Skip to main content

“This, this is what happens when they put a Beta in charge.”

Beta

Beta is a breath of fresh air in the superhero genre, blending coming-of-age action, teenage angst, and relatable characters that will make you laugh, cry, and yell at them all at the same time

The story revolves around Samantha, a teenage girl uprooted from her familiar life and thrust into the extraordinary world of New Delos, a city teeming with superhuman individuals known as Apex.

Samantha’s father’s new job at the city’s prestigious college necessitates a move, forcing Samantha to leave behind her friends and enter the halls of her mother’s alma mater, a prestigious boarding school. Adjusting to a new high school is daunting enough, but the challenges are amplified in a city where superhuman abilities are the norm.

To make matters worse the recent anti-apex movement has sparked unrest in the city, with protests escalating into riots. As with many demonstrations, there are underlying political motives and individuals seeking to manipulate the situation for personal gain.

As she navigates the intricate social hierarchy of her new boarding school amidst ongoing riots, Samantha uncovers the existence of an elite Apex student superhero team tasked with protecting and safeguarding the city. This discovery is partly thanks to her eccentric roommate, who also happens to be an old childhood friend. However, Samantha’s integration into this world is further complicated by a faction within the Apex team who hold prejudice against those without genetic enhancements.

“Everything I know about you is real. You’re real stubborn, for one. And you can be a real pain in my ass, but you’re real brave, too. And real smart and real kind and—”

Since this takes place in a high school setting, you can expect to see the typical stereotype cast, such as the new girl, the mean girl, the bully, the heartthrob, and the good guy. However, none of these characters feel stale or cliché in my opinion. They are all very unique in their own refreshing way, each with a unique spin on the stereotype.

As far as writing craft goes, I think Zimny is equally balanced in terms of both her character work and her world-building. As I blasted my way through this chunky book, I found myself deeply invested in a number of the core characters and even wanting to know more about some of the side characters. Of course, just like in high school, there were a few students in this book I would really love to lock in a locker for an extended period of time or maybe just push off a nearby cliff.

While I’m normally much more of a character-driven reader, I was completely sucked into the way she describes the hydraulic floating city of New Delos. From the moment the book started, I felt like I was on the ferry, sitting right alongside Samantha and her family, and it only got better the more and more we got to explore this intriguing city from Samantha’s POV.

I think the best part about this book is the way Zimny disguises her foreshadowing. She does it in a way that leaves the average sleuth into believing they know what’s going to happen. To be honest, sometimes you will be right, but other times it is a trick of misdirection that is setting up a bigger twist you won’t see coming.

All in all, this book not only left me 100% satisfied but also excited to see what’s to come in the series. I have a feeling we will learn even more about the floating city’s history of facing attempts to sink it by villains. I also suspect the political intrigue will ramp up, and we will discover even more about the significance of both New Delos and the Scourge Queen’s origins, and how they inevitably intertwine.

If you are a fan of Brandon Sanderson’s YA series Skyward, I think you will feel right at home with Beta. While the setting and premise are different, the style and angst feel very similar in my opinion, which is a great thing as I love them both.

 Disclaimer: ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and fair review

 

Beta

Beta

Beta

Beta

Beta

Beta

Beta

Beta

Boe Kelley

By day, Boe is a seasoned Platforms Engineer, wielding his technical prowess and problem-solving acumen to tackle complex challenges. After the sun sets, he transforms into an avid reader, perpetually embarking on literary journeys to far-flung corners of the imagination. When he's not traversing fictional realms, Boe channels his creativity and pushes his physical and mental limits through his passions for cars, music, and martial arts. Boe's infectious positivity and cheerful demeanor infuse everything he does, making him a beacon of enthusiasm and expertise. His unwavering support for Indie Authors has earned him a well-deserved reputation as a champion of the literary underdog.

Leave a Reply