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Fade to Black

(Awake in the Dark #1)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  768 ratings  ·  143 reviews

Live. Die. Repeat.

Dying violent deaths over and over again totally blows. Loner Jeff Grobnagger has learned this the hard way. Every time he has a seizure, he dreams that a hooded man strangles and kills him. He runs. He fights. He hides. No matter what he does, his efforts end in a pretty bad case of death.

But when someone tries to kill him in real life, he realizes
Kindle Edition, 212 pages
Published October 19th 2014 by Smarmy Press
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GC MacQuarie In my opinion, yes. It's a story that touches on hard truths, written with a light and satirical style. It kept me entertained until the end - isn't…moreIn my opinion, yes. It's a story that touches on hard truths, written with a light and satirical style. It kept me entertained until the end - isn't that why we read in the first place?(less)
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Average rating 3.50  · 
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Nov 26, 2014 marked it as pending  ·  review of another edition
I read the sample because one of the authors sent me a DM on twitter:

I'd step on a Lego barefoot to get you to read my book's free sample. Don't make me do it!

I was curious enough to have a look, and now I find myself unable to stop. I hate ebooks, I hate KINDLE ebooks even more (because I have to read them on a computer, as my ereader is a Sony), but now I need the rest of the book.

Off to order the physical copy and try and exercise some self
Oct 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle
Jeff Grobnagger suffers from seizures and when these occur he dreams the same thing over and over, his own death from a mysterious hooded man. When one of these occur in a public place Jeff meets an older man who thinks he may know what is going on with him and that it may also have something to do with his missing daughter so he asks Jeff's help to find her.

Starting off with this book I honestly thought I'd end up giving it four of five stars, there are a lot of others that have done so. The
**Fade To Black** by *L.T. Vargus and Tim McBain*: The Grobnagger Chronicles #1.

First, there's someone who appears to be just an ordinary kind of guy, but he gets seizures in which he dreams he's hanging upside down in an alley with a rope attached to his foot and no idea how to get himself out of this position much less return to his real life where he doesn't have to undo knots and figure out how to get to the ground without breaking a limb or falling on his head. Once he's met this challenge
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fade to Black (The Grobnagger Chronicles #1) By Tim McBain & L.T. Vargus

Jeff Grobnagger keeps having the same terrifying dream over and over again. Every time he has a seizure he dreams of a hooded man that kills him. The dreams are frightening and feel real. He doesn't remember the seizures, but he vividly remembers each horrifying dream.

In his waking hours someone is out to kill him. Are these dreams connected to real life, if so how and why? He is a loner, a simple man, who wants him
So, I Read This Book Today
The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis. Dante Alighieri

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people. Carl Jung

Come on, he says. Maybe I want to offer some fatherly advice or some goddamn thing, right?

Poor Jeff Grobnagger cant catch a break. You see, he suffers from seizures. Seizures that fling him not only into the pain of the seizure itself. They throw him into another world a
eden Hudson
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I used to have a friend who would say This hurts like real life when a book or comic hit on something particularly truthful. That was the highest compliment he could give a book. For me, Fade to Black hurts just like real life. Jeff Grobnagger, our narrator and very reluctant hero, is trapped in that ironic detachment so prevalent in our generation, trying desperately to stay away from relationships of any kindfriendship, dating, random social interaction, you name it. There were times while ...more
Kit Power
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ive been eagerly looking forward to this one ever since devouring the superlative Chasing Shadows Everywhere earlier in the year. Since then, LT Vargus has become LT Vargus and Tim McBain (I guess technically they always were, but whatever), and after a naturalistic standalone novel, this time were given the first part of a projected five part series (!!), Fade To Black, a dark tale of magical realism.

The authors have lost none of their touch with regards to voice: in the marvellously named Jeff
When Ms. L.T. Vargus sent me a message through twitter recommending this book.. I thought, why not?! It is on a genre that I am into: a coming of age paranormal mystery/horror. And the blurb really got my interest.

