4 out of 4 stars
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The novel The Broadcast by Liam Fialkov is a story about a popular TV show that uses film footage from the past to solve crimes and review history. There is some question about the legitimacy of the footage from viewers and characters in the story. The book is in the fictional mystery genre.
The novel follows several characters throughout their lives and how they relate to the TV series The Broadcast. Initially the episodes of the show are based on recent events, but soon they show film of past events in history that seem impossible to explain. One of the main characters in the book, Sarah, feels that the broadcast is somehow related to her life and may help find her long lost son. Public opinion is divided between those that think the show is authentic and those that think the show is based on deception. The producers of the show must decide how long they can keep the show going without totally isolating the pubic and the religious sector that doesn’t want new information about history to be revealed.
I enjoyed the unique plot about the TV series that is miraculously able to find film footage of historical events and crimes to shed light on the past. I also liked the possible explanations of how this technology could be possible. It’s also interesting to follow the debate about whether the show should have to reveal its sources, or if that should be kept confidential. The book is really a great commentary on our reality-TV addicted society and how much power media has on our lives. There are also many themes of betrayal throughout the book which is very interesting to explore.
What I didn’t like about the book was there were parts of the book that were very disjointed in my opinion. The story bounces back and forth between several characters throughout the book. There are times it’s hard to understand where the story is going and what the meaning of the interaction is between the characters. I also found the details from the TV series to be distracting. I’m not sure reading the details of each episode was necessary to the overall plot and it became boring. However, the book ends with an amazing plot twist that was totally unexpected, and I didn’t see coming at all. The ending amazingly ties together all of the loose ends. For those reasons, I rate the book a solid 4 out of 4 stars.
In summary, I think the book would appeal to readers who value and exciting plot with well-developed characters. However, I would caution readers that are overly sensitive to religious themes and the questioning of documented history that this may not be the book for them. Anyone who is open to new ideas about history should definitely read this book.
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