Busted Synapses – Erica L. Satifka


So yeah, I’m all caught up on my streaming shows and have to wait another day before the next episodes drop. This new episode release strategy is killing me bro. I prefer to binge a whole season in a single sitting. Get off the couch at 5am and be all covered in crumbs from the seven different snacks I devoured. Just a crime scene outline of Doritos, sour patch kids, and popcorn surrounding where I sat for the past 10 hours. So anyways, I had a few hours to burn and figured I’d rip through this book. It’s like 98 pages long which is about as high as I can count on a good day. Yeah, right, the book, let’s do it.

Dale and Jess are living in a dead-end town with dead-end prospects hoping for something better. Jess was a pretty smart cookie and went to the college in the Developed Zone Pittsburgh only to get massively crushed by student loan debts that she could likely never repay. She is looking for an escape for sister and herself but is stuck. Dale flips burgers and deals drugs to fuel his escape in virtual reality gaming. Dale and his buddies pop these pills and do these rad VR gladiator battles. “Are you not entertained!” Reminds me of when we’d steal my buddy Kyle’s Ritalin and play Super Smash Bros for 10 hours straight. That upbringing must be why I binge watch tv to 5am.

So the whole east coast was destroyed in these freak storms. The Midwest big cities were rebuilt and run by the big evil Solfind corporation. Solfind seems to have their fingers in every aspect of life even though these little dumpy towns in the Undeveloped Zone aren’t under their direct control. Their main jam is creating androids that started as rescue bots after the storms, but eventually started taking over everything. I don’t trust ‘em, definitely something sinister with these bros.

Anyways, this android Alicia comes to town and just stirs everything up. It’s like when that one chick shows up at the party that slapped Kelly at that last kegger. Something’s up and shit is going to go down. So Alicia is trying to escape her own problems too, but just opens up a whole new can of worms for everyone else in Wheeling. Oh yeah, the setting is the town of Wheeling, which has the best hockey team name ever, “Wheeling Nailers”, HA! I wonder if they’re still around in this book? Probs not, oh well.

Yeah, so everyone’s life basically sucks. They’re all losing their jobs and are trying to escape life. They all face the same problems most of today’s America but in the future. Student loans, insane medical costs, automation, addiction, unemployment, need for purpose, yada yada yada. The more the world advances the more it stays the same.

This book was a fun rip but I ended up with too many unanswered questions. They created this massive futuristic world with evil corporations, mysterious androids, cultish folk singers, travelling circus acts, and lost VR communities, but were all left to titty twist in the wind. It was a true slice of life tale but a pure tease on the rest. I guess that was the point and I give a single-hand clap to the author who left me wanting more.

Well, that’s all I got. Adios Amigos!

Busted Synapses has been published and you can order a copy here. A huge high five to Erica L. Satifka, Broken Eye Books and NetGalley for the ARC.

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