Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Transubstantiate” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book


3.89  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  35 reviews
“They say Jimmy made it out. But the postcards we get, well, they don’t seem…real.”

When an experiment with population control works too well, and the planet is decimated, seven broken people are united by a supernatural bond in a modern day Eden. Most on the island are fully aware of this prison disguised as an oasis. Unfortunately, Jimmy is on the mainland, desperate to g
Paperback, 227 pages
Published June 18th 2010 by Otherworld Publications
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Transubstantiate, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Transubstantiate

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  154 ratings  ·  35 reviews

Sort order
Paul Eckert
Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There's a lot to love about this book.

Mysterious experiment on a strange island? Check.

Multiple characters with distinctive, equally engaging stories? Check.

One non-human character that speaks in computer language that still manages to creep me out? Oh yeah.

The characters in Transubstantiate all want the same thing. They want out. What they want to escape from differs from character to character, from the mischevious nympho protecting her son to the man whose struggle seems be his own supern
May 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
A book that tries to bring together a lot of disparate elements, what Transubstantiate has in ambition does not make up for its short comings in execution. It seems like this book was self-published so expecting a veteran editor there helping to shape the book is too much. However, Thomas could have at least run some grammar checker on it to keep the typos from accumulating until sentences started to evoke News Radio's Super Karate Monkey Death Car episode where a book is translated into Japanes ...more
Brandon Tietz
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I also read a pre-publication draft of this book. The bottom line is that Richard Thomas has got the goods.

For a debut, he goes balls out on this one: sizeable cast, jumpy timeline, complex story, but Thomas pulls this off seamlessly without it ever feeling disjointed or convoluted. He doesn’t spoon-feed the reader. TRANSUBSTANTIATE will make you think, question, and come up with your own theories about what’s happening/going to happen, and I loved that aspect of it.

Regarding the actual writing,
Mar 19, 2011 rated it liked it

tr.v. tran-sub-stan-ti-at-ed, tran-sub-stan-ti-at-ing, tran-sub-stan-ti-ates

1. To change (one substance) into another; transmute.

2. Christianity To change the substance of (the Eucharistic bread and wine) into the body and blood of Jesus.


Richard Thomas’ seven-voice neo noir thriller borrows heavily from obvious sources (Lost, the Matrix films, Ghost in the Shell, and any number of psychological thriller/horror/sci-fi tropes, but the end result it entirely its own thing. As
Nicholas Karpuk
Apr 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I have a great deal of respect for fiction where the author essentially plants a foot on your ass and shoves you out the door without explanation. Things will happen, exciting things by in large, and you must adapt and figure it out as you go. It's takes a certain kind of guts to even try this, let alone pull it off successfully.

Transubstantiate is chocked full of risk. It's told from multiple, very different perspectives, one of them not even human. It sits at an odd intersection between multip
Caleb Ross
Part mystery, part thriller, part apocalyptic exploration, Transubstantiate offers questions at every page. It’s been a while since I’ve read the book (I read an early, pre-publication draft), but the fact that it stays with me is quite telling.
Simon West-Bulford
Jun 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-friends
Okay, so there may be some bias from me in considering this novel. Having seen the early draft and being privileged to see this develop, I was thrilled to see it get published, but I remember reviewing it, looking forward to reading each chapter, and dreading whatever fate was in store for the seven characters. I was eager to get my hands on the final glossy product so that I could enjoy the whole story all over again. And enjoy it I did.

There’s no escaping Thomas’s fond nod to “Lost” or “The Pr
Greg McCarthy
May 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Richard Thomas knocks it out of the park with his debut neo-noir thriller. Seven characters roam a post-apocalyptic island in this one-of-a-kind ride, searching for absolution, redemption, or just plain survival.

Part Bradbury, part Cormac McCarthy, part Lost, TRANSUBSTANTIATE takes the reader on a careening, zig-zagging trek to a dizzying conclusion, and Thomas takes us inside the head of each character with unique first-person narratives from the viewpoint of all seven. Vivid imagery, violence,
Jason Kane
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Craig Wallwork
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
For me, and a few other writers who know Richard, Transubstantiate seems like the novel been around almost as long as we’ve known Richard. That’s not to say it was written a long time ago, quite the contrary. No, it’s through his enthusiasm and passion, energy and love for this novel, that Richard has ingrained Transubstantiate into my psyche forever.

