Hi there kittens (yah thats that’s a bit odd, but I almost called you kitchenettes – I’m still a bit sleep deprived – bear with me) today, as a part of Nori’s Sunday Street Team, I’m thrilled to finally be talking about Beyond the Red by Ava Jae!
And since this book came out March 1st, you can pick it up now! So let’s start off with the details and the review and then we’ve got a giveaway!
Title: Beyond the Red
Author: Ava Jae
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Publication: Sky Pony Press, Mar 1, 2016
*Review Copy Courtesy of Publisher
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’ve had my eye on this book for what seems like ages, even before my somewhat awkward gushing open letter to the author Ava Jae I had been excited about the somewhat fresh alien sci-fi, dealing with themes that YA sci-fi all too often backs down from or throws in as an afterthought.
So I was prepared for some depth. I was not prepared to be hit in the gut on page one with such visceral action and raw gut-wrenching complicated emotion that doesn’t once let up. Combined with the backdrop of the fascinating cultures and sites of this alien world, the plight of the two main characters is instantly compelling. They stand on opposite sides of an ages old battle, and yet we are able to see inside both of their minds and understand that this is far too complicated an issue for one side to simply be wrong or right. Neither Kora nor Eros is perfect, and while both are capable warriors, neither is fearless or sure of their place.
And quite honestly, it’s been forever since I’ve read a book where the romantic tension was so well written. I was so caught up in this I didn’t notice my friend trying to catch my attention for several minutes. Finally, when she did I had to apologize with, “I’m sorry, this book is just so damn sexy.” Which it definitely was. The writing was stellar. Sexy? yes – the tension not only there but in every sense was pitch perfect! But also, complicated, and perfectly paced and often achingly beautiful. My heart broke for these characters, who were so complex that they felt piercing, real and alive. And refreshingly, this was the first YA book in while that made me break just break down and cry.
On its basest of levels you could say this is a sort of Romeo and Juliet retelling, two teens from different houses who are at war with one another – but on that level I have to say it does everything right that Romeo and Juliet does wrong. Yes, Shakespeare wrote about some lovesick spoiled children who did some very stupid things in the name of love. You won’t see those sort of impulsive, childish or selfish acts in Beyond the Red, but you will see restraint and sacrifice in the name of love, honor, family and what one believes in as well as actually examining from every angle and trying to understand and reconcile the powerful forces of ignorance and history that separate and drive the divide between these two peoples.
This is a novel that is as sweeping a saga as the red sands of the far off planet where it takes place. One that will reach in and take hold of your heart and refuse to let it go. And I doubt you’ll want it to. In the end, it examines questions as basic as where are place is in the world and as bold as what really makes a person so different, so alien from ourselves. It does so with passion, heartache, nail-biting adventure, a hero and heroine that are both charming and sexy as hell and a glimpse into a world unlike any other you have ever had the privilege of visiting.
This definitely jumps to the top of my list for 2016 and I urge you to give it a try even if you aren’t a huge fan of sci-fi. It would appeal on many levels to fantasy fans, as well as anyone who can appreciate swoon worthy characters and a story that sweeps you in.
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.
We’ve got one finished copy of Beyond the Red by Ava Jae to give away and we want you to win!
Win a finished copy of
Beyond the Red by Ava Jae
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Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed the review. Have any of you read Beyond the Red yet? I’d love to know what you thought? Anyone have this book on your TBR? Feel free to leave links to reviews below! Later lovelies!