Its about a 27 years old loner, Jeff Grobnagger, who suffers from seizures And during these seizures, he dreams himself being strangled and killed by a hooded man. Then he wakes up and all is good.. till his next seizure and he is killed again. On these seizure-induced-dreams, he
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Casting Shadows Everywhere, despite being a juvenile YA, was actually just decent enough to check out McBain & Vargus's venture into adult fiction. Sadly, it was just more of the same. They raised the age of their protagonist from teen to 27, but the narration still sounds as if done by a smart alecky teen or the most part, and while his hermitized self contained misanthropic nihilism was actually entertaining and realistic, the author felt a need to fix him via yet another absurdly heavy ...more
Bernard Jan
Nov 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, fantasy, fiction
Even though the story wasnt as gripping as my beloved The Scattered and the Dead series, I enjoyed McBains and Vargus writing. There is a certain beauty to it. ...more
Kyler Tolman
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Before I pack everything up, I scrawl a note and magnet it to my fridge: Dudes, Please stop trying to kill me as soon as possible. Thank you, Jeff Grobnagger.

I was contacted by Tim McBain and asked if I would be interested in reading his novel. Of course, I said yes! And I am so glad I did. This book was amazing. I really loved it. It made me laugh, it made me think deeply, and it was so relatable.

Jeffery Grobnagger is what you would call a loner. He doesnt like being around people if he can
E. Hart
Oct 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Here's the 10,000-foot view for those who are looking for a quick summary: This is a fantastic first entry in a series that blends the universe-building complexity of Lev Grossman's "Magicians" series with the sardonic, wiseass lovechild of Victor Gischler and Chuck Palahniuk. Part urban fantasy, part coming-of-age, "Fade to Black" is a megaton followup to McBain's and Vargus's first novel, "Casting Shadows Everywhere."

Danny Tyran
Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jeff Grobnagger is a twenty-something, cynical introvert, who does his best to avoid reality. Supported by his online poker winnings, he's doing a pretty good job of being a recluse with no job, no girlfriend and no friends. Unfortunately, he has a problem Recently, he's been plagued with a series of recurring dreams that put him in an apoplectic state. The dreams are always the same. He finds himself in an unenviable position that despite his best efforts always ends messily for him.

His latest
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So many things to say...what are words?...I say.

"Pants. Poop them." (p. 160)

(Update March 2, 2015:)

Fade to Black starts off with an opening that immediately grabbed my attention: (view spoiler) And continued to completely amaze me with humor, insight, and mystery. In sum, Tim McBain and L.T. Vargus created a story of mystery that is also a philosophical journey to understanding life. Is that a
Jeff Gilpin
I finished Tim McBain and L.T. Vargus' book, Fade to Black, a few weeks ago and I have been struggling to get my review in. I rated this book with 5 stars, mainly because it is a well written interesting story that kept my interest from the beginning to the end, so writing a review should be a breeze, right? Well it has been tough for me because the book is a little different from the rest of the books I have read, and I've read quite a few. The book is written from the protagonist's point of ...more
RJ (I Need Another Bookcase)
Reviewed by RJ at http://ineedanotherbookcase.blogspot....

Jeff Grobnagger is just a normal guy who suffers from seizures. While not visibly odd or alarming outside the normal, in reality, Jeff is transported to a strange realm, where he is finds himself reliving the same dream over and over again: arriving hanging upside down, being chased by a mysterious figure, and getting killed. During one such seizure he wakes up and meets Glenn, a man who, through his own struggles, Jeff comes to find
Elizabeth Mathis
Live. Die. Repeat.

Dying violent deaths over and over again totally blows. Loner Jeff Grobnagger has learned this the hard way. Every time he has a seizure, he dreams that a hooded man strangles and kills him. He runs. He fights. He hides. No matter what he does, his efforts end in a pretty bad case of death.

But when someone tries to kill him in real life, he realizes that what happens with the hooded man isn't just a dream.

"Dude, please stop trying to kill me."

Who is the hooded man? And who
Dale Ibitz
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is really 4.5 starts, nearly perfect.

OK, I've read McBain/Vargus's books before, and I have to tell of my favorite writing styles *ever*. I was captivated by the voice from page 1. The style has a witty, clever, funny edge to it that completely draws me in. This book did not disappoint in that area.

