Reviews of Dark Fiction

A Life Transparent by Todd Keisling, Book One of the Monochrome Trilogy

Meet Donovan Candle. A regular guy, with a regular job, a regular wife, a regular…everything. Then something happens that turns Donovan’s life down a totally different path. Is that a bad or a good thing? You’ll have to read this short novel to find out!

I liked Donovan straight off. I said above he was a regular guy, but his wife has fibromyalgia and that hurts him, just as it hurts her, but in different ways. Unlike a lot of husbands, he adjusts his life to be better able to help her. Being a woman with a few health issues, I know that a lot of men don’t react that way, which is part of the reason I liked him so much.

Donovan always wanted to write a book, when he and his wife met in college, that was the plan. Graduate, write the book, get famous, get rich. As we get older, we all realize life is what happens when you’re making other plans. Fast forward a few years and we find Donnie working a sales job in an office where competition rules. The job doesn’t allow for a lot of time for him to write, but it does pay the bills and now there’s a baby on the way. Then, at the worst possible time, Donnie starts flickering in and out of existence. What, you say? I say, he entered the Monochrome!

I won’t say any more about the plot-just a words about how the book made me feel. What gets you into the Monochrome? The day to day to day routine is what. Who can’t relate to that? Most people I know are not living the life they thought they would, including myself. Especially now, with this pandemic going on, daily life is that much more routine. Boring. Numbing. Losing. I say that because when this feeling washes over you, you feel as if you’re losing. When you compare your dreams and what you thought your life would be, to what your life actually IS, I wager that many of us would come up short. How many of us act on that feeling? How many of us just trudge on and on?

A LIFE TRANSPARENT asks those questions and Donnie answers them. I asked those same questions of myself and I bet you’ll ask them of yourself too, if you decide to give this book a try. I recommend that you do!

Recommended, and I am highly anticipating my return to the Monochrome, as soon as the next book is available!

Thank you to the publisher and author for the eARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it!

A Life Transparent Book Cover A Life Transparent
The Monochrome Trilogy #1
Todd Keisling
Horror, Dark Fiction, Paranormal Suspense, Mystery
Bloodshot Books
March 2, 2021



In A Life Transparent, first published in 2007, Todd Keisling welcomed readers to the Monochrome—a nightmarish parallel reality—and introduced Donovan Candle: a modern everyman experiencing an early mid-life crisis. Now, Bloodshot Books is proud to present a revised and expanded edition, featuring Keisling’s all-new afterword series, “Who is Donovan Candle?”

Donovan Candle is boring.

Consummate husband, supportive brother, hard-working employee—a paragon of the diminishing Middle Class. Like so many others, he has fallen into routine and compromised his dreams for the sake of a paycheck. After a bad day at the office leaves him low, all Donovan wants is to sleep off the disappointment and start over.

Donovan Candle is terrified.

His body is fading out of existence. He’s seeing strange visions of the world in monochrome and horrific creatures lurking in his periphery. No one else seems to notice, and as the odd afflictions intensify, Donovan fears he is losing his grip on reality.

Donovan Candle is disappearing.

Someone breaks into his home and abducts his wife. Before he can contact the authorities, a stranger’s ominous phone call urges him on a path to her rescue, but only if he follows the rules. The clock is ticking, and with every step Donovan slips further into a state of transparency. Will he be in time to save his wife—and himself—from the dangers of A Life Transparent?


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