When all of humanity is connected, the network's hub is the true seat of power.
In the year 2097, the only stable nation is the NAU: a dystopia exploding with new technologies and ruled by two political parties. The choices are Enterprise (sink-or-swim ; effort and luck determine whether members prosper or starve) or Directorate, where members are guaranteed safety but can never rise above their station.
Above it all is The Beam: an AI-built computer network that serves every whim and connects citizens through implants and biological add-ons. The Beam anticipates every need and has created a world within the world. It permeates everything. It is everywhere.
But now the NAU's power is shifting. The Beam seems to be taking on a life of its own as immersion becomes as real as reality itself. New powers are making their moves while others hang in the balance ... and behind it all, a shadowy group is pulling strings. But if the NAU's true power goes unchecked, the actions of a shadowy few will shape the fate of millions for years to come ...
Customer ReviewsSee All
I prefer a story that is finished on its on not left hanging so you have to keep buying to get the end. Even though I read this season 1 wasn't impressed enough to read the 2 following books. I didn't like the detailed violence or the graphic language. I did think it contained a lot of today's politics.
One word: excellent
I'm a Beam fan, and I didn't think I would be. The story was well-developed and complex, and full of great twists. I loved the worldbuilding and the character work.
I listened to the audiobook version, and it is the best audiobook I've heard this year. This is also the first audiobook I've listened to without reading the actual book alongside it. I'm a big fan of Sean and Johnny, but sometimes their books can get dense--not in a bad way, but you have to delve really deep inside because their worlds are insanely detailed. But their style works incredibly well in audio, so well in fact, that this is my new favorite way of consuming their stuff. The story was so much fun--all the technology, the characters, and the way their stories interweave without many of them ever meeting. It's thought-provoking, too, and it really makes you think about the future. I'm really eager to see where it goes. I didn't think I would be a Beam guy, but I ended up liking it a lot.
The narration was stellar. I especially loved Rachel Fulginiti as Kai and Ray Chase as Doc. They really brought the characters to life. All of the narrators were good, but some were stronger than others.
Writing style-wise, there's a lot to love. It's sumptuous without being too overbearing and imaginative and intriguing. It translates extremely well into audio, too, which is a plus. Don't NOT read this without the audiobook! It's that good.