RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016
AUTHOR: Ava Jae
GENRE: Young-Adult, Sci-fi, Dystopia, Romance.
PUBLISHER: Sky Pony Press
SUMMARY: 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 was very intrigued when I first heard about this book because I love reading YA forbidden romances especially between the alien and human one’s but after reading so many mixed reviews about this book, I was afraid that I’m not going to enjoy it. However, my curiosity has won me over and I finally gave it a shot cause I really don’t want to regret later and I’m so glad that it didn’t turned out to be a total disappointment. I really enjoyed the setting, the plot and the characters. It was a perfect YA sci-fi dystopian romance novel which is entertaining, adventurous and thrilling. As this being a stand-alone for now, some readers might not like the unresolved conclusion at the end and I really hope the author will write a sequel to it.
The story is set in a red desert planet called Safara which is ruled by aliens called Sepharon where humans are treated as slaves and humans who doesn’t obey to submission are exterminated. Seventeen year old alien queen kora is the first female ruler of her territory but the people rioting against her thinks she’s not eligible for the ruling and wants her violent brother to take the throne. While raiding a human village, Kora meets a half blood named Eros who makes her curious and saves him from her people who are very eager to kill him. A half blood is an offspring between a Sepharon and a human which is absolutely forbidden in Safara and will be executed immediately if found. With no one to trust, Kora offers Eros to be her bodyguard in exchange for his safety. Eros hates Kora for killing his family and when she offers him to be his bodyguard he has no choice but agree to it because it was either this or death. To make sure her brother never takes the throne, Kora has to find a perfect mate to rule with her. But when Kora has finally found the perfect man, everything falls apart when she is accused of a assassination attempt on her betrothed which makes her flee from that place. Now Kora is on the run from her own people and she needs to travel to high court to prove her innocence but what she finds there is something horrifying, a grand plan to annihilate all the humans on the planet.
Kora is a great character and I really liked her. She is sassy, witty, stubborn and quite a fiesty female who fights really well. As a leader, she really cares about her people and she isn’t a bloodthirsty monster like her brother. Eros is definitely swoon worthy guy and I pretty much liked him for his loyalty and not to forget his smart mouth. I felt a bit sympathetic when everyone treated him like a pariah. Even though he was raised among humans, he was still an outcast because of him being a half blood. He wasn’t accepted in neither sepharon nor humans but he pretty much cares for the humans who raised him. I liked the relationship between Kora and Eros. A relationship between a human and Sepharon is forbidden but they can’t help getting attracted towards each other. Eros always has this inner turmoil regarding his attraction towards the beautiful alien queen who is responsible for his family’s death. It wasn’t insta love but more like insta-attraction and the chemistry between them is totally hot. As for the supporting characters, I really liked Serek. He is another love interest who is pretty much nice guy and a total gentleman. Finally not to forget, I loved Kora’s loyal pet Iro, a desert wildcat that I’d like to have one.
The plot is exciting and engaging. The story moved in a fast pace without missing anything and I didn’t felt bored anywhere. I loved the concept and also the world building mostly because of its desert setting and the nanites technology. The writing was simply beautiful, descriptive and easy to get in to. The story was written in both Eros and Kora’s POV and I quite enjoyed seeing everything through their perspectives.
Overall, it was a great debut. The partially resolved ending has left me wanting more and I definitely look forward to the sequel if the author ever decides to continue the story.
Beyond The Red is a great YA sci-fi dysptopian debut by Ava Jae filled with intrigue, adventure and a swoon worthy romance.
I highly recommend it to everyone.
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