Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Trip Yash is resigned to his life on Truog Island. He processes people coming in, makes money, and stays out of trouble. That is, until he meets Cron, a newcomer from the mainland. All of his caution goes out the window and he has sex with Cron even though it goes against every rule in the society he lives in. He's shocked when he's not dead the next morning, but he didn't get away unscathed. His arm eventually mutates into a canon of flesh that spews a corrosive, white liquid. Trip becomes a fugitive and has to choose if he wants to simply run away or try to change life on the island for good. 

Weaponized has an undeniably unique world steeped in body horror. Because of the Sex Wars and the loss of the Sexual Liberation Front, no one is allowed to have sex on Truog Island. If they do and its discovered, they will be immediately recycled, which looks like being publicly disemboweled and their body parts being repurposed to create weapons. Instead of being recycled, they can choose to become a Lich who have hardened internal organs as armor, mutilate their faces to appear more fierce, and dedicate their lives to enforcing the law. Propaganda tells the public that otherwise they'll die of the Hollow, a disease that will dissolve them from the inside. Reality shows that a variety of things can happen to them like becoming a Stalk like Trip did or gaining powers of shape or mold flesh or fusing together with a lover.

This government echoes real life situations especially with conservative states and schools who either spread misinformation about sex or flat out refuse to teach anything at all, leaving young people vulnerable to STIs and unwanted pregnancies. I also found it telling that weapons are literally made of human remains and the government was looking to find a way to kill more people to produce more weapons. When he becomes a Stalk, Trip uses his sexual drive as a literal weapon to fight against the corrupt government along with other people affected by the government's poison and disregard. These people are typically outside of the norm and seen as disposable like sexual people in general, bisexual women, and gay men. The exploitation doesn't stop at the people and extends to the island itself, which is revealed to be a living giant that poisons its inhabitants.

Weaponized is one of the weirdest books I've ever read. While the concepts are well done, some parts of the book lag. The plot and pacing lose their way in the middle of the book. I was questioning where the book was going and it lost momentum. Some processes could have been a little clear like the differences between becoming a Lich and a Stalk. There was an overabundance of ideas that sometimes weren't fully explained. Some of the descriptions grew a little monotonous. When something is described as phallic or oozing so many times, it loses its punch and doesn't seem as grotesque. Other than that, Weaponized is a bold, impressive debut novel and I look forward to more from Zac Thompson. 

My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins

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