Skullface Boy by Chad Lutkze
The two hours I spent reading Chad Lutkze’s novella Skullface Boy were an absolute delight. It’s a deceptively simply told tale, loaded with humour, soul, heart and numerous larger-than-life characters which drift in and out of the narrative. None are bigger than Levi, the ‘Skullface Boy’ of the title, a teenager you are going to fall in love with. Told entirely from Levi’s point of view, before long you’ll be a resident in his head, rolling with the punches, and smiling at the ups and downs of his crazy odyssey in hitching from Denver to California. It’s not really a horror novel, but don’t let that put you off, this quirkily told road trip ranks amongst the best weird fiction releases of 2018.
Levi wants to escape Denver and hit the beaches of California, searching for the father he is sure lives there. He’s a sixteen-year-old boy with little money, no life skills or travel experience, so it’s going to be tough. He also has a skull for a face, a strange unexplained bone deformity, so his journey is no plain sailing. It might be tough for Levi, but it sure is fun for the reader. I also felt this book has a potential Young Adult (YA) audience, as it has a great but simple hook to suck kids in, “It’s about a kid with a skull for a face”. This funny, heart-warming and ultimately life-affirming book also finishes in the best possible way. Sometimes we all need a happy ending and I loved it.
HorrorTalk review of Skullface Boy.