Beyond The Red | Ava Jae
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre(s): Young Adult, Science Fiction
I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.
Bouncing back after 2 DNF's last week, I'm now ready to share my thoughts on today's title, Beyond The Red by Ava Jae. I straddled the fence of feelings for quite a bit on this one, debating if a strong concept, likable characters, a forbidden romance and action-packed scenes were enough to overpower a writing style that was far too simplistic, almost bordering a snore-fest in some areas.
Trust me, you'll want to keep reading
Trust me, you'll want to keep reading
If you're going to snatch my attention make sure you keep it. In chapter one of Beyond The Red, we start off with such a huge bang. The story kicks off in high gear with an interesting action scene that shifts a bunch of core pieces together, lining them up for what's to come ahead. I really liked this. There aren't too many stories that throw you straight into the fire pit, and if Ava wanted a fast paced novel, then she delivered just that. But then something happened. Towards the middle, that supercharged, alien awesomeness fizzled out, and in its place was a sluggish pace that caused the plot to move in slow motion. I found myself incredibly distracted, and just like with The Wrath of The Dawn, everything but reading was more appealing. Finally after I: A. Put this aside and read about 3 other books and B. Had epic GIF reactions to said books via twitter, I finally hopped back into the story, in hopes that it would eventually pick back up. It did. The true definition of redemption.
Aliens make everything cooler. Although I was marching my way through the story moving at 0.00006 WPM, there were a few aspects that kept me thoroughly entertained. For one, I really, really enjoyed the characters and their perspectives. As you all know, I'm usually always sold on a story that includes a male POV and this was no exception. Eros, this half human, half alien warrior-boy was so freaking adorable. After his family is killed by a rival colony led by the alien queen Kora, (our second main character) he is sent to her lands to become a slave along with the other rebels that were captured and taken prisoner from his camp. I absolutely loved his personality. He was every bit of a warrior, clever, determined, strong-willed, but there was also another side to him that was incredibly sweet and compassionate. He made the best of his not-so-ideal situation. Being imprisoned in enemy lands, while still trying to fight for your people? Admirable. Kora, who became one of my favorite female characters, was an awesome mixture of Princess Jasmine and Katniss. Her own people are against her being on the throne as queen, (including her vicious, back-stabbing brother) but she was fierce and passionate about her position, as well as a beautiful person inside and out. Even when she wanted to break, she held her own. #girlpowerbitches
Forbidden fruit is always the sweetest. I rarely read the synopsis of books these days, but I was still very much aware that eventually Eros and Kora would become a " thing " (we are talking about YA here) it was just a matter of how and when. Since Kora had his family slaughtered along with most members of his camp, I had this notion in the back of my head that it wouldn't happen. Can you believe that I was actually, banking on it to happen?? Their companionship was beyond enjoyable, especially their banter and how naturally awkward they were around each other, so when their situationship finally blossomed into something else entirely, I was pretty damn excited. You can't go wrong with forbidden love, especially one as dangerous and scandalous as theirs.
Ava Jae's debut novel Beyond The Red surprised me in more ways than one. I thought I was getting a typical story of two rivals, yet Ava served brilliant messages of love, friendship, sexuality, forgiveness, unity, and so much more on a platter that was piping hot. This is definitely one of the few times I'm glad I pushed through a book to the end.