Ingleside Avenue Press (2020)
Reviewed by Mark T. Sneed for Reader Views (1/2021)
This debut novel by B.T. Keaton is pretty good. I love the premise. What, generally, is seen as good becomes evil – or at least compromised in “Transference.” There is also a science fiction story going on as well. The weaving of these two disparate elements is done expertly. I love the whole flipping of the expectations.
It is also a fine piece of writing. “Transference” is chock full of wonderful elements. There is cloning. There is the big bad. There is this worker-overseer injustice in the mining community. There are other worlds in “Transference” as well. There is Eradania. There is another planet called Fornax. There is the creation of the idea of human history and it being all connected by the few who have control of the transference technology. Keaton tells a complicated story to understand the idea of swapping souls and cloning. To Keaton’s credit I was never lost. I loved the cultish devotion of people when they were let in on the possibility of eternal life.
The main character is the ancient soul of Barrabas, the king of thieves. Because there is a lot of cloning and soul transfers, Barrabas becomes many people and ends or concentrates in the character of Doctor Octavian trying to control the uncontrollable. What I really enjoyed was the villains. They are not 2-dimensional or typical villains. As a reader it is nice to read well-developed enemies. Lord Alpha, Kilraven and Jovian, the Prophet, are smart and brilliant foils to Octavian and the others.
My favorite line is, “Eternal life? What you’ve done is deny her death! Souls are not your toys. Our souls and our bodies are meant to be as one…. They’re united!” I love the philosophical dilemma running through the entire story. The tale, though laced with many plots, is a wild and fun ride. Thoroughly enjoyed the reading and highly recommend to fans of SciFi and intricate plotlines of good versus evil.