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The Beam: Episode 1
The Beam: Episode 1 by Sean Platt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*This book was supplied to me by AudiobookReviewer.com. This review was originally published on ABR’s website.*
The synopsis for this book doesn’t do it justice. It’s only one nano connection in the broad spectrum that is The Beam. Whether the topic is politics, technology, or the backstory of The Beam, the plot is always moving forward. In fact, it’s so chock full of constantly evolving plot lines and subplots that if you stop reading for too long, you need to really take a few minutes to remember where you were. Because of that and its addictive nature, this is a book best read binge-style.
The characters are varied, ranging from a famous singer to political leaders to hippie rebels and beyond. You won’t find yourself wishing there was more diversity, and the character development is done slowly and carefully. It felt as if the technology introduced throughout the book, including The Beam itself, was its own character, with its own backstory, development, and mysteries. The Beam’s personification put this book well beyond the usual dystopian sci-fi bounds and dips into literary fiction in an unexpected way. I was very impressed with that.
The one disclaimer I have to give is that there are parts that seem like the authors wrote them separately and didn’t review each other’s work – they seem to overlap in ways that don’t fit. Be patient. At first I thought there was some huge editing oversight, but later on I saw everything come together and make sense.
The audio talent is good and plentiful with 12 narrators of very different timbres and tones. I’ve seen in many reviews that the voice of Doc is the most criticized, and while I found Doc’s voice to take a little bit of getting used to, I grew fond of him quickly and looked forward to his narrations. I did, however, feel that there were far too many narrators. While I understand the parallel of an epic amount of narrators with an epic technology thriller series, the sheer volume of voice talent confused me, especially as new talent was introduced well into the book, and some voice talent read the same characters in ways different enough from other voice talents that I noticed and concentrated on the difference. Any facet of a book or audiobook that takes away from the writing is less than ideal, in my opinion.
In true Platt and Truant style, The Beam ends in a way no one could guess and leaves you hanging on an uncertain yet satisfying set of facts. A set of facts that will make you read Season 2, which I’m about to start doing right now.

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