The Faceless One is apparently Mark Onspaugh's first book, a fact that brings me no small bit of jealousy. I marvel at people who knock it out of the park with their debut. The Faceless One is a horror story set with Alaskan shamanism as the backdrop with tendrils that reach into present day.An ancient evil (You had me at ancient evil) is released from its eons-old imprisonment in the Alaskan outback, then makes its way across America to cement its power, wreaking havoc and very imaginative bloodshed as it goes. The only ones who can stop it are a backsliding elderly ex-shaman and his best friend who follow messages from the spirit world, and the full picture gets bleaker and bleaker for them as the story goes. Onspaugh has a great gift for writing characters that you feel deeper and deeper sympathy for, especially when they're performing atrocities against their will. He also has a great ability to tie everything together in a
climactic ending, if this book is any evidence. An excellent first time. Four stars.