by Bernadette Giacomazzo
I’m delighted to be taking part in this one day blitz and review for The Gathering, the first in the dystopian series, The Uprising. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite.
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.
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As a huge fan of dystopian stories, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this book. It did not disappoint. It was a fast-paced, exciting read, in which the correlation with the modern, political world was humorous and scary in equal parts. I found myself laughing at the absurdity of the Emperor’s actions and the world he had created around him, only then to realise this was all a little too close for comfort. This was an addictive read. The story grabbed my attention from the start and held me rapt until the end.
The premise of a former rock ‘n’ roll star leading the Uprising was really original and highly entertaining. The pristine whiteness of everything surrounding the Emperor contrasted dramatically with the venues in which the band performed years before. The setting came to life, equally as strong as the characters within. Having read the author’s bio, it’s clear she knows the music industry well, and her insight was integral to the plot. The lifestyle of the band members felt so real, and the flashbacks kept the story fresh and made me root even more for the Uprising to succeed.
The transition from band leader to Cabal soldier to rebel made for a strong character in Jamie Ryan. With his brothers-in-arms, Perrinault and Shinomura, the author created a believable group of heroes, men who came together to support each other in true Musketeer style. In all, this book was chock-a-block with great characters: an evil, egocentric villain; a fascinating, funny, and endearing band of rebels, and a mother & daughter duo (the “damsels in distress”) to be freed from the grasp of the Emperor.
My favourite character was Evanora, the daughter of former band member Jordan (now deceased). I loved how she had a rebellious streak, listening to her father’s music (forbidden by the Emperor) and visualising the performances he’d given with the band.
Jamie Ryan was her father’s best friend, and the obvious choice to be her god-father. A role Jamie took seriously, promising to protect her no matter what. But he didn’t reckon on the changes that gripped society so soon after her birth. Neither knew the other had survived. Having not seen or heard of Evanora in years, finding her alive brought new impetus to Jamie’s quest for the Uprising to succeed.
Their relationship intrigues me. While having lived a sheltered and privileged life so far, Evanora will no doubt become the glue that binds the tale together. And she has already proved that she will not shy away from the fight ahead. Jamie, also, has promises to keep. Keeping Evanora safe, and leading the Uprising will be challenging. This first book of the series has certainly whetted my appetite for more.
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.
Giveaway – Win a paperback copy of The Gathering (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Winner will be asked if they prefer a paperback or a digital copy. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then the giveaway organiser reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time all data will be deleted. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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