Auntee's Reviews > Beyond the Night

Beyond the Night by Joss Ware
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Jan 23, 10

bookshelves: paranormal-romance, 2010_reads
Recommended for: Fans of paranormal/ horror/ romance; fans of post apocalyptic stories like "The Stand".
Read in January, 2010

This is going to be a really hard one to review, because it's going to be hard not to give away any spoilers, and because there's so much going on. As it often is with first books in a series, there's a lot the author has to do to set up the story, but Joss Ware does a pretty fine job laying the groundwork for the Awakening Heroes series. And BTW, that is an excellent and appropriate name for the series, because the hero of this book turned out to be a real HERO in every sense of the word.

Basically the story is this: It's June 6, 2010, and three friends who met and bonded on a humanitarian trip to Haiti five years ago are exploring a cave near Sedona, Arizona. The three friends are Dr. Elliot Drake, a 30 year old ER physician from Chicago; Wyatt, a 32 yr old firefighter/paramedic from Colorado; and Englishman Quent, a rich playboy and heir to his industrialist father's fortunes, with an avid interest in antiquities and dangerous adventures. Along with their local guides Lenny and 'Fence', the three are exploring the cave when all hell breaks loose. A cataclysmic earthquake-like event happens, complete with strange smells, sounds, and sizzling shocks of energy, sending boulders tumbling, the Earth shaking and splitting, and then...darkness. When the five of them come to, it's 50 years later, and not one of them has aged a day. And a few of them now have some extra 'powers'...

The story picks up 6 months later, and we find out a few things. Lenny, one of the guides, dies from an infection that Elliot may have inadvertently given to him with his special 'power' that could also be a curse; Quent has special abilities that sometimes leave him terrified; there was another survivor from the cave disaster--a mysterious man named Simon. Most of the world as we know it is gone, swallowed up by the oceans. There are no modern conveniences anymore--no working telephones, cars, stores, roads, electricity, etc.--the world has reverted to something you'd see in the 1800s. There are few survivors from the original disaster (called the 'Change')--most of the inhabitants of the Earth are less than 50 years old. The world is now controlled by immortal-like, evil beings called "Strangers" whose agenda isn't totally clear, and who live on a sort of "Lost-City-of Atlantis" continent that sprung up in the Pacific Ocean. There are also zombie-like creatures (gangas) that come out at night, moaning "Ruuuth...ruuuth". And the men are trying to make their way to a settlement called 'Envy'...

When the men stumble upon a group of teenagers being attacked by the gangas, they step in to help, and then a beautiful woman (Jade) on horseback rides in and saves the day. Elliot is instantly smitten by this brave, gorgeous woman--who is she? Does she live in Envy? Can she tell them what has happened and if there's any hope for civilization? Elliot is not even sure if he wants to live in this unfamiliar, terrifying new world, but God must have saved him for a reason. And with Jade's help, he just might discover the reason.

Wow, this highly imaginative book was one thrill ride after another. There was a lot to tell and explain and keep track of, and I actually found myself taking notes just to keep everything straight. Lots of names and facts get tossed out right away so the reader has to be on his/her toes to determine who are the good guys, who are the bad guys, and figure out if this apocalypse was a man-made occurance, done by aliens, or something else? I loved the whole end-of-the-world scenario--it reminded me a little of my favorite Stephen King book (The Stand). I loved the whole scavenge-for-clothes and-things-you could use vibe. I loved when Elliot and his buddies finally made it to the walled city of 'Envy' (just wait until you discover where 'Envy' really is) and its communal way of living. I loved meeting the older man Lou Waxnicki--a computer geek from 2010 and one of the brains behind the new civilization. I loved seeing how the people of 2060 tried to adapt and live without the conveniences that we now have. Of course most of them didn't know what they were missing, so it was hardest for men like Elliot and his buddies (who all lost their families) to adapt.

The fight between the good guys and the Strangers has just begun in this book, and no way is it over yet. There's at least two more books in the series, and the author has dropped some big hints about who is behind the destruction of the earth as we know it and why. This book just covers the tip of the iceberg of this post apocalyptic world, and it left me with lots of questions, and I must say I can hardly wait to read the next one in the series Embrace the Night Eternal.

