- Series: The Beam
- Paperback: 602 pages
- Publisher: Realm & Sands; 1st edition (February 28, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 162955071X
- ISBN-13: 978-1629550718
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,134,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Beam: Season One (Volume 1) Paperback – February 28, 2016
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Top Customer Reviews
Perhaps that's my fault: The book is subtitled "The Complete First Season Collection," after all, suggesting the story will continue into a future season, like a TV show. But often on TV the season finale ends with a big bang: They blow up the chicken man. Sunnydale High is destroyed on graduation day. Monica and Chandler get married. Or there's an OMG cliffhanger: "Mr. Worf, fire."
A book, even the first book in a series, needs to have a climax. This one piles promising mystery atop promising mystery atop promising mystery, and the tension builds to – a screen that says "Want to know what happens next?" Well, yes, mission accomplished. But I found myself wanting more of some sense of completion.
I feel fortunate to have waited to read Season One until after Season Two came out. My hope is that there, I will find something resolved at the end, or at least one helluva cliffhanger. This one doesn't quite deliver. Well, OK, it delivers all the way until the final, baffling, "You stopped THERE?!"
Right from the start you are drawn into the world created by Sean Platt and Johnny Truant, and once you start reading, you just can't stop! Without difficulty that is. The world comes alive before your eyes, the characters take on a personality with a few traits you can relate to yourself.
The main part of the storyline everyone will identify with the most is our current society norm for being online, and constantly. If I want updates on my children, I can find out more about their lives by checking their Facebook pages (detailed to the point of everything they eat, shocking to us members of an older generation), the continual updates, photos, trips, it's all there, and faster than trying to get a hold of them by phone. True it's friends and family only, but who really has over 500+ close friends, or even 100? OMG, did I just call myself old? Then again, being born before the creation of the public internet makes me ancient (according to one of my children). But I'm bird walking, back on topic...
With a society that uses texting or video chats instead of phone calls, it's really easy to be drawn into the world of the Beam. Before you realize it, you've read several episodes. Good thing this set contains the entire first season. The knowledge that the Second is already available, one quickly finds themself hitting that purchase button so you can keep on reading.
I'm so glad I didn't know about this series until the first two seasons were out, it's bad enough that I have chewed my nails to the nub (not really, just being over dramatic 😇) as I wait for more episodes to be released on their shape-shifting Cursed Series. If I had to wait for more than that one, my mind might just explode!
No noticeable typos or errors in sentence structure, the storyline flows at an even pace. Character development is well fleshed out, just enough details to help you relate to each character, yet not too much making it boring to the point you want to skip pages.
NOTE: I was given a Free ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book in exchange for an honest and impartial review. As those who know me can attest, if I didn't like it, receiving a Free ARC won't prevent me from giving a One Star review. I actually liked this series enough to buy the official release version as well. It's that good.
I really like Johnny and Sean. I listen to their podcasts and get a lot out of their writing advice. I still like the guys but, and maybe this is a bit harsh, I feel like after reading the first three seasons of The Beam, that I'll probably now be more likely to take their advice with a grain of salt.
Season One is solid. The Beam has a great premise and some of the ideas that Johnny and Sean have incorporated about our future, and specifically our evolving relationship with technology, are truly fascinating to think about. (I mean, seriously, some really, really cool ideas, and it's almost worth reading The Beam just for that.) I enjoyed reading the first book and was excited to immediately start Season Two.
Unfortunately, it feels like the guys bit off more than they could chew. Again, fascinating premise and ideas, but the storytelling becomes convoluted. Between the complex ideas with incorporating advanced ideas around future technology and the intertwining of various story lines, by the end of the third season I was feeling quite detached from what's going on and really struggling to feel immersed with the plot. I also had hoped that Season Three would end with a more satisfying finale, but it left me feeling cold and with so many more questions than answers.
I would say that there's two main problems with The Beam:
1) The characters are blah. I see what Johhny and Sean are trying to do with each character, but they never feel quite evolved enough. More importantly, NONE of the characters had me feeling vested in their outcomes. I think the most damning thing you can say about character portrayal is that you have no attachment to what happens to them, and unfortunately that's the case with the characters from The Beam.
2) The quality of the story telling doesn't match the quality of ideas. The writing is fine (although the number of typos is frustrating, especially after listening to the guys talk on the podcast about the importance of releasing a product without typos). But the storytelling is kind of sub-par. It feels like tons of work was done in worldbuilding - you can tell there's real depth to what the guys thought of for The Beam - and yet it all feels rather cold and shallow in its portrayal. My biggest criticism however is the plot becomes overly convoluted and becomes a real pain keeping track of what's going on, where everyone's at in relation to each other, who fits in where, etc.
I feel pretty bad giving this three stars, because I really like Sean and Johnny, and I really, really wanted this to be awesome. Again, I would give The Beam: Season One four stars, if not higher. Unfortunately, the series as a whole lacks the quality of the first season, and by the end it's deficiencies become ever more apparent.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great characters and belivable story lines.
Right i'm off to start season two :)