This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using that link, a small commission is made from the sale. There are no additional costs to you. Thank you for your support!Beyond the Red by Ava Jae
Beyond the Red #1
Published by Sky Pony Press on March 1st 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy
A story of betrayal, love, and loss—all on a technologically advanced alien planet where monarchy reigns, but lies rule.
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. But that doesn’t stop him from defending his people—at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He is 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.
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
“I can be trusted with responsibilities again!” the reviewer says as she slowly climbs out of the reviewing hiatus hole.
“You’re delusional,” the hiatus whispers menacingly, just a voice from the dark depths. “You’ve still got a few books from 2016 left! And what about all those books you abandoned reviewing even though you want to review? I still have their souls! And I will have yours!”
I’m not going to get out of this, aren’t I? 😢
Beyond the Red is one of the last books I read back in 2017 that I haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet, and here we are, a year later, with shenanigans but no review yet.
And when I want to write a review, I’m staring at a blank document in Google Drive for hours upon hours wondering what to say.
Four Things About Beyond the Red
There are two perspectives and they are polar opposites
We have a half-blood who loses everything and becomes a slave, and then we have a queen who technically has everything. I thought it was really cool to see Jae’s world from two different sides of the spectrum.
I don’t think I’m a fan of the language
I don’t mind made up languages in a book (within boundaries, of course, because my brain cannot wrap itself around overly complex words sometimes), but Beyond the Red’s world language is very similar to ours yet different.
I know three different ways to break out of this kinduv brace, and everything inside me screams that I use one of them.
I won’t feel bad, not for her, not after what she did, and yet I can’t fight this fucken ridiculous need to fix this, to hold her until it’s okay.
Is it meant to be similar? I’m assuming so based on how humans are still around and the Sepharon are very similar to humans in Beyond the Red. Either way, I’m confused. Or I missed something. Who knows. I’ve been out of it lately. :/
But the world building is super cool despite language
Jae’s world building is well developed, and it’s shown constantly throughout the book. And is it just me, or did anyone else think of this as Star Wars just a little? Am I just assuming Star Wars is going to be like this because if so, I’m going into the box of shame. (Lupe, help.)
Now that I look at the ARC I have, it’s the blurbs. I blame the blurbs. Help me.
Thankfully, the names aren’t complicated
Sometimes books go all out and the characters have strange names that are hard to pronounce, so my brain cries in terror and starts wailing. Beyond the Red has its strange names, but they’re not complicated. They’re an average of two syllables and my brain won’t start tearing itself to shreds figuring out the right pronunciation. “Is this right?” wonders the reviewer, as she puzzles over all the possible ways to say the name.
Honestly, if you’re looking for an adventure on a new planet that’s a nod to Mars with not complicated names, Beyond the Red might be perfect for you. If you don’t mind the language, that is.