I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Faceless One by Mark Onspaugh | Book ReviewThe Faceless One by Mark Onspaugh
Published by Hydra on October 28th 2013
Pages: 410
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley

In 1948, when he was just a boy, Jimmy Kalmaku trained with his uncle to be the shaman of his Tlingit village in Alaska. There he learned the old legends, the old myths, the old secrets. Chief among them was that of a mask locked in a prison of ice, and of the faceless god imprisoned within: a cruel and vengeful god called T'Nathluk, dedicated to the infliction of pain and suffering.

Now all but forgotten in a Seattle retirement home, Jimmy finds his life turned upside down. For when an unwitting archaeologist pries the mask free of its icy tomb, he frees T’Nathluk as well. Stuck in spirit form, the Faceless One seeks a human to serve as a portal through which he can enter our reality. The Faceless One can control—and mercilessly torture—anyone who touches the mask, which means there is no shortage of slaves to ferry it across the country to its chosen host.

Yet the Faceless One has foes as well: Stan Roberts, a tough New York cop whose pursuit of justice will lead him into a dark abyss of the soul; Steven, Liz, and Bobby, the family of the doomed archaeologist; and Jimmy Kalmaku, who must at last become the shaman of his boyhood dreams.


To tell you the truth I had some troubles with this book. I found it hard to get into the story, the multiple point of views confused me a bit and overall I found that the book started a bit slow.

I received this book from NetGalley in return for a honest review. I requested it because the plot attracted me and I found myself wanting to read it. So I was a bit disappointed with the start. The first hundred pages or so I found myself not able to make up my mind on what to think.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think this is a bad book! Not at all. Overall I liked the story. The characters were well thought out and the plot (and sub-plots) I really liked. You read the story from multiple point of views: The detectives investigating a series of horrendous crimes, the escape of the elderly Native American and his good friend from their retirement home to the point of view of the anthropologists younger brother and their family. They all have something in common and that is their involvement with those crimes. Whether they have lost somebody due to these crimes or they’re investigating them, all have something to do with it.

Piece by piece and bit by bit I started to connect tiny pieces of information that eventually formed a whole. Events slowly started making sense. This did resulted in the fact that I had sometimes trouble willing myself to continue reading.

I myself would have liked for the pace of the story to be a little faster. The confusion at the beginning of the book was a bit discouraging, but overall I found that The Faceless One is a good book. Slow, but good. For a debut novel, I think Mark Onspaugh did a very good job! I look forward to reading more of his work.