THE LIMINAL MAN is the sequel to Todd Keisling’s A LIFE TRANSPARENT. The story takes place one year after Donovan Candle made a commitment to change his life. He now works on missing person cases for his brother, Michael, and is expecting a baby with his wife, Donna. Despite the stress of his job and the worries that come along with becoming a father, everything seems back to normal for Donovan. But since TLM is part two in a trilogy, we know that everything’s not going to be normal for long. Has Keisling succeeded at writing a fantastic follow up, or has he created a lackluster sequel?

If Keisling used the “bigger is better” approach with TLM, it definitely shows. There are more characters to care about and new villains to fear. We have more Cretins that distract, more Yawnings that eat men whole, and more lost souls that inhabit the Monochrome. There’s also a producer of a reality show, a cop’s wife, and many children that play an important role in the story. Donovan suspects the Monochrome has something to do with the missing persons files he’s working on, but does he have the courage to face the challenges that are presented to him? How can Donovan make others believe what he knows to be true? Is Donovan capable of making life changing decisions under difficult circumstances? These are some of the obstacles that are presented to Donovan in TLM.

TLM is ALT on steroids. It’s way more darker, disturbing, and sinister compared to ALT. I was very pleased by this because it makes for a richer reading experience. The pacing was well executed with the right balance of emotion, action, dread, and suspense. When Donovan crosses between the Spectrum and Monochrome worlds, I felt as if I was a part of the story and experiencing what Donovan was going through. To venture out into the streets of the Monochrome, hide in the buildings, and traverse through the underground tunnels while following key characters of the plot was very satisfying.

Upon finishing THE LIMINAL MAN, I felt as if I’d been physically and mentally pulled in every direction many times over. Keisling has somehow managed to craft alternate realities and woven them together in a way that not only makes sense, but also challenges the reader to follow. Back when I finished A LIFE TRANSPARENT, I didn’t really know how a sequel was going to work. But, somehow Keisling has succeeded at writing an even better story. The final book in The Monochrome Trilogy, which I look forward to reading, will be called NONENTITY.


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Tales From the Library: The Liminal Man
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