I most faithfully believe that SKIN sets a standard by which all books of the "darker" genre should be measured. This book is indeed dark, but it is also incandescent. I am by no means an uncritical reader, so when I say that, page after page, SKIN had me breathless, touched, and completely floored, I sincerely mean it. Kathe Koja is a passionate, visceral writer, gifted with the uncommon knack for gorgeous and hallucinatory prose. Reading SKIN, I could not help but feel moved -- it seemed as though I had been waiting a long, long time to come in contact with something so extremely alive and so extremely rarefied - so unrelentingly beautiful - that, no matter how lame or drastic this sounds, I almost felt as if I were coming home to something; something unfamiliar yet completely familiar, something untouched that had been waiting to be touched, waiting patiently until given the proper stimulus: SKIN. No artist - in fact, no one, period - can afford not to read this book. It's raw, it's affecting, it's painful, it's profound -- the distillate of life compressed into 389 wonderful pages.