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.
Beyond the Red’s plot summary had me hooked as soon as I read it! I was so looking forward to devouring it’s pages. Unfortunately, I found myself disappointed overall.
The story is set in a desert-ravaged planet during a reality in which humans are minorities, and aliens are the dominant race. They rule over the humans, half of which they take as slaves, and the other half they force to live in the desert landscapes in camps. Beyond the Red is told by the point of views of Kora (an alien queen of sorts) and Eros: a half-blood who is forced to act as her pretend servant. These two must work together to overthrow an evil plot to dethrone Kora. Of course feelings become stirred and though both are in denial, there is no avoiding the love that has grown between them as they go to more and more lengths to ensure each others safety.
Beyond the Red was most certainly a unique tale. The setting was new and different, and the concept was intriguing. However, there were definitely predictable components as well, components that should have been huge reveals, but were just so obvious. And as events continued, I couldn’t help but disengage from the content. I just lost my excitement toward the characters and the story. The romance was constantly a tug-a-war and so frustrating that I found myself not caring anymore. I had so much hope for this book when I first picked it up. I was definitely enthralled by the first 50 pages, but after that, it started to slow down a little too much.
The ending of Beyond the Red was full of suspense and could prove hopeful for a good sequel. I am still deciding if I want to give it a shot or not. Ultimately, I didn’t dislike Beyond the Red, but I didn’t necessarily enjoy it either. I have noticed conflicted reviews on Goodreads, so if you want to give it a shot, I wouldn’t tell you not to.
Buy it on Amazon here.