Saturday, June 19, 2010

Review: Beyond the Night

Beyond the Night
Joss Ware
Futuristic Paranormal Romance
Envy Chronicles/Book 1
Avon/January 2010
Library e-book

From the author's website ~

A man with no future...

When Dr. Elliott Drake wakes from a mysterious fifty-year sleep, the world as he knew it is gone. Cities are now desolate, and civilization is controlled by deadly immortals. Stranger still is Elliott's extraordinary new "gift" – he has the power to heal, but it comes with fatal consequences.

A woman with a past...

Jade barely escaped the immortals and is now hell-bent on revenge. She trusts no one... until Elliott. His piercing gaze and tempting touch shatter her defenses, but the handsome doctor seems to have dangerous secrets of his own. Is it safe to trust him with her heart? If they are to survive in this dark new world, Jade and Elliott must work together to fight the forces that takes them beyond danger.

Beyond desire.
Beyond the night.

A new post-apocalyptic series by Joss Ware aka Colleen Gleason grabbed my interest when Kristie reviewed the three current releases (Books 1 & 2, Book 3). I loved the premise of these present day guys going into a cave in Sedona, Arizona no less (my neck of the woods) and waking up to find the world is vastly changed and fifty years have past. It made me think of the Planet of the Apes movie. (One of dh's favorites). The first one where Charlton Heston is an astronaut and crashes on what he thinks is this strange planet where apes rule. Only in Joss Ware's world it's the Strangers and their crazy humanoid, zombie like creatures, gangas, who terrorize the few humans that are struggling to survive.

Dr. Elliott Drake isn't in Kansas any more. Actually he's from Chicago but he's so far from the ER where he practiced medicine that it's crazy. He still treats the injured but now it's more on-the-go treatments with just the very basic supplies. It's only been six months since he and his friends woke up and the reality of the world he is now in is still sinking in. There's that little ray of hope that somehow, somewhere, the world isn't as totally fucked up as it is in Elliott's little slice of hell. I use the f-word because there was what at first seemed to be a lot of it. Elliott lets it fly quite frequently and I thought it was overused but then I got to thinking that the world he's now in is really fucked up and why shouldn't he use that word?

The story starts off with characters in peril. Right away the reader is thrown into this foreign yet familiar world. Some teens are about to walk into serious trouble and need their asses saved. Good thing the hero and heroine are there to save them. I loved that the women of this world are just as badass as the men. It makes sense that the women, at least some of them, have learned to take care of themselves to the extent that they can kick some major ass. Due to the decimation of the world population one of the more common views on women is that their main purpose should be to repopulate the world. Of course not everyone is fanatical about this but it does make sense. The world needs more people if they are to have any chance of not being killed off or enslaved by the Strangers and their gangas.

I want to mention the gangas. They are some nasty ass bastards that just gave me the creeps. And they say the same thing over and over as the drag/lurch towards their prey. They're slow and not very smart and only come out at night. So with a half-way decent weapon, you can kill them. The problem comes when there are a bunch of them and they basically overwhelm their prey and then tear and claw it apart. Very nasty with a high creep factor. Don't go out at night or the gangas will literally eat you alive!

The "town" of Envy is one of the larger settlements and that's where Jade lives. She and the other townsfolk... hehe, never thought I'd get to use that word in a PNR. For some reason I just love that word. So, the townsfolk have created this fortified oasis out in the middle of nowhere because basically everything is out in the middle of nowhere in this new world. Elliott and his friends go with Jade to Envy and here's where they, and us, get to find out more of what really happened 50 years ago. I liked the way it all came together with the supernatural aspects of the story along with the mythology thrown in. Everyone has their theories of what really happened to cause all the natural and possibly not so natural disasters.

The romance between Elliott and Jade didn't exactly draw me in. I was more interested in the survival/fighting for our lives/when is the real bad guy going to show up plot of the story. I did like both Elliott and Jade and they definitely had some sparks going but I found myself just as curious about some of the secondary characters and the obvious sequel bait. Some of the romance was a bit over the top with the likes of "Oh no, I'm going to die and I never got the chance to tell her/him that I love her/him" scenes. But I did think they made a good couple. Jade is emotionally and physically scared and Elliott is a healer. Jade grew up in this bizarre world and Elliott needs help understand how it all works.

That's not to say I didn't have a few other problems with this book. One thing that got on my nerves real quick was the mentioning of the 50 years that had pasted for the men. It was usually mentioned in regards to sex. Like they haven't had sex in 50 years which really wasn't true since they were in some sort of deep freeze so it's not like the possibility to have sex was there. But Elliott thinks about this a lot, mentions it often enough that I was just like, alright Elliott, we get it. You're really horny because you haven't gotten laid in 50 years. Now go after Jade already!

Speaking of Jade... if Jade thinks she might have a bounty hunter on her trail why would she be singing and putting herself out in the public like that? There are so few people and settlements left that you would think news of a good singer would travel fast. It seems like she would have tried to keep a lower profile than singing in a bar. That bugged me.

One other thing. Note to hero and heroine: Having sex in a room that has the smell of "blood and death lingering," because of the dead woman in the bathroom is not sexy. Please don't.

But even after those problems I was still completely caught up in this new world that Ware has created. The characters are well developed with enough other characters crying out for their stories to be told. There are a bunch of secondary characters that I want need to read their stories. A bunch. I can see this series continuing for some time. So far there are three books in print with a fourth due out next January. I know, unless the series takes a serious dive, I will continue to read the Envy Chronicles.

Rating: B


  1. As I said in my review, I thought Elliott a bit bland and the romance a bit lacking - BUT - I thought the entire concept and the world building was amazing and while it didn't work that well as a romance, it certainly worked well more than enough to keep me reading the next book. And we are very much rewarded with book 2 and 3. They are excellent!! I love it as we slowly get to find out what happened to the world our heroes once knew.

  2. Great REview!!! It looks like a really good one!! I also love the cover, very steamy!!!

  3. Kristie ~ *nods head* exactly what I liked about it too. Romance - eh, but world building - love. You know who really interests me? Zoe, the archer chick. And Theo. His book is due out in January. I'm real curious about him.

    LoR ~ You should give it a try if it sounds like something you would like. The world building is fascinatingly creepy. :)

  4. Leslie: Zoe is the hero in the third book - and you won't be disappointed. And another one who really intrigues me is Ian Maruk.

  5. Great review, Leslie :) Seems like you really enjoyed the world building and Kristie was absolutely right on the H/H and romance. Now, I need to read that book soon in order to get to the better books LOL.

  6. Kristie ~ I saw that when I was checking her website. Book 3 is waiting for me at the library. And book 4 (January 2011) is Theo's book!

    Nath ~ yep, Kristie was right. I hope you read it soon. I want to know what you think. :)