There is some excellent writing in this book. The authors obviously have a strong grasp on something that a lot of authors I’ve read recently have trouble with. That is, giving the right amount of description and avoiding massive unnecessary info dumps as I was subjected to in Ready Player One (I outright snickered when I hit a point where one of the characters is talking about a client’s ridiculously obsessive interest in the 1980s.)
The characters are interesting, and though not exactly fully-fleshed out, given enough depth that none feel like cardboard cut-outs. Though, to be honest, with some that’s a “just barely”. Mainly the songstress and her slightly The Goblin-esque husband. Kai, I think, is my favorite (probably because I’m always attracted to strong, self-confident women in literature.) Occasionally, early on, I got confused as to who was doing what, as there were several characters to keep track of, but as I read more and got to know them, I didn’t have that problem again. So I’d advise readers to stick it out if they feel like there’s too much happening. It does get easier.
One of the things that I really like about The Beam is how well the relationships are written. Nothing is floating-on-clouds perfect. People do bad things. People do good things. Sometimes bad people do good things, and good people do bad things. Just like it should be.
There are definitely more than a few pop-culture nods, but they are done in such a way that you just smile a bit when you see them, and then move on.
There’s nothing that I can truly criticize (beyond TBDCH (The Big Dang Cliff Hanger) at the end that’s meant to make us want to read the next season) and I admire the authors’ obvious talent.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.