Zombie stories are big these days, and it can be hard to find one that sets itself apart from the rest. Skin Trade is that story.
Samantha Martin has been used and abused all her young fifteen years, sexually and physically. Finally she finds a place for herself in a workhouse on the borderlands, not far from where the undead roam freely on the land. But to be accepted into the workhouse, she had to disguise herself as a boy. Changing in the outhouse instead of in front of her bunkmates helps to keep her secret. Until she is challenged by one of the workhouse bullies. Her secret is almost exposed, but the headmaster intervenes.
After the confrontation, she and her friend Samuel are given the opportunity to become apprentices for a trapper in the skin trade - the business of flaying useable skin from the undead and tanning it to be sold for a lot of money. But the trade is extremely dangerous and sometimes deadly. Can a young woman make it in the trade and still keep her secret?
Skin Trade takes the familiar zombie tale and gives it a completely different twist. Not only are the zombies used for their skin instead of killed outright, the story takes place in the 1800s, not a usual setting for undead stories. Skin Trade isnít just a gore-fest, either. Sure, itís bloody and gruesome in places, but for the most part, itís a smart, well-written and intriguing story of how those in the Old West deal with this particular blight on their land. They want to continue to explore and move Westward, but canít due to the zombies. Thatís where the trappers come in.
There is a lot more to Skin Trade than Iím revealing, but to give away too much would ruin the story. Buy a copy for yourself, and get lost in this fun and captivating tale.
Review by Sheri White