Beyond the Red by Ava Jae – Book Review

Beyond the Red

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Goodreads Description:

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. 

My Review:

I won this book on Instagram from the publisher.  It is not the typical book that I would normally choose.  I would probably walk right by it in the bookstore, so I am glad it was given to me because I really enjoyed reading it.  I liked the plot, characters and even the setting considering I am not a sci-fi fan.

It’s funny that Kora is described as an Alien Queen since the story takes place on her planet and the humans are the aliens who long ago left earth looking for more viable planets to live on.  On this planet humans are inferior and live all over trying to survive. Kora’s twin brother Dima doesn’t make their lives any easier.  He is intent on doing away with humans and removing Kora from the throne.  She was born first and therefore became the sibling who inherited the throne and Dima can’t tolerate this.

Eros is a half-blood who was raised by humans.  When his encampment is attacked he ends up getting captured and becomes Kora’s servant.  Together they will become so much more than just royal and servant.  They will work together to save the people, both human and natives, from cruel and unjust rulers and plots to destroy humanity.

I very much liked the characters of Eros and Kora.  The story is told from both their points of view in alternating chapters.  They are both very likable and caring people who struggle with personal challenges.  The pacing of the story was enjoyable and I was able to finish the book in a couple of days. It was more than just a science fiction story.  There was adventure and romance as well which drew me in. The ending could be viewed as finite or as left open to a sequel.  I viewed it as the beginning of a longer saga and I did read that two more books will be published in this series.  I am definitely open to reading the other books to see where this story goes.

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