Audiobook Review: Beyond the Red by Ava Jae

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on December 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

Audiobook Review: Beyond the Red by Ava JaeBeyond the Red by Ava Jae
Series: Beyond the Red #1
Published by Sky Pony Press (3.1.2016)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook, 360 pages
Length: 11 hours, 20 minutes
Narrator: Caitlin Davies, Will Damron
Source: I own it

3 Stars

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 thoughts

I was sooo torn on this book. On one hand, I enjoyed it; but on the other, it was pretty freakin’ irritating. I’m gonna break it down by likes and dislikes because I have warring emotions!

Things I liked:

  • The world and concept – space! Aliens! Right up my alley. The world had an awesome Mars feel going for it. The nanites were cool, the races were cool, I enjoyed the whole world in general!
  • Eros – I felt SO bad for him! He’s been shunned his whole life – his life basically means nothing because he’s a half blood, and he can’t even help it. He was a bit bitter and sardonic about it, but kept on keepin’ on
  • IRO!!!! Who is basically a giant house cat that could rip you limb from limb, but is really just a lovable fluffy marshmallow
  • The narrators – Will Damron and Caitlin Davies were fabulous!
  • View Spoiler »

Things I didn’t like:

  • Kora – I wanted to punch her in the face. It pissed me off that she latched onto Serek so easily without a single thought for Eros, then bounced back and forth and led them BOTH on. Plus she led Eros on even though she knew they couldn’t have a future together (or rather refused to believe it could happen). She also let her brother, Dima, take advantage of her and walk all over her despite the fact that SHE was the queen. I understand that the people wanted Dima on the throne, but grow a little backbone? Dima was constantly undermining her authority, and SHE LET HIM. It drove me bonkers! She was always second guessing herself and submitting to her brother instead of putting him in his place.
  • The romance – SO. IRRITATING. Love triangle, instalove, you name it. Both sides of the triangle moved WAY too fast. The romance between Kora and Eros moved too fast for the fact that he’s supposedly the most reviled creature on the planet, and she ordered his whole family murdered *rolls eyes* And then Serek said he loved Kora and didn’t even KNOW her. Ew.
  • Eros lusting after Kora CONSTANTLY – ok we get it, she’s hot, but have a little self respect? She ordered your entire family murdered, hellooo
  • “Breasts” – if I had a fucking dollar for every time Eros said breasts ugghhhh
  • View Spoiler »
  • View Spoiler »
  • Kora constantly whining about how she couldn’t be with Eros – using it as an excuse to go back to Serek after leading Eros on yet again, YOU ARE A QUEEN HELLO
  • Sexy times after an attempted rape – if you were almost raped and your would-be rapists were laying dead at your feet, you would so not be in the mood for a little kissy kissy action. Just sayin’.

Okay, so that looks pretty bad. The dislikes outweigh the likes, but the world and narrators were so incredible (and Iro!!) that it made up for the things I didn’t like!

The audio

Like I said, Will Damron and Caitlin Davies were fabulous! I am thoroughly convinced that I would have DNFed this book if not for their narrating. They really brought the characters to life and made them feel real!

Overall Assessment

Plot: 2/5
Premise: 5/5
Writing style: 3/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 2.5/5
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Feels: 3.5/5
Narration: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Overall rating: 3/5

Jessi (Geo)

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