Book review by
Monica Wyatt, Common Sense Media
Fade Book Poster Image
Dark tale of a good boy misled by temptation.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

A Ku Klux Klan meeting is briefly depicted. The meeting is broken up by outraged townspeople who oppose the Klan. While invisible, the main character spies on people and commits a murder, then vows never to use his powers again.


Portrays bullies beating up boys, a street riot, mayhem, and several graphically described murders.


Forthrightly portrays the sexual fantasies of a young teenage boy, a scene of prostitution involving a 13-year-old girl, and a scene of incest between a twin brother and sister, all filling the main character with horror and guilt.


Frequent and extreme, though almost always used by villains or unsavory characters.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that in this story focuses on an otherwise good boy who succumbs to temptation, spies on people, and even commits murder but reforms. It also includes a vivid portrayal of Depression-era working conditions. Too long for reluctant readers, this is nonetheless a fascinating horror and morality story, with sensitive character portrayals punctuated by increasingly intense action.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bywinfall April 9, 2008

Sick Trash!

Lots of profanity, sex, incest and violence. Teen boy lusts after his aunt, long descriptions of him having orgasms, etc. He watches a teen brother and sister... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bychocolatte808 June 6, 2017

Review of 'Fade' by Robert Cormier, 1988

'Fade' written by Robert Cormier follows the story of a 13 year old boy named Paul, who discovers that he has the ability to turn invisible or "f... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bypurplehat23 January 10, 2011

good for teens and up

it was a great book and didnt want to put it down, there were also parts that were disturbing and didnt want to read

What's the story?

In this supernatural morality tale thirteen-year-old Paul discovers he can become invisible, but quickly learns that it brings only evil to his life. He spies on people and sees shocking things, then kills for revenge. Vowing never to use his power again, he later confronts his long-lost nephew, who uses the power to commit multiple murders. Suspenseful, intense, and disturbing.


Is it any good?

FADE offers a subject that intrigues teenagers, who can read it as a simple, dark suspense novel if they wish; however, as is usual with Cormier's books, much more lies below the surface. What child hasn't dreamed of becoming invisible? Robert Cormier explores its consequences in this cautionary tale of a good boy who succumbs to temptation, then repents. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the notion of becoming invisible. What could be come positive consequences of being invisible? What might be some negative results?

Book details

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