Sunday, April 10, 2011

Book Review for Psion Beta by Jacob Gowans

Product Details

Psion Beta by Jacob Gowans
ISBN-10: 1456362682
ISBN-13: 978-1456362683
368 Pages
Young Adult Novel    Science Fiction

Jacob Gowans is a resident of Cleveland, Ohio, finishing his fourth year of dental school at Case Western Reserve University. He is husband to a beautiful wife, Kat, and father to three children. When not studying or writing, he enjoys watching sports, reading YA novels or the works of Stephen King, swimming, and chasing his kids around the house.

Psion Beta is his first novel, and he is currently working on three projects: sequels to Psion Beta, A Tale of Love and Adventure Volume One: Flight from Blithmore, and an untitled story about clones. His favorite band is Angels and Airwaves. His favorite book is Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, and thinks the greatest film ever made is Dead Poets Society. He was raised in Papillion, Nebraska, served a two-year mission in Baltimore, graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Arts in theater studies, and moved to Cleveland shortly thereafter.

Reviewer: Renee Hand

Psion Beta is a story of suspense and adventure written in true science fiction style.

Psion Beta begins in South Africa with a boy named, Sammy, who is on his own with a bunch of other preteens. Most have been in prison for stealing and other crimes. Sammy is unique because he has special powers. He was born with a certain genetic anomaly. Finally, being noticed for this anomaly, he's recruited to a special group of the military who defends the people. Every member of this group has a certain anomaly that makes them special. For the first time in a long time, Sammy feels like he belongs.

His training begins where he excels beyond all expectations. The reader is taken on this journey of training where they will see Sammy succeed and of course, fail, learning some valuable lessons. The group is trained to work together and trust each other, something Sammy is not used to doing, but he knows how important it is, so works hard to overcome jealousy, fear, lack of confidence and several other emotions.

His training becomes hard core and involves holograms and simulations. He realizes he will have to kill his enemy if he wants to save the people he is trying to protect. He learns many military skills that are important in becoming a glorious Alpha instead of a learning Beta.

Sammy is taken on a real training mission where there is a possibility of danger. Will Sammy be able to perform the way he should and not only protect his team, but complete the mission, overcoming the many adversities thrown his way?

This story captures the reader from the very beginning, sucking them into Sammy’s world. The reader easily feels compassion for Sammy, which helps them through the rest of the story, eager to find out what happens to him on his journey throughout the book.

There are definitely some war type scenarios, with the use of weapons, some gore concerning the enemy, and description of dead bodies. The topic is more appropriate for older teens, not preteens, and mostly geared towards boys, but if the reader already plays war type video games, then this won't be an issue.

The beginning of the book needs a better back-story where it explains a little more. There is too much left for the imagination and is confusing to the reader at first about whats going on and why, though everything does get hashed out as the story progresses. The story gets really interesting and suspenseful after that making the book hard to put down. Though there are these minor quibbles, the author is still able to captivate the reader through it all with his writing abilities. He creates an interesting tale where the reader hopes that Sammy finds his happy ending and becomes the amazing Alpha he is destined to be. Readers will be left wanting to read more books in this series and by this author, and this reviewer feels that most of those readers will be adults more than teens.


  1. I agree with the reviewer...I could not put this book down and was left hungry for more at its end. To me, the violence is not excessive and is pertinent to the situations the characters were in. I let my 14 year old read it and she loved it! She also can't wait to read more.

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  3. Thanks, Kirk, for adding your comment. This is a great science fiction book to read, there is no doubt. But every parent is different in what they want their child to read. I have to make sure I mention that there is violence in this book, no matter what the degree, so parents are aware of what to expect. Some parents will not mind because you are right, it is apart of the story, but others won't like that.

  4. Great review. I really enjoyed the book, too.

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  6. Thanks for this awesome review!