Fiction - Science Fiction
394 Pages
Reviewed on 12/20/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Brandon Keaton is a citizen of beautiful Aotearoa and has called the Land of the Long White Cloud home for over ten years. He is passionate about music, loves animals, and also has an undying affinity for gummy bears. Brandon is honoured to support both the Science Fiction & Fantasy Association of New Zealand and the Libertarian Futurist Society. He is currently penning the sequel to Transference—his debut indie novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Transference is an intense work of science fiction penned by author B. T. Keaton. Conceptual, passionate and exciting on every page, Transference is the tale of a criminal slave laborer called Barrabas Madzimure. Whilst mining for the precious eridanium ores on a planet far from home, Barrabas kills a prison warden and finds himself sentenced to death. In a world where immortal life has been achieved, this terror forces him to confess a truth: he himself is an immortal who has transferred his identity to keep himself alive. As he claims to be the missing war hero Thaniel Kilraven, the investigation heats up around him and Barrabas must make a mad dash for freedom.

I found Transference to be a thrilling read from start to finish, not least because of its tense conceptual style and mid-level violent interludes. Barrabas is a fascinating hero with much to discover, and the mystery of his identity and motives really keeps the plot twisting around him with some excellent pacing. Author B. T. Keaton utilizes this to create a mysterious atmosphere with excellent prose but also develops a powerful political chokehold that looms over the rest of the action like a heavy shadow. As the one-man-mission collides with the bigger picture, wonderful developments occur and the concepts of identity and power are intelligently explored amongst the battles and strategies at play. Overall, Transference is a highly recommended read for fans of both conceptual science fiction and intense political thrillers with plenty of action and adventure.

Ray Simmons

Transference by B. T. Keaton is quite the accomplishment. I liked it a lot, mostly because something magnificent is attempted and then successfully pulled off. I respect a person that aims for the moon and then arrives there in spectacular fashion. Transference is a story of a prison that is impossible to escape from. It is a prison and it is a mine. Life on this prison-planet/mining colony consumes the majority of this novel but there are other things going on too. This is a science fiction novel and a big undercurrent running throughout the entire novel is this society of the future and how the church controls it with the technology of transference which, in a nutshell, allows the church to control the population with the promise of immortality through transferring consciousness from one body to another.

Transference is an awesome concept and by connecting it to the idea of a corrupt church you get an awesome story. The characters are great. I knew there would be religious undertones when I found out the protagonist is a thief called Barrabas. His antagonist is an interesting character too, although more a cunning bureaucrat than a powerful bad guy. The setting is a prison and it is primitive, degrading, and depressing. The writing is good as we explore this society and the one man who can bring it down. I found this a great read and B.T. Keaton kept me turning page after page as I sought more information about Barrabas and the church that keeps him locked away.

Christian Sia

Transference by B.T. Keaton is a mesmerizing science fiction tale that follows the incredible journey of Barrabas Madzimure, a man banished to a penal colony for his crimes. Life is difficult as he joins other inmates to do hard labor, extracting a precious substance. While life in the colony is hell for him, everything changes when he kills a warden. Now he will have to miss the one opportunity given to everyone; the chance to have eternal life through soul transference. He must find a way to beat capital punishment. There is a twist and how Barrabas gets to be identified with Thaniel Kilraven, a legendary warrior, is the stuff of genius that will surprise readers. But can he muster enough support from his fellow prisoners to overtake the guards and ensure his freedom from capital punishment?

B.T. Keaton’s Transference is a book that stands out in its originality. Apart from creating a wonderful setting, the penal colony that is symbolic of penal experience, the author introduces a unique concept that nourishes the plot, the secret to eternal life through soul transference. It is interesting how the author uses this concept to create a twist in the story. The novel is very imaginative and filled with grit. Readers encounter a man who is deeply broken and whose path is filled with pain, but then he is out to beat an entire system. The transformation that takes place within Barrabas’ soul is wonderful. Transference is packed with action, fast-paced, and written in prose that is crisp and enticing.

Rabia Tanveer

Transference by B.T. Keaton is the story of a man who has a lot to lose but has too much to fight for. Barrabas Madzimure was banished from Earth for his crimes and he was incarcerated in a distant planet called Eridania. Living among prisoners and savage wardens is hard, but Barrabas is making do with what he has. He knows his life is not that easy because he is hiding a very big secret that he cannot share with anyone else. When he kills a warden, he is set up for execution that will end his journey earlier than he thought. However, when he finds out that his family is still alive, he knows that he must to do anything to get out of this prison, cheat death and find his way back to his family and keep them safe. Can he do it all while having zero help from the outside? Will he have to reveal his secret to be able to complete his mission?

