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Todd Keisling ‘A Life Transparent’ Review


Written by: Matt Molgaard

Of all the fresh talent I’ve discovered, and all the fantastic new novels that have grabbed my attention and disrupted my sleep over the years, few, if not all, pale in comparison to Todd Keisling’s debut novel, A Life Transparent. This is a frantic, fun read through and through. There’s a relatable quality to this tale and the focal figures of the story that not only resonates, but forces self-examination and interrogation: this sounds like my life. Have I become a complete non-factor? Why do I do what I do, and what purpose do I serve? Why in the hell has this book crawled under my skin in such pronounced fashion?!

Anyone who wasn’t born with a shiny silver spoon tucked in their mouth has more likely than not hit a point in life in which the future, the present and the rapidly disappearing past come into scrutiny. Being indeterminate is a part of life. Doubt is natural. It’s the ultimate decisions we make in life that either make or break us, and it’s the ultimate decisions that Donovan Candle makes that determines whether or not he’ll simply fade away one day. Here in one instant, gone in the next, trapped in a strange world with strange monsters that would happily make him a meal.

It may sound wild, but that’s the gist of this story. It’s a story that deep down, is about living an enjoyable, rewarding life. Of course the true details of this one are rather horrifying, and readers will no doubt call into question key characters’ ability to endure tumultuous struggles and survive an encounter with a powerful entity from another layer of life, a layer known as the Monochrome: a layer where the useless are used in accordance.


The Monochrome is no place for man, but Don and his brother Mike are forced to confront this strange dimension after Don’s tedious life and lack of speaking existence leave his wife Donna in danger, kidnapped and held against her will. The Brothers Candle will fight time and follow the rail of an elusive man (the only to ever successfully escape this alternate reality) who may hold the key to Donna’s release.

It must be said: Todd Keisling’s prose is simply infectious. This is a smooth narrator here with a knack for likeable characters and a marked understanding of continuity. His pacing and approach make for a swift adventure that leaps to the forefront of the mind. Aiming at an audience who favor works that fall somewhere between the intricacies of Clive Barker and the direct in-your-face no nonsense style of Brian Keene, Keisling is one hell of an author, and A Life Transparent is one hell of a breakout novel.

His latest, The Liminal Man, serves as a direct sequel to A Life Transparent, and rest assured I’ll be covering that inside of the next two weeks. I’ve got a feeling that one’s going to beckon like heroine to the addict. These are characters I care about. I’m eager to see what direction these brothers choose to venture in. That’s a good thing.

Buy this book.

Rating: 4.5/5

About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

2 Comments on Todd Keisling ‘A Life Transparent’ Review

  1. Once again you have given me something new to contemplate …consider…and of course end up reading.Looking forward to this trip into another adventure…just me…the old hippie…


  2. Its hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what youre talking about! Thanks


2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Get a Copy of Todd Keisling’s Amazon Top 25 Ranked Novel ‘A Life Transparent’ FREE, Right Now! | Horror Novel Reviews
  2. You’ve got 24 Hours to Get Todd Keisling’s ‘A Life Transparent’ and ‘The Liminal Man’ Free! | Horror Novel Reviews

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