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Pulse is a Dystopian Sci-Fi/Horror novel set in 2040 around a creature and a music festival. It will be releasing in 2021. Follow the author at babellec.com or on social media to stay up-to-date on the project.

400 pages, ebook

Published January 1, 2021

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About the author

B.A. Bellec

4 books178 followers
B.A. Bellec is an award-winning author. His debut novel, Someone's Story, was a coming of age story and it went on to win multiple honors including the Reader Views Reviewer's Choice Young Adult Book of the Year. For his second novel, Pulse, he changed it up and wrote a dystopian sci-fi horror thriller. That novel became an IAN (Independent Author Network) Horror Book of the Year Finalist continuing Bellec's trend of writing high-level stories. He also produces music to go with his books. Check out his YouTube channel for more content: https://www.youtube.com/c/babellecspr...

You can also find him on Instagram:

Bellec resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba and spends those chilly winter days writing!

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5 stars
114 (61%)
4 stars
50 (27%)
3 stars
13 (7%)
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6 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 126 reviews
Profile Image for Píaras Cíonnaoíth.
Author 114 books139 followers
May 7, 2022
A high-octane dystopian thriller...

Pulse by B.A. Bellec is the first book in the series with its high-octane story about the struggle between good and evil. It's a brutal and wide-ranging work with enough gruesome scenes to make it a horror thriller. The thrilling tale suggests that this is the first in a series, and based on what I've read so far, I can confidently say that the rest of the series will be worth waiting for.

Pulse's story portrays a dystopian society that could be just a few years away, and the true dread we should fear may not be an alien species at all, but something a little closer to home. Highly recommended and a well-deserved five stars from me.
Profile Image for Jessica Scurlock.
Author 2 books26 followers
December 19, 2020
I had the pleasure of critiquing Pulse by this talented author.

Horror/Sci-Fi meets dystopian thriller--all of my favorite genres packed into one book!

Pulse is set in 2040, two decades from now but with an eerily believable twist. Citizens are basically slaves to their technology, giving off some Black Mirror vibes. The world building is brilliant. Written across several POVs, the author does a wonderful job of gradually pulling the reader in and sprinkling in the details of how life looks in 2040 for his characters and how exactly they fit into this strange society.
And although the dystopia genre is my favorite, I have to say that I genuinely enjoyed the horror elements more.
Bellec's descriptions are phenomenal, brutal, and heart stopping. There were parts that made my skin crawl, but I couldn't tear my eyes away... I needed more!

Fantastic job by this author, and I hope to read many, many more of his works.
Profile Image for Reader Views.
2,362 reviews99 followers
October 29, 2021
I have to be honest, when the “dystopian universe” first showed up in droves within the literary world, I was not all that intrigued. Over time, with some authors creating some seriously fantastical tales set in the future that involved the coolest technology, robots, planets, transports, etc., I began to change my views. Now, after reading “Pulse,” I must say that desire to read dystopian books has grown extremely strong for this particular reader. Reason being, B.A. Bellec “took” me, literally, to 2040, and set me up to see one of the most mysterious ‘creatures’ ever made released upon the world.

Moving away from all previous paths I’ve read, this book was not predictable in any way, shape, or form. Using present-day issues – from the effects of a pandemic to saving our natural resources to politics and business – every subject we deal with in 2021 is spoken about in Bellec’s 2040.

To begin, Pulse is actually the name of a company that, like a couple of bigwigs that rule our very lives, has the knowledge, know-how, power, and is “Big Brother” when it comes to the world of technology. They are the owners and operators of everything you can think of: The Internet, check. Communications systems, check. Schools and educational institutions, check. They’ve even been the creators of the P-7500 personal assistant robots that inhabit the happy homes in 2040. Pulse has the cash in its coffers and can control or demolish everything from their competition and naysayers to the government itself—easily erasing all of the world’s problems in the blink of an eye.

Wanting to enhance their company “image” to the public, Pulse puts together a weekend music festival they entitle “PulseFest.” However, something lives and breathes beneath the soil at the festival…something truly evil, horrific, and will scare the ever living…stuff out of all readers who view it.

One of the coolest parts of this book comes from the fact that it is told in a screenplay format, offering various characters’ points of view when it comes to the company, the neighborhood, and the state of existence itself. You become extremely frightened by their descriptions of the science fiction scenes that seem quite plausible, considering the author uses those present-day issues in the midst of this perfect horror/sci-fi story.

Enter the lab; watch someone jump through walls, see dangerous beings multiply; and get into the depths of “Pulse” and see how capitalism can turn evil in seconds. This tale is captivatingly frightening, which is actually a complete 360 for the author who penned the award-winning debut novel, “Someone’s Story,” that had nothing to do with putting forth darkness or horror, yet “Pulse” does both to a tee.

I recommend to everyone listening in Hollywood that this is one story that needs to be on the big screen ASAP! In the meantime, all horror, sci-fi, dystopian fans MUST read “Pulse” by BA Bellec. 5 stars!
Profile Image for Holly.
161 reviews116 followers
November 29, 2021
**3.5 stars rounded up to 4

First off, WOW. The gore, the creatures, the deterioration of society in this book!!! This was such a wild, gooey & disgusting ride! This had me thinking so much about the current state of the world we live in and how scary to see how the actions of people now could cause something not far off from some things that happen in this book! I am terrified for a world that provides anything even inheritently close to Nutri-Paste. 🤣😭

I do think the first half of this book was very hard to get into, but once it hits that halfway mark I was completely hooked and was eager to find out what happens next! I also think there were so many POV's that it made it really hard to remember which characters are who. By the end it became easier though!