If there's one thing I felt was short changed a wee bit in this story, it was the romance. I understand how the romance could get lost in the shuffle in the first book, since there's so much to set up and explain for the whole series. I was just hoping to see a little bit more, because when Jade and Elliot finally got together (after 250 pages!), they sizzled. Of course Jade had some control issues due to a terrifying couple of years in her past, so she wasn't immediately ready for the attraction she felt for Elliot, or his sometimes possessive streak, but when they worked things out...whew! Elliot was one fine man--sexy, heroic, courageous...and was very deserving of a HEA (as was Jade), and I was satisfied with his character's journey. And Jade and Elliot's romance wasn't the only one brewing in this book--Quent had a very hot encounter with his future lady, and this one almost upstaged Elliot/Jade. We'll have to see if this encounter turns into something more in his book (Abandon the Night).

So, for readers (both male and female) looking for a new, exciting, imaginative series with a touch of the paranormal, lots of action, little bits of horror (those gangas are scary!), and (hopefully way more) romance, you can't go wrong with the Awakening Heroes series. There's lots of questions left unanswered in this one, and I can't wait to uncover the answers. For me, I think this book might be even better with a second read, but as it stands now I'd have to rate it a very solid 4 stars.
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Reading Progress

01/17/2010 page 1
0.28%
01/18/2010 page 38
10.64% "So far reminds me of Stephen King's "The Stand"..." 7 comments
01/20/2010 page 118
33.05% "No time to read...:("
01/21/2010 page 198
55.46% "Finally, a hint of romance..."
01/22/2010 page 338
94.68% "Oh my, I'm almost done!" 2 comments
01/23/2010 page 338
94.68% "Turned out pretty good. Review coming..."

Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

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message 1: by Rane (new)

Rane Great Review Auntee! It sounds like one book that will take you on one great reading ride!


Auntee Thanks Rane, it wasn't my 'typical' read but once I got into it I found it very enjoyable.:)


message 3: by Shawna (new) - added it

Shawna Great review, Auntee! This sounds like an interesting change of pace that I'll keep on the TBR for when I'm in the mood for something a bit different.


Auntee Thanks Shawna. Definitely a change of pace type book and now that everything is in place in the series 'world', I expect the second book to have a little more romance. We'll see...:)


message 5: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz Nice review Auntee :) Certainly sounds like a different kind of read.


Auntee Thanks East, it certainly was different. Not too many post-apocalyptic romances out there!:)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) Wow, Auntee. This sounds really good. I'm so glad I bought this one. Great review!


Aimee I picked this one up at WalMart last night. I'm excited to work it into my TBR pile. (probably somewhere near the top)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) I think I'll be moving this one up my tbr pile, too.


message 10: by Beanbag (new)

Beanbag Love Great review, Auntee. I haven't read any Joss Ware. I'll keep it in mind.


message 11: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Never read anything by this author either. Terrific review tho!


UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... Great review, Auntee! I LOVED King's The Stand. It is my favorite of his works. I'm adding this one to my TBR list.

I have a 16 year old son who loves to read this type of book. How explicit is the sexuality in this book? Thanks!


Auntee Thanks all! The best part is that the next two books in the series (a trilogy at this point) come out in the next 2 months...so hopefully it will remain 'fresh' in my mind.:)

Uniquely Moi--that's a good question. There were a couple of scenes (one pretty intense and hot)--maybe too much for a 16 years old. Now to me, I've read a lot hotter (as most of us have!)--this was probably typical heat level of today's MM paperbacks. But the sex scenes take up very little of the whole book. There might be only 3-4 scenes.


UniquelyMoi ... So I Can Shine... Thanks for the information, Auntee. I appreciate it! It's on hold at B&N for me.


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan Nice review! Not sure it is my cup of tea, but isn't the author the same person who wrote the Gardella Vampire chronicles? If so, I enjoy the writing so may pick this one up.


Auntee Thanks Susan.:) Yes, you're right--that's Colleen Gleason.


message 17: by Kathrynn (new) - added it

Kathrynn This sounds fantastic! Going to give it a try. Thanks for the great review, Auntee. :-)


Auntee Thanks Kathrynn, I know you'll enjoy the whole time-travel angle. I'm looking forward to the next book which comes out next week (I think).:)


Mahyar Wow, amazing review.


Auntee Thanks Mahyar.:)


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