In the year 2102 mankind has discovered the secret of eternal life. Human souls can be moved from one body to another through the process known as transference. Control of this new technology has fallen under the dominion of Jovian—a powerful prophet and head of the Church which governs every aspect of existence.
Banished to a mining colony on a distant planet for lawlessness is Barrabas Madzimure—the king of thieves. Only when Barrabas faces execution does he claim that another man committed his infamous crimes decades earlier. The authorities are suspicious. Is he the Madzimure of legend, and a threat to Jovian's new world order, or just another victim of transference?
The epic story of a personal mission, Transference takes the reader on a heart-racing journey through rebellion, revenge, self-sacrifice, and the soul’s search for identity.
When everything you believe about civilization is a lie, the ultimate power is truth.
Keaton’s worldbuilding is expansive and effective. The plot provides natural moments of partially explaining the situation on Earth and its history, including Barrabas’s interrogation and his confusion upon returning after decades on a distant planet. Other narrators extend the scope without too much disorientation, though some have few enough chapters to raise questions about the choice. Fans of epic, constantly evolving arcs will be pleased with the multiplying trajectories whose resolutions always propel future events.
The narrative has some unfortunate blips. Having constructed a setting where any body might be inhabited by any person, Keaton twice makes shocking revelations of certain characters’ inner identities, which are hard to reconcile with their behavior. The explication of Jovian’s true motives in a chapter-long “self-righteous soliloquy” is also confounding. Readers who can follow the three-body monte will enjoy the futuristic tough-guy dialogue (“You got some nerve, flarkwad!”), action scenes, and melodrama.
Takeaway: This mix of theology, technology, action, and melodrama gives fans of intricate thrillers much to chew on.
Great for fans of Dan Simmons, James Gunn.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B+
"A superb read and undeniably worthy of the praise it’s received Transference is recommended without reservation and a must read for discerning fans of the Science Fiction genre."
A wrongly imprisoned man tries to rescue his family and topple the regime that convicted him in B.T. Keaton’s speculative novel Transference.
"Overflowing with futuristic drama and suspenseful action, Transference by B.T. Keaton is a debut gem in the sci-fi genre."
"Keaton just might attain literary immortality with this commanding debut novel." - Kate Robinson