03 November 2014

Transfixion by J. Giambrone

 It's nothing short of the end of the world.

Someone has weaponized the broadcast spectrum – gazing upon the transmission is enough to steal your mind.

Kaylee Colton faces a technological Armageddon when suburbia shatters into civil war. All alone, and unable to speak, Kaylee will need to fight to survive and transcend her own fears if she is to stand against these enigmatic forces of destruction.

Transfixion is an action-laced rush that will burrow straight into your brain..."
Many of us own at least one television set and spend at least a couple hours a day watching it. What if some organization or individual weaponized the broadcast system turning anyone who gazed upon those screens into mindless angry killers?

Kaylee Colton is an awkward teenager whose love of reading knows no bounds. Even in the midst of a
technological Armageddon she’s focused on reading but who can blame her for burying her nose in a book while the world goes mad. Her suburban neighborhood has become what looks like a war zone. Her annoying brother has become an emotionless killing machine. Everyone seems to be either dead or crazy but at least her Ghost Hunter stories can offer her some comfort, normalcy and peace. In fact even I became lost in the Ghost Hunter stories as Kaylee read them. (Please, J. Giambrone turn those glances you gave us of Jasmine and Kurtz adventures into a novel I can read!)

Eventually Kaylee has to pull herself out of her book fantasy world and face reality. While hiding out she meets up with a teenage boy named Dustin who knows of a school where some others are taking shelter and working together. Kaylee reluctantly follows him and joins the group. At first the group sees her just as another mouth to feed rather than an asset but slowly she proves her worth as a member of the resistance. Her intelligence and moral compass allows her to become a leading voice and she pushes the focus from merely surviving to actually going out and destroying the broadcast system turning people into “dupes.”

 J. Giambrone did a great job of building up the depth of the confusing emotions the characters were experiencing as they muddled their way through a scary turn of events. He gave the teenage characters faults that were realistic and true to their development. These aren’t battle ready warriors but average teenagers trying to survive. They falter at times, fumble with learning how to use weapons for the first time, pee their pants when facing incredibly strange and dangerous situations, hide in attics hoping no one notices, and cry quietly to themselves missing their parents.  Yet, in the face of all that uncertainty they are determined which is why you can’t help but root for them and hope they all make it out alive. Just imagine going through your most awkward period of life while the world is in the midst of an Armageddon.

The storyline doesn’t get into the why and who’s behind the technological Armageddon but I wasn’t bothered by that because we’re stumbling along with Kaylee learning information as she does. We’re just a bunch of book nerds wandering our way through a world falling apart.  There is a message to be found in Giambrone’s story, a message about letting mass media influence our thoughts, the idea that we all need to take the right steps together toward peace and topple the very forces that have divided us and put us into a state of mindless anger.


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