Unexpected Horror in Translucent || BOOK REVIEW

Translucent by Dan Rix


Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Sci-Fi, Horror
Author: Dan Rix
Published: January 2015
Publisher: Burning Ember Press
Pages: 228 {e-book}

Originally posted on Goodreads

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

Yeah so I’m leaving this one at a 2-star rating. To say it wasn’t my cup of tea is an understatement. The blurb doesn’t really give much away but this is the perfect book to freak you out when it comes to being worried about someone being in your house. Whilst I was hooked on the mystery of what on earth the main character had done to cause her so much anxiety and the mystery of this meteorite – a lot happened and nothing, literally, was resolved. I’m creeped out on level ten and strongly do not recommend to anyone who doesn’t like creepy horror. Even if it’s not intended as horror. *shudders*


Ho-ho, so let’s begin the real body of this review. Nothing gets my goat like a book that miss-promotes itself. I believe there is an actual word for that but miss-promotes will do. Why doth my goat be got so badly? Because horror has unwillingly been foisted upon me and I do not appreciate it. It makes me as uncomfortable as the word foisted.

I’m going to promise that this review won’t be horrendously negative but I must get this off my chest so that I can move on with my life. Do forgive me, but also grab a biscuit and maybe tea (or something more adventurous like mango juice) and enjoy this ventilation of angst (and no I will not stop using words wrong).

Translucent is a story about a teen who is more than averagely f**ked up. From page one until about page 150 (there are approximately 200 pages in this book) mysterious references are made to an event that happened earlier in the year such as: WE SAID WE WOULDN’T TALK ABOUT IT/I CAN’T LOOK ANYONE IN THE EYE/I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THAT.

Eventually we find out what has happened but in the meantime we concern ourselves with a different plot line. In the middle of the night two girls, Megan and Leona, best friends who fight like a married couple, see a shooting star streak from the heavens and crash-land alarmingly close to them. They do the only thing one would do in this situation: investigate. Upon discovering the crater, Leona (the main character) climbs into it and takes a bit of the meteorite that had broken off (burning her fingers in the process because ouch). Suddenly, special forces descend from the heaven out of what one calls helicopters and zone off the area. The girls slink away and take the meteorite as a keepsake.

Time passes. The gist of the story is that these girls are already freakishly paranoid by the mysterious event that Must Not Be Named and the rock starts to secrete a fluid. Which is kinda gross. In keeping with the title, we discover soon enough that yes, this fluid can make them invisible. A great game to distract them from their moderate-to-severe paranoia/anxiety/stupidity.

You would have thought that was enough of a plot line, right? Yes. But alas, a girl has been killed and when we start to do hypothetical maths along the lines of Leona + paranoia + reluctance-to-drive-car + dead girl + particularly-freaked-by-girl’s-brother = they probably ran over the girl. That was my theory in any case. So, meteorite lands, girls have potentially have killed someone, and then a lot of doors mysteriously open and more people die. And that’s my summary of this book.

Horrific Stuff

I just wasn’t anticipating where this book was actually going to go. It had a fabulous cover and that makes me really sad that I didn’t 100% love it. Good covers obviously herald the Best Books Ever, but not in this case. I don’t deal with horror very well, I’ve never managed to sit the whole way through King Kong. The fact that the girls are immature and using the fluid that makes them invisible (which they decide is Dark Matter) to do irresponsible things (such as creeping into people’s houses) and then the book swings from full-blown sci-fi to full-blown paranormal/spooky didn’t sit well with me.

So for the sake of other fellow horror-hating friends out there, let me run down what you’re going to encounter within these 200 pages and then you can prepare yourself:

  • Ghosts.
  • Ghosts writing messages in fogged up mirrors whilst you’re in the shower.
  • People standing invisible in your bedroom watching you.
  • People pretending to be ghosts and messing with others.
  • Decomposing bodies.
  • Well, just one decomposing body.
  • Several doors opening that we swore we left shut.

The problem that I had with this book was then that it was so bloody addictive to read that I had to know what was going to happen. I flew through this book. It’s ridiculously addictive and has you turning the pages like crazy. But also nothing was resolved. Like, literally, nothing is resolved in this book. The only thing that changes from page 1 to page 200 is that we learn exactly what the girls did and why they’re paranoid. I would have liked closure on at least one of the other 600 plot lines.