Thank you so much to B.A. Bellec for providing me an e-arc in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Tara Lake.
Author 1 book31 followers
February 7, 2021
With many current issues woven in – political, environmental, and social to name a few – Bellec has created in many respects a seemingly plausible future. I deeply enjoyed the dystopian, sci-fi and horror elements – especially the horror! This novel was entirely unpredictable, which I loved. I'll admit the format of the book initially caught me off guard. It seems more screen-writer format, which is entirely fine, just something I hadn't came across before in my reading, but I quickly adapted and delved on in. Bellec shared quotes throughout the novel at the beginning of each part, I liked this addition because it set the scene for what was to come. One of my favourite aspects of this book was the inclusion of real life events sprinkled in, because I felt they made this future seem even more realistic. It was also interesting seeing all of the individual character's stories play out and how they connect in the end. Overall, it was a great story! I would recommend this to anyone who likes books with multiple characters, dark futures and a little bit of gore.
Profile Image for P.L. Stuart.
Author 3 books412 followers
May 5, 2022
"Pulse" (Book One in the "Pulse" series), by B.A. Bellec, was a book I wanted to read so badly that I squeezed it into my month (April 2022) dedicated to reading Indie grimdark fantasy "masters". 

No, this book is not grimdark fantasy - instead it is a dystopian sci-fi horror thriller. The reason I wanted to read this book so badly is that, as I seem to be becoming more and more of a mood reader, a lot of current world events had me craving to read something that - based on the blurb - would encapsulate a lot of the issues in the world we are grappling with, in the digestible, non-real format of engaging fiction. Plus, I am beginning to be able to appreciate horror books again, so Pulse seemed the ideal read.  

The book comes with a TON of accolades, among them: B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, Wishing Shelf Adult Fiction Finalist, Literary Titan Seal, Reader Views Seal, Readers’ Favorite Seal. So, with all these awards, I was expecting, at a minimum, a well-written book. 

What I WAS NOT expecting, and what I was not prepared for, was the screenplay-like writing format. At first, to be honest, it took a bit of getting used to. But soon, I was so engrossed in the story, the way it was formatted no longer mattered. 

But I put this fact about the writing style out there first for those who would not enjoy that sort of arrangement. If you can't mesh with that, this book may not be for you. But I would encourage you to give it a try, because the book itself I found to be exceptional. 

What is "Pulse" about? At its foundation, "Pulse" is a horror book, and a downright scary one. It has the five key elements that mark every great horror book that I have ever read: 1)characters who could die any moment, regardless of their seeming importance to the plot or how beloved they are (so no one is safe, thus increasing the tension and suspense) 2)the element of utter and complete surprise when something horrible happens 3)Immensely terrifying monsters or menaces.

But "Pulse" is about so much more than mere carnage and fright because of the prospect of scary monsters ripping the characters apart. It is some of the humans who are the real monsters of the book. This is a novel about unchecked corporate greed, rampant, unrestrained capitalism, dirty politics, mayhem, and murder. 

The titular Pulse company essentially has a monopoly on EVERYTHING in the year 2040, and is run by completely amoral executives, with a despotic father and slimy, selfish son at its head. Moreover, the company is tied to the highest levels of political influence, and essentially is the puppet master behind the most powerful of world governments.  

Woe for humanity, for Pulse owners and execs cares naught for the utter destruction of the environment, human health, or morality, as long as it increases its global dominance, profit margins, and ascendancy. Additionally, Pulse eliminates competition in utterly ruthless fashion, where killing off competitors is just the floor for how far they are willing to go. 

In this backdrop, Pulse plans an iconic music festival, as large in scale and scope as has ever been seen, reminiscent of the famous Woodstock. Yet unbeknownst to the Pulse planners, the festival appears doomed. First, an anti-corporation revolutionary group is planning to disrupt the festival, in an attempt to destabilize it, and rid the world of Pulse's insidious control of society. Second, other anti-Pulse forces are working behind the scenes, for their own purposes. 

And most importantly, third, seemingly born of the ecological havoc that Pulse has wreaked, a hideous creature is hunting humankind, and it's hungry.  

The sci-fi elements are extremely well-done in "Pulse". The tech element I especially found fascinating was the drone robot, the P-7500, which had become for the average human an indispensable personal assistant. On the other hand, this robot is also used for protection and aggression in the wrong hands.

In terms of the dystopian aspect, the effect of climate change, pandemics, and corporate monopolies exerting undue sway over our lives, was depicted in chillingly prescient fashion. 

For me, my only wish was for more exploration of the immense cast of characters that fill the pages of "Pulse", because as those who read my reviews know I'm all about the characters. To the positive, there are some marvellous characters in "Pulse" - I just wanted to know a lot more about them. 

But Bellec's incredibly fast-paced plot does not leave as much room for additional exposition and backstory exploration. It's also part of, I believe, the author's plan, to reveal a lot more about some key characters (the few who end up surviving the first installment) in future books. There is a lot of mystery and intrigue surrounding two characters in particular: who and what they really are, and what the limits of their capabilities are. I can't wait to find out more about them in future books.

