Skip to main content




Lorraine "Rain" Thomas is a self-described mess. Born to a wealthy family in uptown Manhattan, and growing up with dreams of becoming a ballerina or some kind of famous dancer, Rain should have had it all. Instead, she became pregnant at age 16, and shortly thereafter, the father of her child was killed by an IED while with the armed forces in the Middle East. Rain is forced to give up the baby, a boy, for adoption immediately upon birth. These events prompted a tailspin that led her to hard drugs and a fast train to an early grave.

Rain suddenly woke up one day in her seedy and miniscule Brooklyn apartment and decided to take her life back. She joined Narcotics Anonymous and worked hard to live her life without illegal drugs. She got herself a puppy to take care of and made a solid support network from some of her closest friends in NA. She still feels haunted, though, and even believes someone may be hiding in her apartment. There is one particular scene early on in which the tension is high as Rain swears someone is in her bath just beyond the shower curtain. Of course, no one is there.

One day, on her way to an important job interview, Rain meets an elderly Hispanic woman who sees her straining to read her own resume. She offers Rain her eyeglasses, a typical old style of glasses hanging from a chain worn around the neck. Rain finds that her eyesight is immediately improved. However, the right lens is shattered with a spider web of cut glass covering most of the sightline. It is through these cracks that Rain swears she sees things that shouldn't be there --- almost like another dimension. She believes she sees a young boy who takes off into a busy New York City intersection in the middle of traffic. She runs after him and is honked at loudly and rained on with expletives. When she yells back that she jumped out to try to protect the boy, the rude motorists insist they saw only a crazy lady in the middle of the avenue.

"GLIMPSE is the kind of book you won't be able to put down once you've started it, and you may find yourself hiding under the covers if you choose to read it in bed."

When Rain shows up at the interview, she is greeted rudely and promptly ushered to the door. A confused Rain asks why and is told she is late. What she thought was just a few minutes late ended up being 24 hours. Somehow, Rain lost an entire day in what seemed like mere moments, and has no idea how or why this happened. Thus begins the terrific, genre-defying new novel from highly imaginative author Jonathan Maberry. If you’re not aware of Maberry, then you’re a little late to the game. He has been writing some of the best thriller, horror and suspense fiction for the past few decades --- including a number of terrific graphic novels for Marvel Comics. He burst onto the scene with a trilogy of books that created a modern and completely original take on vampire lore. Here's hoping that GLIMPSE gets him some much deserved bestseller status.

The book plows forward with many unexpected turns. The opening sequence seems to promise something out of “The Twilight Zone,” but nothing is as you might expect, and GLIMPSE turns into many different novels all happening simultaneously. The best comparison I can make is that it reminded me of the dark fantasy of Neil Gaiman if the landscape were NYC instead of London. What Rain gets a glimpse of with the special glasses is a potential other realm, one that she believes she has seen in her darkest dreams, and the young boy may or may not be Dylan, the son she gave up for adoption years earlier.

GLIMPSE is a hard novel to define, but one in which readers can easily lose themselves. It is filled with a slew of colorful characters: a mysterious cab driver named Sticks, who seems to have a ticket to the other realm --- the Fire Zone; Yo-Yo, Straight Bob and Gay Bob, her support crew from NA; and the special investigator Monk. What makes Monk perhaps the most interesting character here is that the clients he works for are all deceased. He literally sees dead people and pursues justice for them. His body is covered in painful tattoos that bear the faces of each of his clients. His path is intertwined with Rain's when he takes on the case of a young male suicide victim who, it turns out, may be Dylan --- but in a future that has not happened yet and may still be prevented.

Monk and Rain inevitably become linked in their desire to enter the Fire Zone and save Dylan from the Shadow People. Most of all, they fear the demonic presence they refer to as Doctor Nine, who may possess Dylan's soul and wants more. At one point in Monk's investigation, he seeks out a friend who is a college professor specializing in ancient folklore. It is here where we get some of the novel's most chilling passages as Dr. Jonatha Corbiel describes what may be the origins of Dr. Nine and the Shadow People.

GLIMPSE is the kind of book you won't be able to put down once you've started it, and you may find yourself hiding under the covers if you choose to read it in bed. Maberry's style here harkens to the aforementioned Gaiman, as well as some of the earlier works of Clive Barker and Stephen King. It provides pure escapist entertainment, but most of all, it gives readers the same thing our protagonist is seeking --- hope.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on April 13, 2018

by Jonathan Maberry