*This book was supplied to me by AudiobookReviewer.com. This review was originally published on ABR’s website.*
The first season of The Beam started out with Natasha Ryan’s performance, and the second one starts out the same way. Yet things have changed massively. The Beam: Season 2 begins relatively soon after the first season left off, but what a difference.
At first, the plot moves along very quickly with major changes that affect some favorite main characters, especially Doc and Natasha Ryan. Those were two of my favorite storylines. A few new characters are added to the mix, some extremely important and some that will clearly play a larger part later and were mostly being developed in this season.
As much as I enjoyed this season of The Beam, be forewarned that it’s not as action packed as the first season. Instead, there’s a heavy focus on developing relationships and strategies and possible outcomes instead of having lots of running and shooting and escaping death. This isn’t a bad thing – the authors handle it well – but if you expect it to be the same as the first season, you might be disappointed. Expect a change of pace and you’ll be just as impressed as with the first one. Maybe even extra impressed with some of the revelations. Just shift your thinking a little.
Authors Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant have once again outdone themselves in terms of comprehensive futuristic technology. Now that the first season dealt with setting up so much of how technology works in the world of The Beam, this season went a few steps further and took you into Matrix-like forms of mind penetration (less code, more description) and the beginnings of the Beam itself as well as the degree to which a human body can be changed so that an identity can be lost. Let’s leave it at that.
One of the greatest new parts of this season was something rather unusual. Insertions of corrupted recordings of “off panel” conversations were included, which give the reader a look up the skirts of the Beam itself. They were also the best read parts, in my opinion. The voice talent – Doc from the first season – incorporates the raw code that shows up in corrupted files into his reading flawlessly and really makes it sound fluid. It was amazing to listen to and I looked forward to those rare parts.
Voice talents returning from the first season of this series were still impressive and well acted, and new talents were also fitting for their characters. I think the huge cast of talent (15 in total!) worked better in this second season of The Beam, but I can’t put my finger on why. Perhaps it’s because I was more used to it this time or maybe it’s because the way each character spoke across voice talents was more consistent. Either way, the authors have once again chosen wonderful talent who work their parts quite well and truly embody the characters.
As always, we have much to look forward to in the third season of The Beam – and much to fear.