"Skull Full Of Kisses" is a unique, diverse and powerful collection of bone-chilling horror. The old saying, "love knows no bounds" is well exemplified here. From random acts of kindness, to utter madness, West shows us that even love - the most innocent emotion we posses - is often the impetus for these and other ghastly acts. All of the stories that comprise this treat are gems. Standouts are:
"Dogs Of War", a unique, haunting tale of friendship between two Gulf War veterans. Due to "Gulf War Syndrome" they must rely on each other for support and safety from the walking nightmares that followed them back home.
"The Bridge", a creepy tale about a handful of teens who decide to put the myth of a dead child's ghost to the test when they visit a secluded bridge. This simple premise belies the existential dilemma that foreshadows everyone's future.
"Einstein's Slingshot" is a fast paced, suspenseful tale. Unspeakable beings have been loosed upon the world. It's up to a few survivors - a hodge-podge group - to not only make sense of what stalks humanity, but to understand how it happened as well.
"God Like Me" is an eerily relatable journey into complacency itself. No matter how hard poor Dylan tries to fit into corporate America, the bonds of servitude grow heavier and heavier each day.
"To Know How To See", a highly imaginative tale-set many years in the future on a remote mining outpost in deep space. Unconditional love and its inherent trust are put to the test when Lee realizes all is not what it seems to be.
"Goodnight" is a somber, heart-felt exploration of the age of innocence and the natural forces that eventually strip this gift away. Seven-year-old Tyler's mother has died. With his great-grandfather, they find solace in each other and the reality of what is.
West's seamless prose, coupled with his unique and powerful voice gives us multi-layered tales rarely seen in horror fiction. Most importantly, and what truly makes this collection a breath of fresh air, is how West peppers each story with his uncanny ability to weave readers directly into his fiction. "Skull Full Of Kisses" cements West's status as a rare and formidable storyteller whose work should not be approached lightly.