Wednesday, February 17, 2016

ARC Review: BEYOND THE RED by Ava Jae

Behold! The rare and elusive book review! Rarely seen on the plains of Sometimes I’m a Story, observe its timid and meek persona as it eats grass. Pay close attention—if it gets any sight of us, we’ll never catch up with it!

(Er, yeah. I rarely post book reviews. But I like Ava Jae as a blogger. And as a writer for that matter. Plus I got Beyond the Red for free. So. That’s what we’re doing today.)


Summary (via Goodreads)


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.


Top 6 Thoughts:


Kora and Eros :: these two. I love them and hate them, which is actually a good thing because I admire books featuring imperfect or morally questionable protagonists. Kora is my favorite because she's soft and fierce, but all in all, they’re sympathetic and make you want to knock heads.

worldbuilding :: I’ve got to say… between religion, description, species, language, culture, we get a picture at this hugely complex society and it is AWESOME. Like if it weren’t for the villains (and the hatred of humans) (and the outer space) I’d totally study abroad on this planet. Forreal.

fast-paced :: as a plus, there are not boring, drawn-out explanations that are sooo boring and you want to rip your eyes out; however, sometimes I felt like the plot was ready to move on before I was. I’ll need to reread to really enjoy the details.

feels :: Ava knows how to kill people. That hurt my feels. BECAUSE IT WAS A REALLY GOOD PEOPLE GAH. Although, there are also other feels in relation to kissing and adorableness and whatnot. Those are good too. Just not as good as my dead people.

villains ::  mer. Mer mer mer. I didn’t dislike the villains. I feel like I’d remember them in more detail and with more fondness if I reread the book. After the first read, though, I thought they were good for the story, but my heart does not cling to them in a fangirlish fervor. I really need to reread…

ending :: the ending is mysterious without being urgent. In the event of a sequel I would totally get it and find out where in Kala’s name this is going, but I’m also not dying. Despite the loose ends, this could probably work as a standalone (and it might be. I can’t remember the news on that and Twitter probably won’t help me find tweets from a couple months ago). Either way, it’s casually open-ended, and it works for me.


TL; DR: The characters won my heart, the storyworld was intricate and AWESOME, my feels got bruised in a good way, and even if the villains and pacing weren’t my favorite, I would read more.

And, even if there isn’t a sequel, I still look forward to whatever Ava Jae writes next! Because it was good writing.

Finally… I don’t even know who to thank for my ARC. Ava Jae? Sky Pony Press? YABC? I have no idea, but my thanks to that entity. (#reasonsIdontusuallypostreviews) Anyway: Beyond the Red comes out on March 1!

4/5 Stars

Do you plan on reading Beyond the Red? 


14 comments :

  1. Ooo okay that sounds so fascinating! I might just have to read it myself... Also studying abroad on another planet sounds like something we should definitely do. *nods* Bucket list. :P Thanks for the review!

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    1. It's a new premise, huh? Also, yeah, in the future, studying abroad on other planets would be super cool! Probably also dangerous, but what.ev.er.

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  2. I've been curious about this book for a long time, so it was nice to see that you enjoyed it. I really need to red more sci-fi, so I'll try to get a copy of this.

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    1. I hope you like it when you read it! As far as sci-fi goes, I think it was pretty decent. :)

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  3. I think there's no sequel officially confirmed but Ava has hinted here and there :P I'm also posting an extremely rare review for this book this Saturday, so *high fives* I do agree the villains could've been a little more developed, but I thought the MCs were their own worst enemies, and the MCs were good enough for me. *nods*

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    1. Yes, something about that. I'd prefer there to be a sequel though. :P That's true, the MCs did have their own enemy-ness to them, I guess I just felt like all the other non-MC villainousness going on wasn't developed enough to make me feel secure in all of the evil present in the story.

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  4. The timid book review slowly retreats from it's observers. This is not it's normal habitat, and you should consider yourself lucky to see a rare beast like this one. (aka; write book reviews more often) I've not really heard of Ava Jae before *googles* I have now. This book sounds interesting, but hard to get in this corner of the world, but I liked your review!

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    1. XDD Maybe, but I don't think it is as high a priority for me? Ava Jae is a worthwhile blogger to check out, and perhaps you'll find an e-book somewhere. :P I don't know. But, if you ever happen upon it, I hope you like it!

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  5. I've been hearing a bit about this book, and I'm getting super excited to read it. I love the premise, and it sounds interesting--like it would be something right up my alley. I'll definitely have to see about getting my hands on it at some point.

    Also, your introduction to this book review was gold.

    Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. I hope you do like it when you get your hands on it, because I did think it had a very creative premise and storyline. :D

      Oh, thank you. I thought of it myself. XD

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  6. Ooh, cool review! This sounds like a good one, and I've been seeing it floating around. I need to see if I can get a copy for myself.


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. Yes, it is really cool! I hope you like it if you read it. :)

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