A Dry Patch of Skin by Stephen Swartz
A Dry Patch of Skin by Stephen Swartz
Release Date: October 5, 2014
Genre: Literary horror, vampires
The truth about being a vampire: It is not cool, not sexy. It’s a painful, miserable existence.
Good reason to avoid that situation, thinks Stefan Székely. He’s too busy falling in love with TV reporter Penny Park, anyway. Until one day when she notices he has a dry patch of skin on his face.
At first it’s annoying, nothing to worry about, some weird skin disease he can treat with lotions. However, as his affliction worsens, Stefan fears that his unsightly problem will ruin his relationship with Penny.
If only that was all Stefan has to worry about! He soon realizes there is a lot more at stake than his handsome face. To save himself, Stefan must go in search of a cure for the disease which is literally destroying him inch by inch. If only his parents had told him of his family’s legacy.
*My Book Review*
DISCLAIMER: This book/eBook being reviewed was purchased independently and is a part of my private library. I have in no way been compensated for this review.
So how does literary horror work? Actually, rather well in this novel! Stephen Swartz creates a character who neither sparkles or is particularly attractive after he becomes a vampire – and yet still manages to draw in all the romance and emotional angst that vampire novel readers love so much.
A Dry Patch of Skin takes the older lore of vampires and turns it into a modern day love story – with a twist. What I loved so much about this novel is the fact that the characters were NOT teenagers. For adult fans of Twilight who are sick of reading about young love, this novel is dedicated to you! And there is romance in bunches.
Another aspect of this story that captured me was the fact that the main character, Stefan Székely (Mr. Vampire himself), was so emotionally torn by all that was occurring in his world – and his lover, Penny Park, was not. It was a fantastic role reversal to see such a strong female role model along with such a gentle, angst-ridden male character. Really, REALLY loved that!
And the humour – as dry as Stefan’s skin and so refreshingly engaging even if it is, at times, black.
So I gave this novel 5 stars and usually I try to even out all my gushing with a little bit of ‘what I didn’t like’. Yeah, this one was a bit tricky this time. If I had to offer any criticism, I would have to say that there were a few moments where the story dragged a little. We got that Stefan had a skin condition, sometimes this was dragged out a little too much and could possibly make the reader want to move on, but that’s all I could find fault with! Oh, and there was a couple of typos and a weird double spacing thing that occurred for one paragraph (although that just may be an issue with my outdated Kindle).
Overall, I am giving A Dry Patch of Skin by Stephen Swartz, 5 out of 5 stars – you really, REALLY need to read this novel if you are a fan of vampire books! Oh, and to celebrate Halloween on October 31st, A Dry Patch of Skin will be FREE on Amazon but only for TWENTY FOUR HOURS, so you need to hurry and click on the purchase link below:
Purchase (FREE – but only for Halloween!)
About the Author
Stephen Swartz grew up in Kansas City where he began life as an avid reader of science-fiction. He quickly emulated his favorite authors in stories he wrote for himself and for school. From that beginning, Swartz has emphasized the “what if” qualities in all of his writing, whether science-fiction or mainstream contemporary stories.
Swartz studied music in college and wrote a symphony as his senior project. After working in an assortment of occupations, from French fry guy to soldier to IRS clerk to TV station writer, Swartz went to Japan for several years, teaching English. Returning to the US, he plunged into graduate school and earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and later a Ph.D. in psycholinguistics.
As a professor, Swartz has taught all kinds of writing in Kansas, Pennsylvania, New York, and now Oklahoma. When not correcting student papers, he can be found obsessively planning, writing, and editing his manuscripts–like any mad scientist.