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Beacon 23 Paperback – Import, 12 Aug 2015

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, Import, 12 Aug 2015
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Product details

  • 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)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not the most gripping of books. Writing is fine. Decent reading in a pinch.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 761 reviews
120 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected and by far the most pleasant surprise I've had with Sci-Fi in a long time. Beautiful and Inspiring. 1 November 2015
By Victor M. Lima - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not my first Howey novel, but this is the first time I cared about an author and his work enough to sit down and write a review. I just finished putting the book down and frankly I'm still too anesthetized by Howey's bold idea to write something truly helpful. But I'll try anyway. In this review I'll refrain from commenting on the plot, on narrative or writing style. These are all done in beauty and elegance, although such judgements are really subject to the eyes of the beholder. However, I will try to write about something more elusive: what the book is really about; the book's soul.

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.
94 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broken. 7 November 2015
By Storm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book hurt to read. I am a former member of the US Army and spent a year in Iraq, and came back with more than souvenirs. This book addressed the hurt and brokenness of PTSD better than I've ever seen before. The sheer anxiety and mistrust you have towards your own mind, the fear of failure and desire to shut yourself away from humanity. The terror at the prospect of loving someone, of having emotions once again after that particular point of weakness in your personal armor was blown open. I had to put this book down because it hurt to read. I'm glad I picked it back up.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beacon 23 is a good story that will keep you entertained 15 June 2016
By LTC LDD - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beacon 23 was an easy read, but a good story. The main character Digger is a military veteran whose war experiences left him with PTSD. He now monitors and maintains Beacon 23, sort of a isolated lighthouse of the future to aid the transit of space ships. His PTSD causes him to desire solitude, but he is not completely antisocial. Some of the situations Digger encounters aboard Beacon 23 are a bit contrived, but do contribute to character development and plot. One encounter brings him into contact with another veteran, a girl with whom he had shared much, both in combat and in bed. She is now a fugitive, and her presence on Beacon 23 places Digger in a precarious position, since bounty hunters are on her trail. Although he attempts to trick the bounty hunters, his efforts backfire, bringing them back to his beacon. During the fire fight that ensues, the girl is killed, which works to push Digger into admitting that he really needs companionship.

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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It seems like scant reward 3 March 2017
By S. Yates - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
3.5 stars. An odd, slightly surreal, trippy little book. The unnamed narrator mans a Beacon (think future space lighthouse) alone, guidepost to farflung spaceships travelling at faster than the speed of light, as a reward for being a war hero. It seems like scant reward, except that our narrator has definite mental issues stemming from his service, and he wanted to be alone. The story is told in first person and you realize fairly quickly that he isn't entirely stable and that despite the wish for solitude, he is lonely. The book is told in five parts (originally five separately released novellas), and they offer peaks into this far future world, a war with another intelligent alien species, the trauma of war, the craving for contact with others, and the self-awareness that you might be losing your mind. Some sections work better than others, and you are always wondering how much is real and what is the narrator's hallucination. Except that by the end, you are simultaneously given a good deal of reason to question the narrator's lucidity, but have a conclusion that feels both final and definitive, if a bit too pat. Mixed feelings on this one, but still felt worth the time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Isolation Never Seemed Less Lonely 26 March 2016
By Nikolas P. Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hugh Howey managed to pack a lot into the small novel that is Beacon 23, and that is an even greater accomplishment when you consider that essentially the whole book takes place inside of the galactic equivalent of a lighthouse. Aside from memories of his time at war, a couple of EVA sessions, and brief visits to docking ships the keeper of the beacon spends the whole narrative confined to the isolated structure in the middle of an asteroid field where his sole purpose is to keep the beacon operating so that ships traveling through hyperspace are able to avoid collisions with the material in the region.
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.

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