Nico Laeser’s Skin Cage is a provocative read that begins as one type of story and then, all of a sudden when you’re not looking, crosses effortlessly into another that you (or at least I) did not see coming. It’s a compelling and engrossing read that you’re not likely to forget.
The story begins, in the first person, with the perceptions of a more than quadriplegic (not only paralyzed, but dependent on a respirator) narrator sharing his extremely marginalized existence through a series of brief chapter/scenes, each provocatively titled and beginning with the word “I.”
The scenes flash backwards in time periodically to provide background and context as the story advances through a series of at first painful, but eventually dramatic and then astonishing occurrences.
The latter half is particularly imaginative in its treatment of out of body scenes. I found the ways in which the author conceived and presented the protagonist’s experiences during these episodes to be fascinating and innovative, involving sound as well as visual perceptions to great effect. The author is also a skilled artist (samples of his work can be found at his blog here), which may explain the vividness of the imagery and ability to convey color effectively in his writing.
As a self-published author myself, I also appreciated the flawless presentation of the book, which is as well edited and proofread as any professionally published book. I know how hard that is to pull off, even if you hire editors and proofreaders to assist you.
All in all, Skin Cage is a very professional, provocative and well-presented story that I was pleased to run across. It says something that I read it in a single sitting – and then went back to reread parts of it again.
Skin Cage is available in soft cover ($9.19) and eBook ($3.99) versions at Amazon.