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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Skin Food is an urban fantasy novella written by Type A. Tyson and Lana were making the best of their break from classes with an adventure that began with a visit to Korea where their school friend, Sam, was now teaching English and living in Hongdae. Another friend, Steve, who had been Sam and Tyson’s RA in college when they were freshmen, was also living in Korea after having attended graduate school there. This was, in effect, the reunion the trio had planned when Steve had left three years earlier. The atmosphere was marred somewhat by the fact of one of Steve’s co-workers having died at work that day. However, they did enjoy dinner together and then went out on the town, drinking and dancing. Sam met a girl named Mimi, another student, who suddenly blacked out, leaving them wondering what to do. Steve having left without a word, the three friends and the sleeping Mimi ended up going back to Sam’s place. As they were traveling there, everything seemed as it had been, lots of excitement, hustle and places to eat, drink and dance, but everything was going to change -- and quickly.
Type A’s post-apocalyptic fantasy novella, Skin Food, follows Tyson and Lana as the two college students set out on an adventure that turns from glorious to terrifying overnight. This well-written and absorbing tale grabbed me at the descriptions of Korean nightlife and getting to know the characters Type A builds was a joy. I especially enjoyed the part of the story that concerned Steve and his co-worker, who had been more than a workplace friend, and the requirements of a business culture that seemed alien and overbearing from a Western perspective. The real highlights of this novella, however, are Type A’s characters and seeing how they respond to the crisis that confronts them, particularly Sam’s neighbor, who takes them in, feeds them and treats them like family. While apocalyptic themes would not be my first choice of genre, I was quite agreeably surprised at the intensity and depth of this character study. Skin Food is most highly recommended.