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Fade to Black (Awake in the Dark, #1)

Fade to Black (Awake in the Dark, #1)

3.3 6
by Tim McBain, L.T. Vargus

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A 27 year old slacker has seizures during which he may or may not be astral projecting.

What he learns might have the power to change the world.

One second JEFF GROBNAGGER is standing in line at the grocery store, and the next he's in an alley where a hooded figure strangles him to death.

So that sucks.

This happens over


A 27 year old slacker has seizures during which he may or may not be astral projecting.

What he learns might have the power to change the world.

One second JEFF GROBNAGGER is standing in line at the grocery store, and the next he's in an alley where a hooded figure strangles him to death.

So that sucks.

This happens over and over again, every time Grobnagger has a seizure. Alley. Choking. Death. Repeat. What for? Why would anyone want to kill him repeatedly? Is it just a recurring seizure dream? When a sniper's bullet shatters his apartment window, he realizes two things: he's in serious danger, and there's no way he's getting his security deposit back.

Who is the hooded man? And who tried to kill Grobnagger in real life? His quest for answers leads to a missing girl, cults obsessed with astral projection, an arcane puzzle sphere, an evil book, a private detective named Louise and a mustached man named Glenn that makes the most delicious food he's ever tasted.

No one he meets is who they seem, and every answer leads to more questions, more seizures and more horrific deaths that may or may not be transpiring on some mysterious plane beyond the physical world.

FADE TO BLACK is book one of five in the AWAKE IN THE DARK series.

Live. Die. Repeat.

What readers are saying about FADE TO BLACK:

"Fade to Black is the funniest book I've read in... I can't remember how long. Seriously funny. I think I laughed out loud roughly once every three pages. That's a lot of funny packed into one book! And not just an internal chuckle here and there, but an honest to goodness laugh out loud that made my significant other call, 'What?' from the next room repeatedly." - Lisbeth Ames

"(FADE TO BLACK) weirdly resonates with me. It is sneaky in a way – it holds the things we fear up to the light – opening the reader up to honesty – to love and hope and the truths of our souls found in the darkest of nights. It’s weird and dark and twisted – and real. And I recommend the trip." - Leiah Cooper, SoIReadThisBookToday.com

"Buy it, read it, laugh your butt off over it and trust me you’ll likely love the heck out of this book." - Horror Chick, agirlsguidetohorror.com

"Smart, dark and thrilling." - Patricia Hamill

"I don't normally give five stars, but "Fade to Black" gets five stars from me for one reason: I haven't been this excited about a book in a long time. As I mentioned earlier, I am eagerly awaiting the second novel in the series, because I have to see what happens. It kind of reminds me of the feeling I got the first time I watched Lost, the TV series. It feels like my eyes have been opened to a universe of possibilities, and I cannot wait to see how McBain and Vargus explore that world." - E. Branden Hart, emptysinkpublishing.com

"Grobnagger's narration is hilarious. There are going to be times while reading this that you find yourself laughing even while he's breaking your heart." - eden Hudson, author of HALO BOUND

"Chuck Palahniuk (crossed with) the Dean Koontz Odd Thomas series." - Drunkle Dan, The Drunken Beardsmen podcast

"An unusually philosophical, intensely self-aware and thoughtful paranormal thriller. Takes the iconography of the tarot and does something extraordinary and original with it." - Lisbeth Ames

Ebook categories for Fade to Black:
-horror books
-fantasy books
-suspense thriller books
-urban fantasy series books for adults

Product Details

Smarmy Press
Publication date:
Awake in the Dark , #1
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File size:
498 KB

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Fade to Black 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great little story I thoroughly enjoyed. I've read all 4 books currently available and I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the fifth book.
InvestedIvana More than 1 year ago
What I Liked: The protagonist, Jeff, is entertaining in a goofy sort of way. His voice in the book is very unique and certainly depicts an inwardly-focused person. I wondered for a bit if Jeff wasn’t going to end up being a bit autistic or have Asperger’s. His internal monologue would certainly support that. The idea of rival societies is interesting; that there is a play for power – mental power – going on and somehow Jeff has stumbled upon the power source everyone else is seeking. Jeff’s path of self-discovery is very thought-provoking. He has crappy self-esteem – perhaps from having a crappy childhood. Children who aren’t loved and valued grow up believing they are valueless; Jeff not only feels valueless, but believes he’s repulsive, somehow bad. Facing that belief head-on and being able to question whether that’s really true is an amazing step for anyone. What I Didn’t Like: There are a lot of things in this book that, upon reflection, don’t make any sense. For example, what purpose does Ms. Babinaux’s visits serve? She doesn’t give Jeff any useful information. For that matter, what purpose does the visit to the hippie guy serve? What is up with Gary and Louise? I don’t think they are who they say they are. It would be really sad if Jeff, who is trying to learn that he has value as a human, ends up surrounded by people who only want to use him because of his power. The final seizure scene in the alley contains a lot of detail that doesn’t seem relevant. It might be relevant if I understood what the symbolism represents, but that’s not explained — nor is the final scene in the holding cell in which Jeff awakes. Are Babinaux and Gary Jeff’s parents? Why was the “guy” Jeff was fighting in his dreams Gary’s daughter and not himself? Fighting himself would have made sense. Fighting Gary’s daughter makes no sense. I should say, none of this stuff makes sense by the end of Fade To Black. There are three more novels in the series in which this could all be explained; but, Fade to Black itself doesn’t have a satisfying ending. This seems to be a trend, particularly with indie books. As a reader, I feel cheated when a book doesn’t have an emotionally satisfying ending. I prefer there be a satisfying beginning, middle, and END to every book, in addition to elements that contribute to the series story arc. Otherwise it feels like one “story” has been chopped into little pieces – like, say, The Hobbit movies or the last Harry Potter movie. So, while I like the ideas in the book, the insightfulness into depression and low self-esteem, and the crafting of the unique voice for Jeff, I just can’t get past the lack of answers and a proper ending. Other reviewers rate the series very highly, so you may like book just fine; I’m just not able to generate much enthusiasm for it. Purchased. Review courtesy of onebooktwo.com | one book, two reviews.
bobbiebretana More than 1 year ago
i personally enjoyed this book. i thought the pace was fine and the humor right up my alley. i am looking forward to reading the next two in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not a book where you're going to get everything explained at the end with a neat little bow.  This is a series, and meant to be read as one.  I realize that some people may find the pace a bit slow at times, but if you're willing to be patient, I can say with a good deal of certainty you're going to grab the second and thid books in the series, Bled White and Red on the Inside.  Jeff is a great protagonist, and if you follow the author on Twiter (how I found him), you might be a bit more apt to get some of the humor.  This is a series worth a try; it's a supernatural occult triler which doesn't really play to current standards, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.    
Bloggabook More than 1 year ago
Obviously with a one star review, I'm not going to have anything good to say about this one.  I took a chance on this as I saw the authors promoting it heavily on Twitter. I lean more towards the Indie writers anyway so it wasn't out of my comfort zone. I will say, if the rest of this book had been like the first 15%, it would have done much better by me.  At the beginning there is abundant dark and witty humor. Then, it's as if that person left the room and someone deeply immersed in the works of Jung and Nietzsche took over. The book really drug from this point on. There was still the small interjection of humor but at this point in the book, instead of witty it comes off as crass. Fine line, I'm sure.  I had to force myself to get through this one, then I had to buy myself dinner to make up for it.