Today I'm announcing a new release and sharing my ARC review of Fade to Black by Tim McBain and L.T. Vargus. The second author may sound familiar to you if you've been following this blog, because I loved her previous book, Casting Shadows Everywhere. While I can't say that I loved this book as much as I did the other, I can say that I really liked it.
Fade to Black by Tim McBain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Fade to Black is dark, it's filled with psychological ramblings, and it features a disturbed young man plagued by seizure dreams, which feature a hooded figure killing him time after time, no matter what he tries to do. It's enough to drive one crazy.
I mention the psychological ramblings as a plus. In Casting Shadows Everywhere, these came primarily from the main character's night time psychology classes at the local college. In Fade to Black, they come from Glenn, an old man trying to use Jeff's unique condition to track down his daughter Amity. But, it's not an information dump.
As we and Glenn learn more about Jeff and begin making some conclusions, Glenn feels drawn to help Jeff understand himself. Then Jeff takes that information and thinks about it, and either internalizes or disregards it, depending on his own level of self-awareness or denial. I think it is interesting to see how different events spark a response in Jeff's self-image, and I dig the science behind it being trickled in.
And, yes, this story is dark, and delightfully so. How could it not be when the main character gets killed over and over? But it's also laced with humor (and a fair share of foul language).
Now, there were a couple of things that kept me from loving this book. First off, it seemed choppy in places, kind of like when an overzealous commercial placement eats a scene in a movie and you wonder how you got from where you were to where you are. This happened mostly in the beginning. Second, there are also several examples of the main character accepting things that are happening to him that a normal person would question. Since he seems to be a mistrustful, paranoid fellow, this seemed out of character.
Overall, I really liked this story. It's smart, dark and thrilling. I think folks who enjoy a metaphysical or psychological thriller with a side of humor would enjoy this one. It is the first in a series. Both this and the next in the series, Bled White, are being released October 20th.
I received this book as an ARC from the author.
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Now available on Amazon!