cover image Snakeskins


Tim Major. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-78909-078-9

Government conspiracy and magic of the unknown intertwine in an uncanny tale. Caitlin Hext is unprepared for her 17th birthday, marking the time of her first shedding ceremony as a Charmer—people with the power to produce a clone every seven years. These clones, called Snakeskins, usually turn to dust, but Caitlin’s does not. Shocked, she must wrestle with questions of identity as well as the idea that the Hext family is crucial to the lineage of all Charmers. These events are interwoven with politics as Caitlin learns that the Great British Prosperity Party has sinister plans for her and the people of Britain. Each chapter shows a bit more of the different narrators’ various perspectives on events, gradually creating a delightfully tense parallel story that begs the reader to guess what will happen next. This novel earns its verbosity using tact, mystery, and a strong voice, and readers who stick with it will feel well rewarded. (May)