Heavily pregnant Alice and her partner Pete retreat to a remote mountain house when a skin-sealing epidemic spreads through the urban population. But the mountains and their people hold a different kind of danger.
...visceral ... Booth’s book got me from Page 1 ... Booth’s ability to create an emotional quest around Alice’s dilemma is gripping. And when she describes the victims of the disease, well, it’s enough to make your skin tingle.
...[a] sharp, savvy second novel ... From an entirely scientific perspective (and also an editorial one), Booth isn’t quite able to make Cutis a believable disease. As horrifying as it is, it does require a great deal of suspension of disbelief ... Sealed is constantly stressful, terrifyingly believable most of the time, and horrific in many ways. There’s a feeling of impending doom from the very start ... It’s no spoiler to say that Sealed peaks with one of the most visceral, intense, and raw childbirth scenes you’ll encounter in a long time. This is an astute, worrying little novel, heavy with mood and thick with fears of the future of our planet, our bodies, our babies. And rightfully so.
...a bracing, discomforting read ... The elements of speculative fiction, meanwhile, are given an interesting edge because they are shown through the eyes of a woman who is heavily pregnant—and hugely paranoid ... Booth does a good job of making us question both Alice’s world and our own reactions to it, even if she sometimes falters ... I had to suspend my disbelief in parts, in order to remain caught up in the story. I had many unanswered questions ... But this is just an unfortunate blemish on writing that is otherwise sharp, insightful and physical. Booth makes us feel the weight and discomfort of Alice’s pregnant body, as well as newly aware of our own skin. There are some fine descriptions ... There’s genuine emotional tension, especially as the book builds to its admirably gory ending. I didn’t quite believe in every aspect of these bloody final scenes—but there was more than enough to keep me going. This is a promising debut novel.