To be clear, we have a large set of villains, heroes, and those whose motivations we are completely unsure of. There are multiple POVs, and at first, it's a lot to keep pace with, but as the story unfolds, it all becomes easier to follow. 

The completely gruesome and appealing monsters will send chills down your spine, the plight of those facing them will make you terrified for them, and rest assured there will be gore splattering the pages. The shadowy figures, corporate assassins, those possessed of unique and undecipherable abilities, brave whistle-blowers and activists, law enforcement officials, completely unethical businessmen, make for a diversified and intriguing group of perspectives. 

The pace is breakneck, and heart-pounding. Your skin will crawl at some of the imagery regarding the creatures, you will sweat with the built-up tension,, and you will be completely unable to extricate yourself from the compulsive narrative. If you want a plot-focused book that will keep you up at night, not only because it's so good, but because it will creep you out, this is your book. 

Bellec is a freakishly talented writer, who fans of horror, sci-fi, and thrillers should definitely put on their radar, and "Pulse" was a great read! 4.75 stars!
Profile Image for Jeff Bailey.
Author 2 books111 followers
May 27, 2022
I just finished Pulse, by B. A. Bellec, a Sci-Fi conspiracy thriller wrapped in a horror story wrapped in an enigma. Wonderful. A real ‘David and Goliath’ story about a small band of eco-vigilantes working to bring down a small part of a giant, above-the-law, profit-above-all corporation, The Pulse Corporation. Just like in Star Wars, the band is planning an attack that can’t possibly win, can’t possibly leave a mark. They do it anyway. I cheered. What could go wrong??? And we’re off. But things go so terribly wrong. I like reading books that are a creative mark off the traditional. Pulse was just that. The format was almost a mashup between a novel and a screenplay. It added to the overall feel and emotion of the book. I can’t give it a higher recommendation. Five stars for Bellec and for his creation, Pulse. Jeff Bailey, author of the conspiracy thriller Not On MY Watch.
Profile Image for Grady.
Author 51 books1,888 followers
May 6, 2022
‘All great changes are preceded by chaos’ – Deepak Chopra. Welcome to Pulse!

Canadian author Bryan ‘B.A.’ Bellec has served in a career of Finance as a Certified Payroll Manager, and added to his creative powers by attending Lights Film School. He now writes (the rewarded SOMEONE’S STORY, a YA coming of age novel), has started a YouTube channel under the auspices of a grant from The Canada Council for the Arts, and now expands his impact with a dystopian horror novel – PULSE, the first volume of a projected series.

Matching the fascinating and disturbing saga is the author’s rather ingenious method of writing: this could easily be a script for a (likely very popular!) cinematic excursion. Opening with an email to one ‘eric@the_hunt_is_on.com’ we learn, ‘Pulse is soulless – wanting more without any thought given to the repercussions….’ The narrative then opens July 7, 2040 prior to the titular Festival, through the eyes of Pietro: ’From the top of the hill. Pietro looks down at the festival grounds though binoculars. Dozens of little white robot orbs whiz around, clearing out trees and putting finishing touches on the venue…A furless beast with wrinkled skin pale as milk towers above him, dripping slime everywhere and growling…It’s going to eat everyone attending PulseFest.’ In that manner every character is introduced, assuring the reader will be caught up in the nightmare that is evolving.

The title of the book – PULSE – refers to Pulse, a huge corporation in the year 2040 that ‘provides the world’s most popular operating system, PulseOS, the most popular drone robot, the P-7500, and the world’s most popular food, Nutri-paste (high on calories but low on everything else). Intense fracking by Pulse has secretly poisoned the groundwater of the greater New York City area.’ Pulse Corporation plans a huge outdoor music festival and falls under scrutiny (and plans to destroy) by anti-corporation terrorists to take over Pulse’s powers. Added drama, in the form of a beast rising out of the contaminated groundwater with awesome dark powers to alter everything, pushes the action forward.

The ‘story’ addresses corporate greed and corruption and other ‘viruses’ that threaten life as we know it. With skilled imagination and clever presentation Bellec offers a piercing arrow of a novel that creates an unforgettable story. At book’s end he opens the discussion about our current status of business, government, and technology, and offers ‘Business, government, and technology have their flaws. Flaws have their by-products. These last few years are a wake-up call…The system is broken, and we all have blood on our hands…PULSE, a work of fiction, could become reality if we don’t start to pay attention, hold others accountable, and respect our surroundings.’ Signs of a major voice in contemporary literature, here. Recommended.

Profile Image for Ryan Morris.
Author 7 books85 followers
December 6, 2021
Pulse is the second novel (first in a series) by Canadian indie author B.A. Bellec. It's labelled as Dystopian, though to me, it felt more like a "near future sci-fi/horror" (which I suppose could be argued as being in the realm of the same thing).

The cover has a cool graphic novel sort of style to it. My only criticism is the silhouette of the monster (the "Pulser") is hard to make out if you haven't already seen the image of the creature. It would have been great to include the full monster artwork somewhere in the book.
The "screenplay" format (in terms of how character dialogue is written) had the potential for disaster, but it works really, really well in this book. Excellent, and unique, choice!

