- Paperback: 247 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (12 August 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1516865871
- ISBN-13: 978-1516865871
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
Beacon 23 Paperback – Import, 12 Aug 2015
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
I expected a sci-fi dystopic future along the lines of the Wool Olmnibus. However, what I got as I delved deeper into Beacon 23 was a magnificent and mind-numbing exploration of the human mind and human nature - naked and raw in all its beauty and shortcomings.
Howey, in a straightforward and effotless manner, digs deep into the very fabric of human emotions. The entire novel serves a single purpose: to allow the author to pose a grand question. A beautiful and inspiring question.
Some might say that the tone of this novel is too dark and gloomy, albeit I found myself laughing out loud at certain points. I hope those who would say that stuck to the end of the book and were rewarded by the feeling of hope and peace which pervaded my thoughts as I put my kindle down. I honesly hope you will agree and that Hugh Howey continues surprising us with his writing.
Other events further develop the character, eventually allowing Digger to work through much of his social awkwardness and develop a real relationship with another beacon monitor, a girl who arrives as a tuner aboard a new beacon for his sector. She too is a war veteran, and through her, Digger realizes that isolation is not the answer to his troubles. Furthermore, despite efforts to keep away from the war, it arrives in his sector, forcing Digger into actions and making decisions that truly affect the universe.
Although all the characters could use more development, Hugh Howey has produced a good tale that handles the PTSD crisis veterans face without making them appear "broken." Digger is still a soldier, still much in control of himself and his work, still very human. Howey's character has the potential for growth through additional novels, spinning off from the situation presented in the Epilogue. I don't really care for serial novels, but there is such a potential for Digger that I would purchase at least the next in the series (assuming there is one) just to see what happens.
Through periods of tension, drama, humor, and even surrealism we get to explore the effects of long-term isolation on someone who chose it for himself. His purpose in getting shipped off to the middle of nowhere was to escape from the world that was calling him a hero after he watched everyone around him dying during his final battle as a soldier, and though he sees himself as broken he ends up discovering that he is capable of more than he would have imagined, albeit with some fits and starts along the way.
The whole novel is fantastic but the final segment of the story, because of the sheer brutality of it, reminds me of Tom Godwin's 'The Cold Equations', which happens to be one of my favorite science fiction tales.
I don't know that I would rank this book as high as Wool, but it definitely outdoes Sand as well as the additional two volumes of the Silo trilogy...which places it firmly in second place for me as far as Howey's novels go.