trouble sleeping afterwards. The ending is jaw-droppingly perfect, and I’m praying that this is not the last we see of these characters and their terrifying world. Ahem, Rafael? If you read this review I’m begging you to write a sequel, okay?
Mask Beneath Her Face may not be for everyone. It’s extremely violent, and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see blood leaking out from my Kindle, after I finished. But it’s a wonderfully imaginative and unique homage to 1980s slasher flicks and if you’re a fan of these like me, you’re going to gobble this up! Most of you know what a fan I am of Stephen King. Well, in my humble opinion, this is unequivocally King-worthy! But, if you decide to try this, be sure to read it during the day. Preferably in the sun. With lots of people around. And wear running shoes, ‘cause you know, just in case.