The horror aspect in Pulse has been done really good, and there are a couple of VERY gruesomely memorable scenes along the way (*cough* port-o-potty *cough*). I'm not a big reader of horror, but this also didn't make me feel as though I had to have been in order to enjoy.
The monsters are really well-conceived, and Bellec deserves a ton of credit for their creation.
The pace is amazing. I ended up blowing through the last third of the novel in a couple of sittings, which I don't usually do, but the frenetic pace was really great and it was hard to simply not keep going. The ending is well done, also. And it's a really good place to leave readers looking forward to Book 2!

There are A LOT of characters in Pulse, at times hard to keep track of, and at the rate of fatalities that occurred in the last quarter, it was also difficult to remember which of them were still left.
I wish there was a sense of a "main character" in Pulse. Maybe it doesn't need an MC, but it does feel odd not having one.
I could have done with fewer chapters highlighting the men who ran Pulse (the greedy, "Google-y" corporation that has their fingers deep into the whole planet). Their story got a bit tedious and repetitive, and didn't wholly enhance the overall story for me.
The monster reveals started to feel a little redundant. I understand that each character ends up witnessing the Pulsers for the first time and there should be a "what the hell is this?" reaction, but as a reader, I don't need to keep experiencing it every time.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Prashant Singh.
729 reviews26 followers
December 1, 2021
What does a reader want in a book, thrill, good story, suspense and some twists and turns. B.A Bellec brings to us a book that has all this things.

The story is set in the year 2040. Pulse is a company, a company that literally now controls the life of every single citizen. They are the owner and creator of every thing one can think of Internet, electronic devices, communications, educational institutions and what not. In orde6to enhance their company image and doing a great market strategy they are going to organize a musical event called "PulseFest"

But wherever this type of companies come in to destroy and control individuals lives, there also comes saviors, the heroes who at any cost want to disclose the real face of Pulse. They are trying their best and are ready to reveal the real truth of Pulse. And Pulse is trying in all possible way to stop them. But little they know, that there is something else at the place where the event is happening. A thing, a creature that is going to destroy everything and not gonna show mercy on anyone.

I personally enjoyed a lot reading this one, the different POVs provide a great picture of the story and helped a lot in taking the story forward. The description of the places, gadgets shows how our life will look in future and not for one second you will feel that you are out of universe created in the book by author.

The book is a great read for lovers of sci-fi, fantasy, thriller genre. And everyone should try this book.

The author is releasing new song "Perduto" on November 26th. Don't forget to check it out.
Profile Image for Kara (Books.and.salt).
389 reviews26 followers
October 6, 2022
Pulse by BA Bellec is a dystopian scifi horror set in 2040 where a company called Amazon - OOPS! I mean Pulse - owns freaking everything. The internet, any means of communication, educational institutions, and the P-7500 robots that live in and clean your home are all owned and controlled by Pulse. This story takes place in the days before PulseFest, a music festival hosted by the Big Brother-esque Pulse company. But there is something in the area surrounding PulseFest, its multiplying and its hungry.

I'll admit that I was incredibly overwhelmed with the world-building and all the characters at first, but once I got my bearings and hit around the halfway point this story EXPLODED. The scifi gore is disgustingly spot on and the... creatures... are nasty. I loved the slow unraveling of understanding where the threat originated from, and I can honestly say this plot did not at all go in the direction I expected it to. The author weaves present day issues into this dystopian story expertly. I thought the ruminations on capitalism were accurate and impactful, without being stated in painfully obvious ways like I see way too often.

The screenplay-like writing style was a little hard to get into at first, I dont think I have ever read anything like it, but after a few chapters I found myself really enjoying it. The conversations are written in a very minimalistic way, giving more page space to description and plot.

In conclusion, BRING ON BOOK TWO!!!! :)
Profile Image for Marisha (MarishaReadsALot).
560 reviews34 followers
December 18, 2021
Thank you B.A. Bellec and TLC Book Tours for the gifted copy of Pulse!

The year is 2040, and a horrifying creature rears its ugly head at the world's largest music festival. Told from several points of view, you'll feel a sense of impending doom as the timeline begins just days before PulseFest.

When reading the synopsis for Pulse, one thing immediately caught my eye: "think Fyre Festival, Black Mirror, and X-Files combined." SIGN. ME. UP! I was delighted to discover that these comparisons actually held up. A trend I've noticed this year is books being compared to pop culture but ultimately falling flat of said comparison. That cannot be said of Pulse!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, which is a completely atypical genre for me. Perfect for (Something) Different December! The Pulse corporation will (likely) remind readers of a certain giant corporation who shall remain nameless. I think what I loved most about Pulse is the same thing I love most about Black Mirror: while certain instances may seem far-fetched, they are entirely possible with the continued development of technology. It really makes you stop and think.

Read this one if you're into: Sci-Fi, dystopian, horror, thriller, short chapters, and multiple POVs.
Profile Image for Angel (Bookn.All.Night).
1,476 reviews30 followers
March 8, 2022
This is my type of book! I love Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Horror and Thrillers. Pulse is a mix of all that!

In a world where social media is the new normal and things like speaking face-to-face is considered old school, Pulse is a great example of what the outcome could be if we stay along those lines. It's scary how closely related this is to our current times!

