The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo
The Uprising Series tells the story of three freedom fighters and their friends in high – and low – places that come together to overthrow a vainglorious Emperor and his militaristic Cabal to restore the city, and the way of life, they once knew and loved.
In The Gathering, Jamie Ryan has defected from the Cabal and has joined his former brothers-in-arms — Basile Perrinault and Kanoa Shinomura — to form a collective known as The Uprising. When an explosion leads to him crossing paths with Evanora Cunningham — a product of Jamie’s past — he discovers that The Uprising is bigger, and more important, than he thought.
I have to admire this author’s determination to write a hard-hitting, hard-nosed dystopian novel where New York is under the control of a self-styled Emperor, rather than a ruling elite, and for the most part she succeeds. The style and language give the book something of a fresh feel, but is occasionally awkward and off-putting, and for those who watch these things, I had images of Walking Dead violence, and Star Wars evil ruler running through my head at various points
This Emperor reigns supreme. He has manipulated and connived his way into absolute power, and now controls the citizens by way of his merciless Cabal. The clever naming of this group sets it apart from our notion of what constitutes police or armed forces; it is more like a private army. The Cabal is a vicious and savage military-style group who punish any Infractions of the law, no matter how minor, with impunity. Cabal members can and do mete out death or worse; the worse being psychically tortured into a catatonic, docile state, not unlike zombies. This is ‘psi’, and members of the Cabal are recruited for and trained in this ability. Society does not have any resort to law, justice, or the courts. This is not a democracy; there are no elections. The only course of action to gain freedom is revolution.
The book opens with Jamie (alias Ivan Sapphire) talking to us about himself, his life, his friends, and New York as the city was. His language and style of speech takes some getting used to. He’s a musician in a rock band, that shoots to meteoric success. He is brash, arrogant, crude; stereotypical of that ilk, yet at the same time funny, witty, and off-beat. Then he meets a girl.
Moving forward to the harsh present of the book, we meet Evanora; secretly rebellious, grateful and resentful all at once. With a mother who has sacrificed so much for Evanora’s safety, the young woman is treading a cautious but precarious path.
As friends decide enough is enough, and people start to recognise others willing to fight back, so the faction grows and takes shape. The freedom movement works to depose the Emperor, regain control of New York, and take the city and her people back to its colourful life of liberty and independence.
The book is well-paced, punchy, and uncompromising. It holds a mirror up, albeit a dim one, to society today. The elimination of free speech, the destruction of the Arts, the harsh and pitiless punishment of wrong-doers, with the powerful throwing their weight against the weak, and playing on people’s fears. It is in these circumstances that the unscrupulous and corrupt seize power and in twisting it to their own ends, subjugate a society to a single, tyrannical ideologue.
The author has created a dark and unnerving world that has very recognisable characters and characteristics. There is an immense audience out there for this book, though it won’t appeal to everyone, and whilst I enjoyed it, I won’t carry on with the series.
With an impressive list of credentials earned over the course of two decades, Bernadette R. Giacomazzo is a multi-hyphenate in the truest sense of the word: an editor, writer, photographer, publicist, and digital marketing specialist who has demonstrated an uncanny ability to thrive in each industry with equal aplomb. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and many, many more. She served as the news editor of Go! NYC Magazine for nearly a decade, the executive editor of LatinTRENDS Magazine for five years, the eye candy editor of XXL Magazine for two years, and the editor-at-large at iOne/Zona de Sabor for two years. As a publicist, she has worked with the likes of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit record label, rapper Kool G. Rap, and various photographers, artists, and models. As a digital marketing specialist, Bernadette is Google Adwords certified, has an advanced knowledge of SEO, PPC, link-building, and other digital marketing techniques, and has worked for a variety of clients in the legal, medical, and real estate industries.
Based in New York City, Bernadette is the co-author of Swimming with Sharks: A Real World, How-To Guide to Success (and Failure) in the Business of Music (for the 21st Century), and the author of the forthcoming dystopian fiction series, The Uprising. She also contributed a story to the upcoming Beyonce Knowles tribute anthology, The King Bey Bible, which will be available in bookstores nationwide in the summer of 2018.
Social Media Links –
Brought to you via