Fade to Black by Francis Knight, narrated by Paul Thornley
Imagine a combination of 1984, The Hunger Games, and a James Patterson mystery novel. That is the best way I can sum up Fade to Black. A world so intriguing, mysterious, and exciting that you want to live in it, and yet then again, maybe you don’t. A plot that never stops moving and throwing stuff at you, and with every page you become more and more wrapped up in it. Characters that you want to be, or be friends with, or take a good swing at. I am so excited about this novel, guys. I can’t recommend it enough.
First, the characters/narrator. I love Jake. I love Pacha. I love Rojan. I love them all. I love the way they talk to each other (or don’t talk to each other) and argue with each other. And the narrator, Rojan, is awesome. There are three things that makes Rojan a fantastic character, and a new favorite of mine.
First, he’s different. He’s not the “guy who wants to be a hero,” or the “I want to prove myself” or “I’m looking for my one-true-love” kind of guy. No, Rojan just wants to finish his damn job and get on with his damn life. He doesn’t want to be a hero or a villain: he just wants to get paid, go home, and find a new girl to chase. He’s the reluctant hero.
Second, the word “loyal” is not in Rojan’s repertoire. He specifically admits to enjoying the chase more than the catch, and for some reason, that’s really attractive! And of course, the girl he falls for is so perfect for him that it’s not even funny… in fact, if she’d come to terms with the idea, he might actually manage not to cheat on her. At the very end after he’s managed to kill the bad guys, save the planet, and rescue the girl, the only thing he was focused on was getting into the nurses pants.
Third, his personality is just fantastic. He’s such a pessimist, and admits to being a cynic. He makes the most absurdly snarky comments about everything, to the point that even in a tense scene there’s comic relief because he’s such a clever bastard (as a matter of fact, I think he actually calls himself that at least once).
The ending was wonderful, and left me feeling satisfied and complete, even though I can’t wait for the next book: not because it had a cliff-hanger, but because it was just so good!
Only thing I hate: It’s book 1 in a 3-book series, and the other two aren’t published… This happened to me while reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and The Better Part of Darkness. Gah! So annoying!
Content/Recommendation: Language and violence and dark humor. Mention of rape and sex. This is an adult book, maybe older teens, ages 18+. It’s totally worth the read. It’s also hilarious.