The creatures introduced as an after effect of Pulse and their environmentally damaging ways is terrifying. They are grotesquely described to where I was cringing at their descriptions. Pair that with some heart-pounding moments and almost non-stop action for the last half of the book and this is a fun one for any fan of this genre.

Definitely recommend!! This would be a good one for those Spooktober lists!
Profile Image for Bibliophileverse.
377 reviews39 followers
June 28, 2022
An interesting tale of dystopian horror and creatures. The plot starts with an interesting thrill, but somewhere in the middle slows down a bit. Finally, after a few turns it picks up its pace to the climax. I liked the book as it had everything from horror to politics to action and adventure. The only drawback was that it is a multi POV book, which makes it a little hard to read. Otherwise, the book is good for dystopian horror lovers.

I would like to give 4 stars to the book. Thanks to @Booktasters for providing me an opportunity to read and review the book.

Read more on https://bibliophileverse.blogspot.com...
Profile Image for 2manybooks2littletime.
253 reviews22 followers
December 2, 2021
WOW! I will start by saying that I plan to reread this book very soon, because I feel like I didn’t grasp every aspect as much as I want to. The parallels to today’s world are so evident throughout the book, and as he says at the end, if we aren’t careful, this could be our reality in the future 🤯😱
The horror aspect is spot-on. My husband, our friends, and I attend a festival every summer and I can imagine the horror of something crazy happening at an event of a larger magnitude. AND THEN….. just wait for it - because as the cover does reveal, this is only BOOK ONE! What?!?!? I have to wait for more - I want it now! DO NOT wait to grab a copy of this one!
10.4k reviews124 followers
April 6, 2021
An intriguing book that had me hooked from the start and wanting to read more. Suspense all the way.
Profile Image for Sam.
1,854 reviews20 followers
November 21, 2021
An interesting dystopian sci fi story! A new author for me. I did really enjoy this, something a little different, which is always good! I liked the writing style & story ideas as well as finding a good selection of characters which kept my interest through out. Sometimes a little out there but hey a good fun read over all! I will look for more by this writer & hope to read the next in the series! I do recommend for all that like this genre!
3 reviews
December 10, 2020
I was fortunate enough to have early access to Pulse, all I can say is that I was blown away from the writing style, the mysterious/horror and the blending of current tech/future used. This is some meticulous world building here that I haven't seen in a long time.

The horror is truly terrifying and it hits a diverse set of scary tropes that will appeal to all that enjoy this genre.

This is a game changer by a new Author, I hope it get's the exposure it deserves. Keep up on writing B.A. Bellec you are very creative and talented.
Profile Image for Richelle Reed.
103 reviews1 follower
May 20, 2021
B.A. Bellec’s second novel, Pulse, has a number of descriptors; sci fi, horror, thriller, dystopian, mystery, just to name a few. This really does have a bit of everything in it. Pulse follows a number of perspectives to weave a story that keeps readers intrigued and turning the pages. Pulse takes place in 2040, 19 years from today, the story follows a number of persons that all are involved in the company and the events that take place during the music festival, PulseFest. The company Pulse has taken over everything. As a giant all encompassing company, it has reaches in what people do, eat, drink, wear and all their technology. B.A. Bellec writes a convincing warning of the potential outcomes of a tech giant monopoly in our near future. The novel goes through a number of events that happen when a mysterious outbreak is causes people to become violent mutants. No one knows how the outbreak began or why, but each have connected it to Pulse somehow.

Pulse is fast-paced and although it has 400 pages, you don’t get the feeling that it’s a large book. The novel is divided into 4 sections. The world building is exceptional. You get the feel for how our world evolved into this new world easily. I also loved how the characters were diverse, from every walk of life, so you really get a feel for what life is like from every tier of society. Not just the upper class, or lower-class. There is also a lot of aspects woven into the story. These political, environmental, social and economical aspect that would conceivably be present in the future that B.A. Bellec creates.

B.A. Bellec has a unique way of writing. It feels like a mix between a screenplay and a novel. The events of the novel are described in a normal fiction novel way, however dialogue in the book is written like a screenplay. This threw me off initially by the end of the novel, I loved the way it helped me keep track of who is who and all the connections these people have with each other while also connecting past and present. If anyone is looking for a dystopian read that has a serious page-turning plot line, I would recommend this novel. I am not usually a fan of horror books, but I ate this book up! This is a MUST READ if only just to see the path that our present world has a very likely chance of going down. I cannot wait for the second one to find out what happens next and more about Pulse, the creature and the characters that survived the events of PulseFest.

