Beta Rising

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Pub Date 01 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 16 May 2023

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In a divided world where alphas are born to rule, while betas are doomed to serve, Dane Hasler thinks life is pretty sweet. He’s the hottest dude in high school, captain of the gridball team, and son of the mayor. If he can just keep acting straight, he’s sure to claim his rightful place among the alpha elite. But Dane’s dreams are shattered on graduation day when his test result reveals he’s a beta.

Shunned by family and friends, Dane struggles with life on the streets until he runs into Effie, a former classmate turned freedom fighter. He joins her queer rebel collective, where he meets his first boyfriend. Dane is just getting used to his new life when a shocking betrayal presents him with a stark choice: should he reclaim his alpha status or fight for his boyfriend and the revolution?

In a divided world where alphas are born to rule, while betas are doomed to serve, Dane Hasler thinks life is pretty sweet. He’s the hottest dude in high school, captain of the gridball team, and son...

Advance Praise

"“Seriously one of the best stories I’ve read on Wattpad, or anywhere.”

Glynn Greven

“I think I’ve been looking for this story and didn’t know until I read it.

The concept of alpha and beta has always bothered me,

and I think you challenge society in a good way.”


“I literally clapped after reading this.”

Quinton Benjamin

"“Seriously one of the best stories I’ve read on Wattpad, or anywhere.”

Glynn Greven

“I think I’ve been looking for this story and didn’t know until I read it.

The concept of alpha and beta has always...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781739855345
PRICE $2.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 11 members

Featured Reviews

Beta Rising is a clever and intelligently written novel about the question of whether any of us are better than others. Betas in Sky City are the lower class, subservient to the alphas and often mistreated and impoverished. The alphas are those who have passed a test to determine that status. They then form the upper class. When Dane takes the test, as the son of the mayor he expects to be alpha, but deceit occurs and he becomes a beta. His adjustment to that, his coming out to himself and others, and his willingness to join the Beta Rising rebels make for a very interesting tale. Kudos to author Graham Bower.
Thanks NetGalley for the ARC.

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Hello everyone, I'm Mr. C Reviewer, and tonight we're discussing Graham Bower's book, Beta Rising. This was my first experience with Bower's work, and after reading this story, I'm eager to explore more of his books in the future. I'd like to extend a huge thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of Beta Rising in exchange for an honest review. I had the pleasure of reading this captivating novel in March 2023, spending almost an entire day engrossed in its pages. Recommended for readers aged 16 and above, Beta Rising is set to be published on Kindle on June 1, 2023. The narrative, told from Dane's first-person perspective, spans 32 chapters and 266 pages.

-I think that the book was created with some exceptional writing skills and an outstanding focus on details that kept me engrossed throughout the story. I feel that the technique that the author use while introducing us to the main character at the beginning of the story defined the character's distinct voice and personality and was quite effective in capturing my attention. I feel that the book's pacing was well executed, demonstrating the author's ability to sustain a captivating rhythm throughout. I appreciated the book's inclusion of fascinating technological elements within its world. I was fond of the compact Beta Rising logo artwork that was used as section dividers throughout the book.

-Upon delving into the book, I felt a strong connection between characters Tobyn and Dane, leading me to support their potential relationship. I appreciated Dane's significant character development, evident from the beginning to the end. The character Lol caught my attention and piqued my interest. I found myself wanting to know more about his story.

-I particularly enjoyed the dynamic action throughout the book, especially in the thrilling scenes towards the end. The conclusion was satisfying, but I would have appreciated more information on Bard's whereabouts, Dane's brother in the story. If the book becomes available in paperback or hardback, I will certainly pick up a physical copy. Personally, I would appreciate if this book were adapted into a TV show, and if it ever is, I would definitely watch it.

I rate each story I read out of 10, and for this one, I give it an 8.6. Remember this was what I thought about the book personally and I suggest that you give it a go for yourself.

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All around a great read. The first person narrative worked really well. This book is one of the few times I wish it was a trilogy. I would have loved to spend more time with these characters. A very easy read . I would definitely recommend this book.

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Heteronormative and queer, rich and poor, alpha and beta. Beta Rising shines a light on dichotomies such as these and tells a story that captures what occurs when society privileges some groups over others.

I found Bower’s tale captivating throughout, not only for its fast-paced cyberpunk adventure plot but also for its thematic content that reminds us how shitty some of our lives can be for reasons outside our control. It is within the confines of this thematic project that the author suggests we lose our egos, our infatuation of individualism, and combat inequality as a collective. I appreciate the drastic measure the protagonist takes to address his city’s tyranny; I believe most authors would caution against including a rebellion group such as Beta Rising into their novels, especially with such a positive approach. Thankfully, Bower did not.

On top of the engaging plot and compelling message, Bower’s writing is excellent—clear, concise, and easy to read. He also crafts a believable main character who starts off a self-proclaimed “jackass” and ends up a jackass, albeit a changed jackass. The author pulls off writing a teenager in a young adult novel without resorting to typical cliches, linguistic or behavioural, offering the boy complexity and room for growth.

What keeps this book from reaching five stars is its lack of in-dialogue tension. In one scene, the protagonist asks his commander for something, the commander says no, a third-party says “but yes,” and the commander changes her mind automatically. Interactions such as these showcase important decisions the characters must deliberate and could have added more depth to their relationships if more space was spent on them. I also wish ideas associated with “fitness” and body were a bit more problematised. In a story that aims to subvert the status quo through its discussion of a variety of topics ranging from capitalism to race, the book could have benefited from highlighting a subject that continues to plague the gay community. However, based on the protagonist’s history, I can understand why he might place premiums on thinness and musculature.

Beta Rising tells a fun, lively story that addresses timely issues. Here, Bower balances camp with grace in his exploration of difficult situations, some of which mirror his lived experience. I want to say thanks to NetGalley for this ARC. I’m glad I was able to discover this author through this gift. I will definitely pick up the physical book once it becomes available and will check out Bower’s other work. Also, a prequel or sequel for Beta Rising would be lovely.

4.5 stars, rounding up to 5.

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