From time to time in this blog, I'm going to be doing reviews of books by fellow authors that I've met either through the wonders of social media, or out in actual real life(crazy, I know). Anyway, it's always good to help out a fellow scribbler by writing a review of their books, and hopefully these folks will be willing to do the same when I'm at that stage, you know, actually published and all. But in the mean time, let's kick this off.
So what do you do if you’re a 27 year-old slacker who keeps having seizure-induced dreams of hooded man repeatedly strangling you to death in an alley? Well, if you’re Jeff Grobnagger, you hook up with Glenn Floyd, an excellent cook and expert on secret magical societies whose daughter Amity has gone missing under mysterious circumstances. Also, someone starts trying to kill you in real life. So yeah, that pretty much sucks. But one thing Fade to Black by Tim McBain and L.T. Vargus doesn’t do is suck. Quite the opposite, actually.
Fade to Black is the first book in McBain and Vargus’ Awake in the Dark series, and it’s an excellent start to what I’m sure is going to be a great series. The book pulled me n immediately right from the first line. Overall, there’s a great dry, sarcastic tone to Vargus and McBain’s writing. In a way it reminded me of Victor Gischler, and that’s definitely a compliment. Fade to Black was a book that I just didn’t want to stop reading because I found myself actually caring about Jeff and what was going on with him.
Jeff’s a great narrator for the story, and his dry, sarcastic and often self-depricating way of talking about the mind-numbing weirdness that happens to him had me rocketing through the book at a lightning pace and laughing out loud several times. Definitely one of the easiest reads I’ve had so far this year. Yeah, we’re not that far into the year, but I read a lot of books, so that’s also a compliment. Hehe.
When I started the book, I was expecting a wild ride through secret magical societies, astral projection and just all in all strangeness, and I got that in spades. What I didn’t expect was the extremely personal, often heart-breaking philosophical musing that goes on at several points in the book. Just another thing that really made me care about Jeff and Glenn and anxious to know what happens to them next.
That brings me to the one complaint that I had about the book, the fact that it ended just a bit too abruptly for my taste. It was right in the middle of a really tense, gripping situation, and it just stopped. A bit on the frustrating side(I might have actually said, “Oh, come on!” out loud), but really all that did was make me want the next book in the series, pretty much right away. And oh look, the second book is already available, awesome! I’ll definitely be picking that one up too.
So, in conclusion run, do not walk to your tablet, smartphone or other e-reading device and get yourself a copy of Fade to Black. You won’t regret it.