What he learns might have the power to change the world.
Star Rating - 5
It’s not often that I read a story that hits me like the Awake in the Dark series has. There’s just something about it; a wonderful concoction of suspense, hilarity and amazingly layered characters.
Meet Grobs; Awake in the Dark series’ leading man. He’s an introvert, an unsuspecting hero, and a guy so in need of pep talk you’ll be rooting for him until the very last page, every time.
Jeff Grobnagger begins his journey in an alley, tied by his ankle and awaiting his death from the Hooded Man. He’s been there before, over and over again, each time meeting his demise. That’s just chapter one of book one. You’ll be hooked by the first paragraph, or at least by the time Grobs begins stroking a dead dog’s corpse while hiding in a dumpster.
He’s the guy that can’t catch a break, and the guy who just wants to sit in his small bubble eating a jar of pickles. The hardest part about reading Grobs’ story, is how deeply he resonates within you. In book one, you’ll fall in love. By book two, you’ll come to realise that you and he are the same person. By book three, you’ll give your left leg to make him real, just so the two of you can sit alone, in the dark, eating peanut butter off a spoon.
Grobs is what makes this series magnificent. He hides behind his satirical nature, always surprising you with his deeply philosophical thoughts. Layer, upon layer, he’ll get to you, right in the feels.
However, before I continue harping on about my newest fictional character obsession, or decide I need to start a fanfiction series, I’m going to talk about the way this series is written.
McBain and Vartgus have thrown together an imaginative tale with an edge. There’s no fluff here. No part of the story that doesn’t play a vital role. It’s quick, witty and most of all, clever. As writers all know, getting a character right is just one of the major hurdles to be faced.
These two have nailed Grobs.
The setting is fed to you in crumbs, slowly building up to create the world of Jeff Grobnagger. Book three takes us further into the unknown dream state; a place outside the conscious level. I was there, standing beside Grobs, ready to take a bullet; egging him on in a situation that seemed helpless from the get-go.
But, this is what reading this series is like: A whirlwind of overly intense possibilities centred around a guy who doesn't even know how he fits into the world, let alone within a whole new population of seizure-junkies. And you'll be there, every step of the way.
And then there’s the moment you will lose yourself in the story, and turn out to be the person who laughs out loud in overpopulated areas. This happened to me on more than one occasion. Perhaps my humour is similar to the writers, but I have to say, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to feel so many emotions within one story. I made a fool out of myself during my commute, and then found myself staring at the cover for a long time after finishing book three.
Five stars is what I can give this series because, that’s how it is done. If I could give it six, I would. If I could stand on top of a tall building and yell at people to read this series, or fly one of those planes with a large banner displaying the words ‘Read it!’ I would.
With twists and suspense interweaving within gloriously emotional self-doubt, this series won’t be one you will forget. Simply hilarious, it stands out among today's overcrowded market. You can’t pick up this series without wanting more.
Good news: There is more. So that’s good.
Get your copy of the Awake in the Dark series box set HERE