Review: Audiobook Review: Skin After Skin by Jordan Castillo Price

skin after skinStory Rating: 4 stars
Audio Rating: 4.5 stars

Narrator: Gomez Pugh
Length: 14 hours, 21 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Audible | iBooks
Book Buy Links: Amazon | iBooks

Curtis Ash—Crash to his friends—is a stylist at Luscious, an upscale salon. He thinks he has his life pretty made, and then Red Turner, the new colorist, walks in the door. The connection between them is palpable and immediate, but Red doesn’t seem interested. But a friendship emerges between them nonetheless. Red encourages Crash to look beyond the physical world, and to embrace the possibility of psychics. But when things go sideways, Red walks away without a backward glance.

Though that stings, Crash begins to reorder his life. And while he’s doing that, he also begins to realize that psychic powers actually do exsist. Embracing that for himself is harder than he thinks, but his hours of research and practicing pay off. But when the thing he wants falls through, he’s disillusioned. And also loses his new boyfriend, Jacob Marks, in the process.

But Crash will not be knocked down and he begins yet again. Fully embracing everything he’s learned, he finally has his life in a good place. But the universe isn’t done messing with him, and a series of misfortunes seem like they’ll be enough to break him. But with Red suddenly back in the picture, and a better outlook on life, Crash can take those hard turns, and make them another new start. Crash is good at change, and this is just another new start in life.

For Self Published Book Week, we have a double whammy. Not only does Jordan Castillo Price self publish the Psy Cops series, but she does the same with her audios. In fact, she launched a successful crowdfunding campaign in order to get this particular audio made. The author spares no expense in producing a quality audio, and Gomez Pugh does a fantastic job as narrator.

challenge month 2017 copySkin After Skin is the eighth book in the Psy Cops series. If you’ve been reading along, you have no doubt who Crash is. I might be in the minority, however, when I say he’s never been one of my favorite characters. He’s brash and flirty, over the top, with only moments of humility and sincerity. Or so I thought. This book spans from a couple of years before the first book in the series, all the way up through the most recent, and it is all about Crash’s journey. His growth and change as he navigates his life. I am so glad I got to know Crash better. He has layers that, for me, didn’t really come through before. And now that I see all he’s gone through, all the struggles and sacrifices, changes and rebirths, I enjoy him so much more than I ever thought I would.

I really appreciated everything he went through, and the way he grew and changed as a result. He was open to reordering his perceptions and world view, and he was way more analytical and poetic than I expected. There’s a depth to him that grew throughout the novel as well, really fleshing out his character and making him substantial and important in a way I didn’t anticipate. This is his story, through and through, and it’s about his changes and growth. The romance, such as it is, is only one part of that. But I didn’t have a problem with that, as it only enhanced the larger story and highlighted Crash’s growth.. So I really enjoyed following along on his journey.

My one issue is that this book is long. Very long. The length itself isn’t a problem, per se, but for me, at times, the pace dragged. I felt like the information we were being given got a bit repetitive at points, and that some sections could have been condensed to tighten up the narrative. It may be because I was listening to it, as opposed to reading it, that it felt longer than it did, but since I didn’t read this one as well, I don’t have a comparison. But for me, even though I was enjoying, at times it felt like it would never end. And not always in a good way.

Listening to this book, though, was a real treat. Pugh does a great job, and has a smooth voice that’s easy to listen to and get lost in. I’ve only listened to a couple of books in the series, but Pugh is fantastic about consistency. Crash, Jacob, Vic, Caroline, as well as others, have a beautiful consistency throughout the series. I will make mention that several secondary characters didn’t work as well for me. Crash’s mother, for example, was particularly grating. I get what Pugh was trying to convey in her tone, to really showcase the kind of person she is. But it didn’t hit my ear well and I cringed every time she showed up. There were also some weird, lengthy pauses between chapters that had me checking to make sure the audio hadn’t stopped. But in the grand scheme, those things are minor. Pugh does a wonderful job, and I really enjoyed the long hours I spent with him telling me the story.

So overall, I can definitely recommend this one. You could possibly read, or listen to, this book without having read the rest of the series, as it’s almost a step removed. But I think it really enhances things having read the series as well. And if you’re a fan, then you’re definitely going to want to pick this one up.

This review is part of our Reading Challenge Month for Self Published Book Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win one of seven fabulous prize packs from an amazing group of self published authors. Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing grand prize sponsored by Dreamspinner Press (a loaded Kindle fire filled with DSP books!). You can get more information on our Challenge Month here, and more details on Self Published Book Week here, including a list of all the prizes being offered this week. And check out our prize post for more details about the awesome prizes offered this month!

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  1. It’s cool that Crash turned out to be more multifaceted!

  2. I am reading Criss Cross (Psychic Cops book 2) for this week’s challenge.

  3. I still haven’t started this series, but it’s in my TBR pile. I’ll get around to it eventually! Even though I don’t listen to audiobooks, I’m impressed with her crowd-funding the audio version.

  4. I’ve read the first book in this series and have purchased the second. I’m looking forward to getting to book eight as Skin After Skin sounds like a book I’d enjoy. Thanks for your review, Kris.

  5. This is the only series I’m listening instead of reading and Crash is one of the characters I like the most. I cant wait to get to this book.

  6. Oh a lenghty novel, i like a long novel when i have lots of reading time and when the lenght is needed for telling the story. Your review made me curious to see why Red just left and suddenly reappears? Thank you for your review.

  7. I love this whole series. I don’t usually listen to audiobooks; I know the merchandise she sells help pay for the audios so I should get a mug.

  8. I’m on the fence about this because I love the Psycop series & Gomez Pugh as the narrator but am not really a fan of Crash.

    • You definitely get a different side of Crash here. I have always loved him, but you get a much better sense of him as a person and what is driving him beyond just a foil for Vic and Jacob that we mostly see in the main series.

  9. I am on the fence too because I am not sure that I like Crash enough for him to have full spotlight on this series. I don’t care for him as much as I do secondary character like Holden, for example. Thanks for the review though. Can contribute to my thinking…

  10. I’ve only read the first book in this series, but it’s one I’d love to get more into. I’m all for seeing characters’ growth over several books, and I always enjoy a secondary character coming into their own.

  11. Thank you for the audio book review. I own the book but haven’t read it because Crash isn’t exactly my favorite in the series.. I appreciate your thought s on this.

  12. Bronwyn Heeley says:

    I have a few of the psy cops books but I’ve not started the series. Honestly nothing has made me want to read then this book coming out. I love the cover and the idea but I know I’ll need to read the series in order to apriciate it 

  13. thank you for the review, Kris. Crash is one of my favourte secondary characters in the series, though I recognise sometimes he’s a bit “difficult”. Skin After Skin has been in my TBR list since I first heard about it!

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  15. I have not read any of the Psycop series ( I had heard the name but never knew what they were actually about ) I’ll probably start with the first book, but its good to know that the series is still good after so many books. I just checked my TBR and book 1 is on there so I’ll make sure I bump it up and start this series soon

  16. Purple Reader says:

    Thanks, Kris, for the good review. I’m not surprised at what Price did here. One of my fav series. Like you, Crash wasn’t a fan of Crash, but it’s great to hear how Price developed the character.

  17. Price is one of the authors i have never read. I know she has a lot of fans and I have already bought the whole Psy Cop series. I’m just waiting for enough time to read all the books back to back.

  18. I haven’t read this series, but I have some of this author’s standalone books in my tbr list. Thanks for the review.

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