By far one of the most uncompromising and determined writers around, Richard is gifted at prose as he is sincerely gracious. It’s sickening, if th
Roger Sarao
Aug 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Six people find themselves in a lone struggle against an alien (computer-generated?) entity known only as "Assigned" who has masterminded the almost complete elimination of human life in order to run God-like experiments on the survivors. Combining elements of neo-noir, science fiction, thrillers and social commentary, TRANSUBSTANTIATE confounds the reader's expectations through a story that is impossible to put down. I took extended lunches and stayed up way too late because of this book. If yo ...more
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Transubstantiate is not an entry-level neo-noir thriller. For a good part of the novel, the real story develops as more of a monstrous, unrelenting backdrop, the great unknown slowly revealing itself as it lurks just behind the text you're presented with, the first person accounts of a handful of individual characters whose lives will become intertwined.

If you like Twilight, then you may as well move on. Or better yet, put that third-grade-writing-level garbage down, pick this one up and try to
Giovanni Gelati
May 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I decided to start our new Sci-Fi/Paranormal postings a week early. I had gotten a hold of Richard Thomas’s Transubstantiate and had to give it a go. I thought I was on an awesome roll; let’s keep the momentum going. Disappointment was not to be had and Thomas kept the ball rolling right along for me. The definition of the title Transubstantiate is to change from one substance to another. With a word that big I was expecting something longer, but hey, what do I know?

The novel is to be released J
Fred Venturini
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Weeks have passed since reading this book, and I still can't shake it. Bold and aggressive, the narrative that jumps among seven voices doesn't nurse the reader along with a standard, unroll-the-plot-in-clear-order delivery. Instead, the soul of his book is dusted off line by line, character by character, chapter by chapter, like the dusting off of an artifact that was there all along.

What does all this meandering from me tell you about the book? Read it. Anything that can remind you of "Lost"
David Donaghe
May 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From Otherworld Publications website: "When an experiment with population control works too well, and the planet is decimated, seven broken people are united by a supernatural bond in a modern day Eden. Most on the island are fully aware of this prison disguised as an oasis. Unfortunately, Jimmy is on the mainland, desperate to get back, in a post-apocalyptic stand-off, fighting for his survival and that of his unborn child. Back on the island, Jacob stares at the ocean through his telescope and ...more
Benoit Lelièvre
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
That was quite different! TRANSUBSTANTIATE (is really hard to write correctly) and is the story of several survivors of a population experiment gone wrong, trying to transcend their post-hecatomb condition. The structure of the novel is very fragmented, yet dynamic. Several chapters contain sub-chapters that are narrated by the different protagonist that each occupy an equally important part of the story.

It's confusing at first, but one the characters start meeting each other, the narrative beco
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010, reviewed
I always thought that first books are supposed to be just average, that writers get better with experience. Transubstantiate is a well-crafted novel that seems like it should be from someone near the end of their writing career, not at the beginning.

To be honest, I read the entire book in one day. I just had to know what was going on in this "mind-trip" of a book. I am still thinking about this book, trying to grasp all of the book's creative subtleties.

This book demands a "re-read." Not many
Kristin Fouquet
Jun 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
I’m compelled to admit I don’t usually seek out post-apocalyptic themed books, but this one caught my interest and so I thought I’d give it a read. I’m very pleased I didn’t miss out on Transubstantiate.

Richard Thomas pulls you into his tightly crafted tale with the clever use of multiple narrators. The device equips the reader with experiences of the future present and past of a world in trouble from many perspectives. This intimacy of being allowed in each character’s mind fully connects the r
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everybody who wants a creepy, thrilling, mystery
Shelves: favorites, dystopian
I'm not going to lie, this book creeped me out from page one.

