Review: Beyond the Red πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

29282402When it comes to the broad sibling genre of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I’ve always been more in the favor of Fantasy. ButΒ Beyond The Red by Ava Jae showed me a whole new world within the Sci-Fi realm, and I have fallen in love.

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 identityβ€”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.

– Goodreads

I’ve been a long time follower of Ava Jae’s writing advice Writability (and you should be too!), and when I heard that their debut was coming, I was ecstatic. Surely, someone who gives such great and dependable writing advice should have written an amazing book, right? And Ava delivered, beyond all expectations.

Reading the book of someone who you hold in high regard due to their advice can feel like you’re walking on a fine line. On one hand, their book could not hold up to your expectations, and fall flat, thereby disillusioning you to their advice. It could be just plain bad and you’ll forever doubt any sort of advice they may try to give, because clearly their advice wasn’t good enough if they didn’t follow it. But, like in the case ofΒ Beyond the Red, it could be everything you could have ever hoped for and more.

I felt deeply connected to Ava’s characters, rooting for them from the start. Ava’s writing is rich and powerful, and their prose is almost lyrical when read. The book has a strong set of characters, all with their different agendas, and the story itself has the potential to become a classic and a staple in the sci-fi/fantasy community.

My one and only gripe comes from the sudden end of the book, which sets up for a sequel, and perhaps it comes from my deep need to know more and submerge myself in the world of Sefara. I want more world-building, more stories, a comprehensive guide to the Sephari language, a history of all things Sephari and how humans came to the world. I essentially want this to become as wide and detailed asΒ Harry Potter orΒ LoTR, where I can learn the language and read everything there ever is to read about this story.

Goodreads . Amazon . B&N . Indie . Author Page

Chameleon Moon Review – πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

Before I get into my (hugely delayed) review of Chameleon Moon by RoAnna SylverΒ I have to talk about how I found this book first.

I’m a big fan of tumblr, specifically, I enjoy wasting time on tumblr. It’s a great source of procrastination. Sometime in early 2014 or late 2013, I saw a post go around with a picture of our friend and author RoAnna Sylver literally on the floor, unable to get up because they just received word of their manuscript,Β Chameleon Moon,Β being accepted by their publisher. And I was knee-deep in revisions on my own book, and what Sylver just experienced was exactly what I wanted and probably how I would respond (except probably with plenty of screaming too). So, excitedly, I followed Sylver’s blog and waited until October 2014, when it would be published.

I didn’t just follow Sylver’s blog because they had what I wanted. I was incredibly excited by this book’s release because of how they described it: a book where there was so diverse a cast that there was not a single straight, while cissexual character, which is so prevalent in all books. (Of course, there’s nothing wrong with straight white cissexual characters in fiction. But when that’s the only flavor of character you can have, you get pretty tired of it pretty quickly.) The book doesn’t shy away from mental illness or disabilities, especially when a core point of the plot centers around a “miracle” drug that supposedly can cure anything, nor does it shy away from gender and sexual identities of the wide cast of colorful characters.

AndΒ Chameleon MoonΒ delivered.

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Eon Review – πŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸπŸŒŸ

There are few books that I hold in high enough regard to give them a five star rating. The only othereoncoverΒ book I’ve ever done that for isΒ Name of the WindΒ by Patrick Rothfuss.Β I had a lot of trepidation going into this book, but I came out of it feeling like a kid again; like I had been a part of that story and that I could do anything. But there’s so much more toΒ EonΒ than just making me feel like a hopeful reader that can’t get to the bookstore fast enough for the sequel.

Spoilers below.

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Writing Diversity (Writing Tip Tuesday)

 

Diversity in literature, especially Young Adult literature, had been exploding over social media lately. That’s not to say diversity in fiction hasn’t been an issue prior to Twitter getting its hands on it, it’s just now openly available to everyone.

If there is one point I plan to make in this post, that you can take away from it, is this:Β diversity is important. If theΒ world is diverse, your writing needs to be diverse.Β 

I’m not just talking about slapping on a “foreign sounding name” to a background character, or changing the description of a minor character’s skin to read “dark” or “ebony”. Write a story featuring a person of color (POC); make the main character POC, make the love interest POC, make everyone POC if you really want. ButΒ include more than just white and black.

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