Now that the gushing is over, let's get on with it, shall we? So you have this dude, Jeff, who's dying over and over again in what appears to be dreams. Or nightmares. I guess if some
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
I have already read one McBain and Vargus novel, Casting Shadows Everywhere, and thought it good enough that, when I saw a box set of their new Awake In The Dark trilogy on sale at 99p as a newsletter promotion, I would give it a try. The first in the trilogy is Fade To Black.

I enjoyed the beginning with its graphic and detailed description of what might be real or might be a bizarre dream as our hero, the implausibly named Jeff Grobnagger, finds himself hanging by his ankle and needing to
Patricia Hamill
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
Sarah Black
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Sarah by: L.T Vargus

This book follows Jeff Grobnagger, a normal young man who suffers from seizures. He goes into a dream state every time and dies, when he wakes he doesn't recall having a seizure and vaguely remembers the dream. Glenn is a man who's lost his daughter and is determined to find her, Glenn isn't who he seems and he knows more about Jeff's dreams than he lets on. Jeff brings a lot of dark humor to this book, I found myself smiling constantly. He sees the world differently to most people.
Lisa Sandberg
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It is a pretty simple book, with a good storyline, and not a bunch of characters.

The main character, Jeff, has seizures, blacks out and has a reoccurring dream where he is strangled by a person in a hooded cape. He can not figure out the dream. He then meets Glenn who wants/needs his help in finding his daughter. In turn Glenn tries to help him figure out his dreams. Some very strange things start happening. The ending is definitely one that will make you want to read the
Bren MacDibble
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to LT Vargus and Tim McBain via their free book Casting Shadows Everywhere. I was impressed by their writing style and found very little to fault in that book. Fade to Black fortunately came with Bled to White because I devoured it in two days!

This is top quality writing. The characterisation is deep and wonderful. This author duo have completely tuned into their upper YA/New Adult readership. The pacing is spot on and the writing is professional. The main character has a casual
Faith Cummings
Jun 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fade to Black: a Story of Fear and discovery

This book is unlike any book I have ever read. It is in some ways like a fantasy, and in others, startlingly real. It has characters who seem to be there just to teach the main character some specific lesson, and some who are there to help him on his strange journey. The reason I gave this book five stars, and the reason I will probably read the rest of the series, however, is that even though I have never read a book like this before, and even though
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
How many stars you give usually to a book that you have read in a day and half? How many stars, if it has you compelled to bring the e-reader even at dinner? 5 stars, obviously! I loved Fade to Black, really loved it.
I think the compelling thing is the mystery behind the seizures : why Jeff continues to have those ? He's ill? Is he really a special being? Then you begin to know Jeff, for real, chapter after chapter, and you fall in love with his sarcasm, the general humor of some bad situations
Jack Kenreck
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed Fade to Black. It was funny, adventurous, and mysterious all at once. The character creation and development was clear and clever and enjoyable to read.
The writing style is strange and I don't know how to describe it. It's good, but I don't think that I have read anything quite like it before.
The story is unique in the most awesome way. Not in that it has to do with the occult, a person dreaming out a thing that must happen, or in the direction they take with character
Alejandra Paz
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dark, twisted, hilarious and refreshing

This book is one the most refreshing books I've read recently. The main character, Jeff's views and ideas of the world and life in general are refreshing, dark and twisted and almost sad, but different which is refreshing. Although at some point he gets really annoying because I feel like he self-pitied too much, at the end, you can't help but from a sort of connection or at least an understanding with the character. I loved this book, I recommend anyone
Georgiann Hennelly
Jeff Grobnagger is a loner. Every night he has the same terrifying dream over and over. Everytime he has a seizure he dreams that a hooded man kills him. The dreams feel very real and they are frightening.When he is awake someone is out to kill himbut who and why? Are the dreams somehow connected to his real life? Jeff must figure out what is real and who he can trust! A great psychological/ horror story.I enjoyed the dreams they were very horrorying and the thrill the reader experiences ...more
Donna Rae
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal
I don't even know how this book got on my kindle, not my typical read. Sometimes I one click just because I like the cover, that may be what happened here. A slow and confusing start for me, I almost gave up but I was bored at work so I trudged on. The more I read, the more the main character just pulled me. Being able to identify with him is what snagged me. It took a couple chapters but I'm hooked! So many questions. As soon as I finished, I bought the next one. Sometimes the best books are ...more
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