ARC provided by B.A. Bellec.
Profile Image for Tiffany.
83 reviews
April 16, 2021
I was pleased to be given an ARC of Pulse through NetGalley. After reading the description it sounded intriguing and I was excited to have the opportunity to read it. If you are looking for a good, captivating, relatable, scary, sci-fi book, this is for you! I really enjoyed this dystopian, thrilling, sci-fi novel. I will say that the writing style took a little getting used to. It read almost like a screenplay. The majority of the book was written almost as a spoken narration from each character. That being said, after adjusting to this, I found myself envisioning this story as a movie. Because there was such good character development, I was able to appropriately "cast" each person in the book with the actor who would play them in real life. The imagery was so complete that I was able to see how special effects would pull off different scenes and I had a very clear picture of the story as it would play on a big screen. This made it super cool and fun to read throughout. In my head it was like Ready Player One meets Alien and has 1984 and Dreamcatcher as love children. This specific dystopia was such an accurate depiction of a possible future we could see if we continue down our current path and pace of life that it was frightening. I absolutely loved the inclusion of CURRENT events that are happening right now and how they played out for this society in its future. This made it so close to home that it was almost terrifying to read for that alone. Add in the obvious horror of the creatures and their evolution, I found myself only reading during the daytime. Trying to resist the urge to pick it up when I crawled into bed at night, like I typically would. (Not always successfully resisting by the way) There were so many common elements in this to other sci-fi movies and books yet I still considered it fresh and original. I am not sure if I am disappointed or impressed with the ending. I am definitely disappointed to be left hanging. I am disappointed that I will have to wait who-knows-how-long for the next installment to get the answers I am craving. Yet, I find it impressive that I was so hooked that I didn't even realized I was at the end, it totally snuck up on me. It is a great ploy and strategy for the author to build excitement for the sequel and guarantee his audience stays tuned. Bellec definitely has my attention now!
Profile Image for Caribbean Didi.
88 reviews6 followers
November 3, 2021
I got this book based on a recommendation from Booktasters.
This book got me worried if this might really happen, I see the world and atmosphere the author created and explained and drawn to us is somehow relatable to a not too faraway future.
Everyone is captivated by technology and the robot world, I started to be afraid of the idea that robots will control everything later.
However, the book grows in your self and in your soul the terrifying evil feelings, It is great that this book fell into my hands and I enjoyed it so much as it kept my heart pumping.
I think this is one of the novels that should be in Cinemas.
Certainly will read it again, and I recommend it to everyone.
November 28, 2021
I was offered to read and review Pulse and its prequel short story, LF by the author himself. And reading his previous book, Someone’s Story, I knew I had to see what they’ve come up with next.

I found the premise to be very interesting. We see a future of our world, where society is struggling to survive as resources are being depleted by the massive population and climate change. And big-name companies take advantage of that saying they care but are the main cause of pollution affecting climate change. The biggest company is Pulse. And Pulse is throwing a music festival, one of the largest the world’s ever seen. However, the night of the festival it gets attacked by a contagious virus.

There’s a lot going on within the pages of Pulse. We see a lot of characters and a bouncing timeline. I also felt there was some key information missing, but again based on how this is the start of a series, I’m expecting/hoping this will be shared later. I’m also glad I read LF before starting Pulse, I think I would have been even more confused at times if I hadn’t.

This was still a fun read. I also got Maze Runner vibes, more so the prequel - The Kill Order. Just with this being how focused on how the world and society react to an outbreak.

I loved the horror this one entailed involving the outbreak. The descriptions we see were truly horrifying. And I must say for a zombie lover, I was so excited to see this outbreak involved zombies! Plus, these zombies were unique! I still don’t really understand how they even came to be, hoping to get this answer in the sequel! And I expect more zombies in the next one! I’ll be excited to see what happens next!

I think if you enjoy sci-fi horror involving virus outbreaks you’ll enjoy this one too!
Profile Image for Samra Nadir.
Author 1 book6 followers
June 19, 2021
This book was a horrifying & thrilling ride from start till the end. Bellec managed to combine all the right elements needed for a futuristic sci fi thriller. I really enjoyed this new style of screenplay writing & all the multiple POVs were managed really well. Jumping around from present to past & then present made for a very suspenseful & a movie style reveal of events. I still can't believe that he is the same author who used such laid back writing style in his first novel & now he is back with a completely gripping & tense story telling. I loved all the metaphors used for real life events (for example: the infamous pandemic we are facing), it all made for a more horrifyingly haunting read. The world building was done brilliantly by Bellec, the environments & characters felt too real with all the societal, environmental & political events happening in our world which Bellec weaved into this book intelligently. Author does an excellent job in gradually connecting all the POVs & going for the haunting reveal that how corporate exploitation could result in catastrophic events. The horror elements in this book were done really well, it really sent shivers down my spine.

This novel is a treat for all the thrill seekers, with a diverse cast of characters, meticulous world building, hauntingly realistic elements, unique writing style, perfect pacing, gripping & relatable plot line. A must read if you want to get a glimpse of how our world have a likely chance of going down. I can't wait to dive into the sequel and see the fate of survivors of the horror show which was PulseFest.
Profile Image for J.P. Jackson.
Author 13 books140 followers
April 23, 2021
3.5 stars but rounded up because the book is in beta.

Bellec has laid out a nightmarish future - one that's not too far from our own reality, with some clever and creative ties to our modern political landscape and references to COVID-19.

Sinister and amoralistic, greedy corporations run the world, and everything is interconnected. In the fight for dominance and power, the elite rich get richer, while the have nots are laid bare, jobless, and fed on manufactured nutrition.

The world has been decimated. The environment destroyed, and mother nature is fighting back - or is it mother nature?

The tale is reminiscent of Stephen King's The Stand, with a nod to The Walking Dead. I know once Bellec has another round or two of spit and polish, this will tale will creep out all but the most hearty of horror readers.