There are serveral characters, which we follow through the entire story. They all have different story lines that are all interesting on their own, but seemingly very differet. They all lead to the greater plot in the story and come together in one huge, amazing, and surprising climax that you will never see comming.

Did I mention that the non-human character was the creepiest of them all...who thought a computer could be scarey?

I've ne
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, noir
Transubstantiate is a very good neo-noir sci-fi thriller. It's a book of multiple genres and Richard Thomas pulls it off very nicely. I see the noir influence of Will Christopher Baer and the thriller influence of Stephen King with the sci-fi aspects of a show like Lost. My only problem is that with all of the different elements it got a little bit confusing at times, but not so much that you get completely lost. A very interesting read that I would recommend to anyone looking for something diff ...more
Chris Deal
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There's a lot to think on when it comes to this debut. It's bold, ambitious, and intimate all at the same time. Seven characters sending the narrative forward or backwards, giving you a glimpse at a world you can only hope doesn't come to pass. Each character can act as a sort of archetype but is entirely themselves, free from expectations. Nothing is easy, there are no simple answers, but at the same time, you'll enjoy the trip down the rabbit hole. I enjoyed every page, every character. There ...more
Jeremy Darby
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great freshman effort from a very promising writer! The name drops of Chuck Palahniuk and The Velvet authors were a little awkward, since I know Thomas is a big fan, but beyond that I had no trouble immersing myself in the novel's world. The characters each had a distinct enough personality that I didn't get lost in the constantly shifting narrations, and they each brought an interesting element to the story by telling things from their point of view. I highly recommend this to any fans of the n ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it liked it
The thing about having a Kindle is now you can get a bunch of free books. So I downloaded this awhile back, but just now got around to reading it and went into it having no idea what it was about. Turns out it's this CRAZY mix of Lost and the Matrix and a post-apocalyptic virus devastated world...and there's a talking chipmunk. I still don't know what all was going on here, but it was intriguing enough to keep me reading til the end.
Peter Goutis
Aug 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. This is a really solid debut from Richard. It's a book that kind of sticks with you. I'm not sure if I'm done processing it yet even though I finished it a couple days ago. I can't wait for our Book Club discussion on it because I have a quite a few questions I'd like to see answered.

I highly recommend this one to just about anybody.
Daniel Short
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Say one thing for Richard Thomas, say he's got the heart of a writer. I admired the scope of this novel, and though at times it stumbled (yet never stopped moving), I admired the man's heart that bled through nearly every page. Read this book, simply because there is nothing quite like it.

And it's a debut! Are you kidding me? A very solid five.
Sabi Edwards
Oct 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the type of book you read in a day
not because its only 227 pages, but because it captivates you , til you've devoured it up.
If you want something completely different this is the book for you.
Georgina Kamsika
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent first novel by a talented author. I've been lucky enough to read the odd short before, but with this novel, Richard has out done himself in creating a mysterious world, populated by living, breathing characters.

Well worth a read - go buy it now!
Oct 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Impressive debut. This was really my introduction to neo-noir as a genre. Richard Thomas is a great, inventive, imaginative storyteller. Highly recommend.
Bryan Alaspa
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is a challenging read, but worth it. I love discovering a new voice within ficiotn and Richard Thomas is IT. Highly recommended.
Christopher tm
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Stay Go d
  • Warmed and Bound: A Velvet Anthology
  • Stranger Will
  • It Came from Del Rio
  • Eternal Vigilance (Eternal Vigilance #1)
  • Morning Is Dead
  • The Book
  • Archelon Ranch
  • Dark Property
  • Dr. Identity
  • UFO in Her Eyes
  • The Guardener's Tale
  • The Third
  • The Maze of the Enchanter
  • Deadstock
  • Altered
  • The Chill
  • Hell's Half Acre
Richard Thomas is the award-winning author of seven books: three novels—Disintegration and Breaker (Random House Alibi), and Transubstantiate (Otherworld Publications); three short story collections—Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press), Herniated Roots (Snubnose Press), and Tribulations (Cemetery Dance); as well as one novella in The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books). With over 100 stories published, h ...more