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.
Thank you to Sky Pony Press for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.
I hadn’t heard about BEYOND THE RED until quite recently, so I had high hopes for this one. Fortunately, this book definitely met my expectations and left my heart in shambles.
BEYOND THE RED follows two main characters, a rebel named Eros and the queen named Kora. When Eros gets captured from a raid on his town, he is forced to be the queen’s personal bodyguard. In a turn of events, Kora’s betrothed, is almost assassinated, Eros and Kora both need to flee from indictment and execution. I personally thought the plot was exciting, but I didn’t really get into the story until a third in. The novel contains an intriguing premise and it was executed quite well. In addition, there were aspects of different cultures within the novel, and human intervention was implicated throughout, but I would have liked to learn more about how the planet came to be.
BEYOND THE RED is told in dual perspectives, one from Eros and the other from Kora. Both characters were strong and intelligent, and I loved reading both sides’ perspectives of the events. I really enjoyed that the perspectives from a person with royalty and a person on the outside, which helped shaped the world in the novel. Although I loved both of the characters, I felt as if their voices were too similar, which took away from a different personalities. Additionally, the romance was amazing. It was slow burning, but when Eros and Kora finally got together, it was fantastic. The romance scenes were steamy and the chemistry was inexplicable. Although some people say there was a love triangle, that’s true, but it’s crystal clear as to who Kora really loves.
Despite how well-written the novel was, I felt as if I wasn’t as connected to the story as I wanted to be. The novel was pretty fantastic, but I don’t know if I would reread. I definitely will read other works of Ava Jae’s in the future, though.
I definitely recommend this book if you love:
- romance (but not too much; this book had a perfect amount),
- lots of action,
- or reading really good novels
Have you read BEYOND THE RED yet? Are you planning to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!