It’s scary. I know I don’t have anything close to a threshold for horror but damn, you try sleeping after reading a book about people dying and people sneaking into your house invisible to do whatever. About doors open that were definitely closed and poking around graveyards. Somebody desperately needs to amend the blurb; describing Leona as a “troubled teen” is not a sufficient umbrella for what is actually going on here.


So go on then, let’s hear my thoughts on those aspects:

1. Megan is a bitch. Jesus Christ. Yes, what a good idea, let’s make fun of Leona over the fact that she’s killed a girl in her year by TURNING UP INVISIBLE TO HER HOUSE AND PRETENDING TO BE THE GHOST OF ASHLEY. Great idea. Why would Leona possibly get mad at you for that?

2. Sarah dies. The scientist to whom the girls take the dark matter to examine. A supposed suicide until her FREAKING GHOST SHOWS UP WHILST LEONA IS IN THE SHOWER AND WRITES HELP ME ON THE FOGGED UP MIRROR. Can I even begin to express how uncomfortable this made me?

3. I never, ever, ever, ever want to read a description of what a three-month-old decomposing body looks like in my life. But that happened.

4. I found it very difficult to like Leona at all when she spends every night creeping into Emory’s house (Ashley’s brother who’s going mad trying to work out what happened to her) and watching him. That’s a nope.

5. Maybe the fact that it takes so long to find out that Megan and Leona were high smoking pot, driving a car when they hit Ashley and then dragged her body into the woods to hide it and not go to the police should’ve been a hint this was going to be horror. Suspense, right?

6. When Leona comes home to the house’s front door being open I was 100% done. This was not what I signed up for. And when she finds Ashley, the dead girl whom she killed, standing in her room saying “avenge me” I was ready to burn the book. Not only is that REALLY, REALLY TERRIFYING but it also doesn’t make sense. Why is Ashley asking Leona to avenge her?

7. The only reason I’d continue to read this is because the rock talks to Leona and whilst I’m expecting it to materialise as an axe murderer wearing a tutu and kill her at some point, I want to know where it might go. But I’m not willing to continue reading the series to find out.

8. Also, why don’t her parents care more?


Just to quickly go over these two: I didn’t like them. Leona was ridiculous. I get that if you were in that situation maybe things would be hard like they are for her. But the way she handles everything was immature and stupid. If you’re that mentally unstable and have a rock that talks to your mind, you should probably seek help.

Megan was unfathomably horrible. What kind of friend exacerbates their friend’s fragile mental state like that?

Emory was weird. He was manipulative and scarily irrational. Was anyone else concerned with how the last portion of the book went for him? Who even does that?


So look, this wasn’t for me. This is what any review from me would look like if I read horror. I’m just mad that this book doesn’t hint at how horrible the plot gets before you read it. I wouldn’t have touched it with a ten foot pole if I’d known how badly that was going to escalate. If you like horror and ghosts and disgusting stuff, maybe you’ll enjoy it. It’s written quite fine and the plot is catching if lacking in any resolutions. Two stars for keeping me hooked enough to get to the end and enjoying it a tiny bit. But for the most part, it’s a big, fat NOPE from me.

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Have you read Translucent? What did you think?

Share your thoughts below!

Happy Reading

~~ Kirstie ~~


4 thoughts on “Unexpected Horror in Translucent || BOOK REVIEW

  1. I had many issues with this book (and the series) but it has definitely become a guilty pleasure – it’s curiously addictive. It is marketed as a science fiction series, and definitely get’s more into that genre in the sequels. But there is always a creepy factor. Rix likes to write flawed, sometimes, unlikable characters, but takes them on a journey to redemption. So the storyline gets more and more fantastic and Leona does a lot of growing up in subsequent instalments. Overall I really like this collection, though I have a love/hate relationship with them. Characters annoy me, the plot gets a little convoluted, but it is compelling reading. It really didn’t eep me out all that much, but I can see where you’re coming from in your review. The translucent series is a unique twist for this genre. Sorry to hear you won’t continue on,but really enjoyed reading your thoughts. Happy reading.Oh,and P.S. Don’t count all those you think as dead as gone just yet… I mean it is science fiction, so there is a sciencey reason for everything and the paranormal aspects get debunked… that is all ;p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear that the story gets a bit better as the book go on! It’s definitely an interesting book with interesting characters that’s for sure 😂 ah well, I guess this just wasn’t for me! Thanks 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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