I'm left with nightmarish visions of soggy skin.
Profile Image for Lexi Raspado.
11 reviews
June 19, 2021
I don't usually read dystopian novels, but Pulse changed my mind about the genre. I can definitely say that I'll be reading dystopian novels now.

The world building was fantastic! The story was written realistically that it made me think that there is a possibility that it can actually happen and that would be really terrifying! I'm starting to like the author's writing style. The plot was well-thought-out and the pacing was just right. There are several POVs, which is confusing at first, but I got into it eventually. I love how the characters were relatable, although, more emotions from them would be great. I especially love Jade and her action scenes were awesome! Overall, Pulse is a highly recommended book especially to all Dystopian Sci-Fi lovers out there. I can't wait for the next book!

Thank you to Booktasters, and the author, B.A. Bellec.
Profile Image for Tina.
783 reviews39 followers
October 28, 2022
I received this book from R&R Book Tours in exchange for a fair review.

Pulse is a dystopian horror novel that employs a blend of genres and multiple points of view to give us a story that is both a critique of our world and a creature feature horror that gradually morphs into an apocalypse. This book has a lot of influences but still stands as its own story.

Pulse is set in a world where one company has almost monopolized the entire market of everything from food to electronics (I think there are like eight companies who own everything, all competing to own that much more). The company’s front is called Pulse, but they also have a hand in shaping US politics via bribing politicians and government entities to overlook aspects of their business. As to be expected, this is a dystopia where people aren’t happy, they are struggling to survive, and social media has even more of a hold on people’s lives (mainly because they can’t find happiness anywhere else as food and nature are hard to get on top of other stuff). There are some anti-corporate groups that want to expose some of the nefarious things Pulse has been doing, and plan to do so at a giant festival. What they didn't count on was a mutant creature wreaking havoc.

The novel is both a lot of fun and a critique of corporation culture and corrupt governments. It’s about greed and selfishness, and people working to combat these things. Those aspects I really loved and appreciated.

In terms of characters, they fell a little flat for me because there are so many. In terms of the types of stories I lean towards, character-driven is more my preference, so this one didn't dig into the character as much as I prefer. But, that’s just a preference. If you love a multi-POV story where the plot is explained like a mosaic - where small parts build the big picture - you’ll really like this one. And that’s not to say I didn’t care about the characters or wasn’t interested in their fate - they all had motivations that made sense and I was sad when some of them died.

The horror aspects of the novel are reminiscent of 80's creature feature movies but without the campy nature of those films. The horror aspects are gory and gross, with no one being safe. It reminded me a bit of Slither without the dark humour, and even a bit of The Thing. The horror parts were just awesome and when those aspects ramped up at the end, I flew through it.

Yet another thing that didn't work for me, but, again is a preference, is that dialogue and some scenes are told in a screenplay-like format. I wasn’t super keen on this, as I found it drew me away from the story. Rather than being immersed in it, I felt like I was watching something. Now, some people might love this technique, so I’m not saying it was poorly done or anything like that - it definitely wasn’t - it just didn’t add anything to the story for me.

In terms of plot, the story is intricately laid out, everything makes sense, and the story ends on a satisfying note but with definite room for more. Although heavily dystopian, this novel isn’t apocalyptic, but I’m guessing the sequel might be?

Overall, Pulse is an exciting, fun, and also serious novel that will make you think about how much we let big corporations get away with, and whether the end is coming sooner than we think.
Profile Image for Victor Vahl.
Author 6 books31 followers
January 14, 2022
Rating: 4.5* (rounding up to 5*)

Let’s get this out of the way: if you’re someone that hates dystopian sci-fi thrillers with a twist of horror, then this will not be the novel for you, as Pulse is exactly like that. But, if you do like that, then you’re in for a hell of a ride.

Bellec manages to compose a tale of caution detailing the repercussions of a corporation, known as Pulse. This company has bled throughout the world with their only focus to do anything that will lead to the increase of their revenue and power, even if it results in the destruction on the environment and society as a whole. This results in the creation of a by-product monster. For me, the monster in this story was a nice familiar parallel to Carpenter’s The Thing, with mixes of a zombie plague, being different enough to stand on its own.

What I love is Bellec’s description and whenever he brings full focus to the thrills, horrors, and mysteries within Pulse. The author found the perfect craft to make my skin shiver yet compel me to flip through page after page, demanding to know what happens next. I could feel my heart sink whenever I learned more about the creature’s symptoms and a sense of curiosity when Bellec deliberately crafted scenes of mystery regarding the underground world related to Pulse. Or fully understand the sheer ferocity of what the monsters are capable of in this story. Chapters 8 thru 10 were some of my favorite chapters regarding this in the beginning, and then the final 2 and a half acts are just straight page-turners (And that’s meant in the best way possible).

Some areas of improvement include a balance between exposition and active scenes. In the beginning, I would find my momentum being stopped by sudden information dumps of the worldbuilding of Pulse or a character’s thought process or a backstory relating to that thought process. While at times intriguing, reading some of this info led me to be taken out of my immersion and imagine how a certain detail could’ve been shown in a character’s trait, or mentioned naturally in a conversation instead of it being told directly to me.

