The Gathering: Book One of The Uprising Series

The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzo

The Uprising Series tells the story of three freedom fighters and their friends in high — and low — places that The Gathering by Bernadette Giacomazzocome 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.

The Gathering is the first novel in the Uprising Series by Bernadette Giacomazzo.

The Problems

I had some problems reading this book because of the formatting.  The font was small and not easy on the eyes, the paragraph indenting was too much, the spacing between the lines gave you way too much white space, and their wasn’t enough margin, the lines practically run into the crease of the book.

The Gathering - page alignmentThis was a self published book, which means that they are working with small independent printers. The benefit is that the author has more control over the print process, the problems however are that once you’ve approved a print run, you are stuck with it. Not exactly sure what happened with the printing, but if I had picked this book up off the shelf, I would have instantly put it back down. I continued because this was a copy provided to me for review.

After a few chapters I felt I had picked up a different book as I was suddenly lost. It takes a a bit to pick up the sometimes chunky rhythm as the story moves backwards and forwards along the timeline.

The final problem I had was after the completion on the book, I don’t want to give you spoilers, but I will try to minimize this one.

Where did the psychic powers come from? They obviously weren’t there before the world went to pot. Did the writer just want an excuse to throw some sci-fi into the mix?

We’ve Heard this Story Before

The story line is not entirely unique (what story line is these days?), but it does have an uncanny similarity to an old favorite of mine. The whole novel is inundated with an underlying theme of sex, drugs and Rock ‘n Roll and the whole time I was reading the novel I had Styx playing in my head. The story line is very similar to the ‘Kilroy was Here’ story line. The biggest difference is that Bernadette has a whole series to play with and has taken that opportunity to flesh things out. Unfortunately, she hasn’t taken the opportunity to flesh out the back story of the Emperor’s rise to power, hopefully we will see more of that later.

The Good

Despite my problems with the novel, it is a engaging read.

This novel is a dystopian world based around the current political climate in the United States, a ‘what if?’ type scenario. You occasionally get small glimpses of similarities between the current political leaders and the “Emperor”.

One thing that stood out on this novel was the character diversity. You have several characters, all from different backgrounds that have been thrown together and they make it work. The diversity of culture, religion and lifestyle creates an interesting character dynamic. I would like to see where Ms. Giacomazzo takes that, and I hope she delves further intot he characters themselves.

This novel does not have a straight forward beginning and ending plot, it is merely the beginning of the plot, but it leaves you wanting more. The ultimate plot is to overthrow the government, how they get there is yet to be determined. The Gathering introduces the characters and gathers them together in preparation for the next novel.


Overall I can only give this novel three stars. If you can get past the formatting and get into the flow of the book, it is an engaging novel that will keep you reading. The characters are off to a good start and make you want to know more about them. However you do need to ignore any natural skepticism you may have.

But I still have some problems with the psychic powers just ‘being there’.

Hopefully some of the issues I had are corrected in the sequel and maybe a few questions will be answered.

PopCultHQ Rating - 3 Stars
PopCultHQ Rating – 3 Stars

Written by:  Bernadette Giacomazzo
Cover Art by: Jessica Benoist-Young

How we rate our Books

1 = We finished the book with effort

2 = Readable, but more fluff than substance

3 = Good

4 = Pretty Good and worth passing on to your friends

5 = We couldn’t put the book down