Wow, this was a heart-racing and very entertaining novel to read. This is a perfect debut novel, one I believe is going to make some huge waves in the industry. Author B.T. Keaton has done an awesome job at creating a very believable universe, a character that you cannot help but root for, and a story that keeps you reading until the very end. I cannot praise the author enough for the perfect synergy he created between the characters and the storyline. The universe is believable, the characters are relatable, and the dialogues are exceptionally entertaining. The narrative is very powerful. I love the pace and I simply enjoyed how the author told the story. I believe this is a fantastic start to a series (hopefully) that will set new standards in the science fiction genre. This is an absolute stunner!

Jamie Michele

Transference by B.T. Keaton is a science fiction novel that follows a character introduced as Barrabas Madzimure, a renowned and infamous criminal who has been relegated to hard labor on a penal colony to atone for his crimes off planet Earth. It is soon revealed that Barrabas is actually Thaniel Kilraven, a war hero who has undergone a soul transfer from his own body to Barrabas's body. He learns that his family, whom he believed to be dead, are actually alive. Desperate to get back to Earth—a planet that is now under the authoritative rule of The Prophet Jovian—Thaniel must do what most would consider impossible: break out of prison, get off Eridania and back to Earth, and navigate a hostile new world without suffering the same fate he has just learned his loved ones had survived.

B.T. Keaton has delivered a wholly unique and completely original concept with Transference, with a murder interrogation that catapults the story from page one. Barrabas/Thaniel is an exceptional character who is able to drive the storyline through his own point of view, one which allows the reader to connect with him almost immediately. My initial concern was that the plot and world-building might be a bit too ambitious for a debut author offering up a compact read, but the plot and progression are as layered as they are fleshed out, and there's no question that both Eridania and Earth are vividly developed. The book moves at breakneck speed with tension on every page. I look forward to seeing how Keaton is able to expand and branch out from a strong foundation with all the right bone structure to evolve into the series that we've been promised will come.

Ruffina Oserio

Transference by B.T. Keaton is a science fiction novel that features a memorable protagonist and a phenomenon that stands out in its originality — the concept of transference. Barrabas Madzimure has no hope of survival and to return home after being transferred to an inaccessible and harsh penal colony. His days will be spent for the rest of his life digging for the precious substance called eridanium. Things escalate when he kills a prison warden. Now he faces capital punishment. But there is a way out of the dilemma. Barrabas suddenly claims he isn’t the legendary thief who is in Eridania because of his infamous crimes. He claims he has inherited, through soul transference, the soul of war hero Thaniel Kilraven. What follows is a plot to escape the hellish colony and he can’t do it alone. The reader turns the pages with bated breath, hoping to see him make it out of there.

This is a story with themes of family, heroism, self-sacrifice, and survival. The author introduces the concept of soul transference to explore one of the dreams that have haunted humans, the hunger for eternity. In a world where one can survive by accepting the soul of someone else, facing death becomes a very painful experience and that is the height of the psychological conflict that Barrabas is caught up in. The Barrabas in Transference had me thinking about the biblical Barrabas, crucified with Christ and facing imminent death. What are our choices when faced with death? What desperate things are we willing to do to live a minute longer. This novel explores our mortality from a unique and fresh perspective and offers entertainment that allows us, at the same time, to ponder on some of the serious questions about being human. B.T. Keaton’s novel is deftly plotted in a setting that is vividly painted and with characters that are real and multidimensional.

Sam Luo

The story begins in media res, with the main character Madzimure (a snarky and cocksure Han Solo-ish type) being interrogated for a man he murdered while saving a fellow prisoner from sexual assault. In the questioning he reveals his true name, a once-famous criminal, long sought for his crimes against the Church on a bleak "future Earth." But how does a guy who's been imprisoned in an underground mine for decades break out easily. if at all? Well, to put it simply, he doesn't. There's a week-long brouhaha within the prison where sides are taken, bitter alliances reaffirmed, and dark secrets are revealed. With the hope of returning to Earth handed to him by an unlikely ally, Madzimure sets a course for the home he has not seen in thirty years.

There's a lot to unpack in this semi-violent speculative sci-fi melee where half of the characters are not whom they seem, while the other half float in and out of the scenery swiftly but almost always leave an impressionable mark. Character perspectives change every couple of chapters without warning, but you can quickly gain your footing in the first paragraph or two if you're paying attention to the narrative. And it's within the latter that Keaton excels at; planting threads at the start that the reader can connect as the story approaches its close. The bonds of friendship and family, a desire for revenge, and the necessity for self-sacrifice all intertwine to ask a sobering question: do we really want to have eternal life? And if we do, what price are we willing to pay for it?