Independently Published (2021)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (11/2021)
“Pulse” is the first book in the self-titled series by award-winning author B.A. Bellec. This one-of-a-kind dystopian, sci-fi/horror novel smacks of sheer terror using genuine issues shrouded in a chilling story that will leave readers fearing, “What if…”
In 2040, corporate giant Pulse is untouchable, shamelessly dominating every aspect of life on the planet, from personal high-tech gadgets to robotic replacements for humans in society, and global directives secretly depleting the world’s resources through its unscrupulous practices. A growing number of enemy factions would like to disable the goliath entity, but the Pulse execs remain arrogantly entitled about their position in the world. Will PulseFest, the biggest musical event the world has ever known, secure Pulse’s position as the unchallenged monopoly or will the unnatural forces birthed by their own unethical practices bring Pulse down once and for all?
Whoa. Normally I reserve ‘wow’ as my one word summation for a great read, but ‘whoa’ more clearly hits the mark for “Pulse,” as it is one of the most enticing pieces of work I’ve read this year—whoa. The writing, the distinctive dystopian world, the blending of genres, the characters and mixing shocking, grotesque horror with fear-based psychological and eco-horror—all combine for a story you won’t soon forget (as cliché as that sounds).
It’s a must for me to connect with the characters in the story and there is a sizeable cast in this unfolding tragedy of horrors. Daunting at first, I deferred to the author’s tenacity to deliver characters necessary to move the story along. The reward? A handful of significant drivers who escape the unrelenting carnage in order to avenge the world. When you have an unknown force out to destroy an unsuspecting population, it’s necessary to have many disposable characters at the ready and Bellec allayed all my fears of the story being character-heavy. The characters that do survive are effectively defined and capture the reader’s commitment to their causes and wellbeing.
Pulse is not for the squeamish; even those with a heavy tolerance for bloodlust will cower in the face of the mysterious creature. My unhealthy fear-based relationship with creepy crawlies remains intact, if not deepened by the heightened awareness provided by all the gory details surrounding the outbreak after the festival.
With a cliff-hanger ending that leaves readers wanting, no, needing more, B.A. Bellec makes politics, climate crisis, technology, pandemics, greed, and corruption look like child’s play and I can’t wait to find out what happens next. It’s a dire wake-up call for humanity and the intentional cinematic writing with the startling visuals leave little doubt this story is destined for the screen. I highly recommend “Pulse” to all fans of horror and dystopian sci-fi fiction. Five Stars!