Beyond the Red
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: March 1st 2016
Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule. Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him. When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.
I got an eARC of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, none of my thoughts are influenced by this.i
The thing that caught my attention when I first read the synopsis for Beyond the Red was how epic this book sounded. You have two really great characters, secrets, and a possible genocide? It definitely something I would love, and I did really enjoy it. The characters in this book were really interesting to read from, I really enjoyed reading about the world that Beyond the Red takes place in, and the plot was filled with so many events that left me wanting so much more. If you like dystopian reads that are filled with action, Beyond the Red is definitely for you.
There are many vital characters in this story, but Kora and Eros are the two main ones. Beyond the Red is written in both their point of views and that definitely added to the suspense and drama. Also, I think the story line really calls for this book to be written in two points of view. Not only because there is one general story line, but each character also has their own personal story that we get to read about through their eyes. Both Kora and Eros develop greatly throughout this book but I really love the development Kora goes through. In the beginning of the book, she is just a ruler who doesn't know what she wants to do with the kingdom she has. By the end of the book, she has grown and realized very important things and those pieces of information will definitely benefit her decisions she makes as a Queen and I look forward to reading more about that in further books. But there is one thing that stayed consistent about her throughout this book, that is her total badass-ness. (Fingers crossed for another book. Based on the ending, I am assuming there will be one...)
The plot is probably my favorite part of this book because there are so many things going on this book, it was really hard for me to get bored. You had Kora and Eros's shared story line, but also get to read about the personal struggles that Eros has to attend to and Kora taking care of her Queenly duties. Then there is the matter of her (asshole) brother. I mean when I read the synopsis, she already had so much on her shoulder but I read about her violent twin brother, and I immediately knew he was going to be trouble. The plot was definitely a build up and at the end, things were really exciting and it was just a series of setbacks, somehow miraculously getting through it, which made it really exciting. The ending definitely made me super excited for the next book (LOL IS THERE EVEN GOING TO BE A NEXT BOOK BECAUSE THERE BETTER BE.) and I want more. Definitely want more.
There are two more things I want to talk about with this book. The awesome world Beyond the Red takes place in and the one thing that knocked my rating down. Let's start with this world because I loved it. I don't know how to classify this book honestly. It is a little bit fantasy but also dystopian. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading about this world and how it did not take place on Earth. Our planet is mentioned here and there but I am interested to know more about this world that Beyond the Red takes place in and more on Earth no longer became a place for humans.
And then there is the matter of the one thing that knocked my rating down, which was the fact that I felt like Eros and Kora's relationship seemed a bit rushed. There were moments where I want to walk in the book and tell these characters to slow the heck down because they just met. It bugged me a little, but not enough for me to talk to rant to someone else about this matter, you know what I mean? I wished it didn't seem rushed but it didn't affect me enjoyment that much.
I gave this book 4.5 stars because the plot and characters were just fabulous but I felt like Eros and Kora's relationship could have been taken a bit slower...
Any predictions for the next book? Well, I hope Eros goes back to hopefully take his place at the thrown. Or he could get kidnapped in the beginning of the next book and then the whole book is Eros trying to get back and Kora is trying to get her throne back. Or Eros get's the throne, get's with Kora, and the people realize what a crappy leader Dima is and help Kora get her place at the throne back. Many possibilities and I look forward to finding out what will happen next...
Ava Jae is a writer, an Assistant Editor at Entangled Publishing, and is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. Her YA Sci-Fi debut, BEYOND THE RED, is releasing March 2016 from Sky Pony Press. When she’s not writing about kissing, superpowers, explosions, and aliens, you can find her with her nose buried in a book, nerding out over the latest X-Men news, or hanging out on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Goodreads, Instagram, or YouTube channel.