It’s something substantial in the beginning, but does it stop the show? Absolutely not. As I mentioned briefly in the third paragraph, this kind of pacing is completely rectified in the final two and a half acts. I was enthralled, hooked, and resonated with the struggles of these characters being forced to survive and adapt to this horrific setting. This was honestly when I felt truly 100% invested. The level of engagement I felt when I was asking myself questions behind the mystery of the monster and other topics I won’t disclose in this review was so fun!!!

Bellec has a story here that introduces a series full of potential. If the future books in this series hold the same kind of pacing and immersion as the latter half of the book and ramp it up even further, then consider me hooked. Fantastic work on this and definitely check it out!
Profile Image for Wendy Beckman.
Author 14 books31 followers
May 24, 2022
Pulse by B.A. Bellec is a well-written commentary on our current society, run by greedy politicians and monopolistic mega-corporations, set in the not-too-distant future.

Sometimes authors take a while to get you into the story. Not Bellec. I was drawn in immediately, probably because his text addressed issues that I feel strongly about.

In a nutshell, Pulse is a megacorporation that is looking to own the world. However, when Pulse was created by Mark and Eric, that was not their main intent. Then Mark's father got involved. Alan Sharpe brags about all his wealth and the people he owns, including a few hundred members of Congress. It reminds me of how most of the traditional publishing houses have been absorbed by less than a handful of mega-corporations.

A brilliant and brave bunch of activists intends to stop Pulse, using the planned "Pulsapalooza" (my word, not the author's) to throw a huge monkey wrench into their works. The members of the group don't know what slime they're stepping into. Some of them will never find out.

At first, I was put off by the switching back and forth between present and past tense. Bellec uses the past to denote flashbacks and present to use the, well, present action. However, I soon found it helpful as I propelled down this roller coaster of a story.

There are many characters, which at times I had trouble differentiating. Thanks to reading a Kindle book, though, I can easily skip back to the first time a character is mentioned to figure out who s/he is.

In the Front Matter, Bellec thanks his editorial team for their clean editing and proofreading. Allowing for Canadian/British punctuation, this is almost true to the end, which made it a pleasure to read. However, about three-fourths of the way through the book, the proofreaders started mixing up "lie" and "lay" and misspelling homophones like "peddle" and "pedal." About the same point in the book, some of the tight text loosened up, making the ending feel a little rushed. Some references might have been a nod to "Jurassic Park," or it might have just been using something that worked well in another book. Characters did odd things (like throwing away a ring) so that "coincidences" could work out later in the story.

Besides commenting on monopolies and environmental emergencies, Bellec also has some things to say about influencers, like this: "Myra has never had to solve a problem herself. Myra has never had to do any critical thinking. The people around her always did it for her." Does Myra get her come-uppence? This might be a hint: "She is going to die in an outhouse. How embarrassing." To find out, you'll need to read the book. I can't wait for the second one.

Note: Contains bad language and explicit, gory violence.
Profile Image for T.C. Schueler.
Author 1 book22 followers
March 26, 2022
Pulse: Book One is a dystopian thriller set in the year 2040. The world is at the brink of ecological collapse due to the contempt of large multi-national companies, particularly Pulse, the world’s largest corporation. Pulse provides the world’s most popular operating system, PulseOS, the most popular drone robot, the P-7500, and the world’s most popular food, Nutri-paste (high on calories but low on everything else). Intense fracking by Pulse has secretly poisoned the groundwater of the greater New York City area; it now hosts ultra-high levels of mysterious complex sugars.

The Pulse Corporation, run by an unstable father-son duo, plans to put on a large outdoor music-fest on an island near New York City. Anti-corporation “terrorists,” called anti-P, plan to disrupt it, taking over the Pulse Corporation’s own communications to broadcast the anti-P information. Unknown to everyone, something, perhaps the contaminated groundwater, has spawned or hosted a new life form, one that infects, then transforms, living hosts into grotesque creatures that . . . well, you will need to read the book to find out more.
Pulse Book One contains a large cast of characters representing multiple points of view, from greedy corporate and political leaders (and their dark errand men), all the way to “terrorists” bent to make the same corporations and politicians pay. There are many characters in between these extremes: students, tech workers, IT and AI gurus, police officers, parents, friends, lovers.
The book is written in a screenplay-type format and moves very quickly. There is a lot of action with backstory and flashback, so much so it can be hard to keep everything straight. That’s okay; Pulse is advertised as the first of a series and therefore the introduction of multiple plot lines isn’t unexpected, some of which will be resolved in future volumes.

I enjoyed Pulse and will definitely read the next in the series to see what happens; the skin-crawling, creepy-crawly visceral descriptions are well worth it—in the book, you can hear the squishy, slimy movements of the monsters and hear their clicking nails and throaty growls.
In future books of this series, I hope to see more development of the cast of characters and their motivations; more flesh on the bones of surviving characters would be welcome. As well, the book was a bit of a whirlwind of people/places/actions and was at times a little hard to keep track of; in future volumes, more attention to transitioning the reader between scenes, along with more reminders of characters’ relationships with each other (X is Y’s father, etc.) will completely solidify readability. With these issues, I give the book 3.5 stars, rounding up to 4.

If you are looking for a dystopian thriller projecting from today’s headlines of financial greed and manmade climate change, Pulse Book One explores this nexus uniquely and with a lot of action.
T. C. Schueler – Author of 22 Dutch Road
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