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 with it comes 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 take them beyond danger.
Beyond the Night.
I found my reaction to this book pretty interesting. I was initially thinking about giving it 3 stars, 3.5 at a push. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that this book was actually pretty fantastic. So I’d like to take a quick minute to say thank you to Joss Ware, the author of the Envy Chronicles. Thank you ma’am, for creating characters that I at no point wanted to slap. It makes for a refreshing change.
Now, the reason I was initially thinking 3 stars was because it was pretty slow. If you’re going to read this book, you’ll need to be patient because while a lot happens and a lot is explained, it felt like it was taking a long time. But it was worth it. I think you’ll need to keep in mind that this is the first of the series, and things do tend to take a bit longer since the author is busy establishing the world and getting everything sorted.
So we start off in a post-apocalyptic set up, fifty years from now. Most of humanity is dead and there are no computers, cell phones or TVs. Everything has gone ka-blooey and no one is entirely sure what happened. There are a few humans who survived the world basically ending, but they number in the hundreds as opposed to the millions or even thousands. It’s against this backdrop that we meet five men who survived the end in very mysterious circumstances. Fence, Simon, Wyatt, Quent, and Elliott (our hero) found themselves waking up in a cave fifty years after they first entered it. They haven’t aged, their hair and nails haven’t grown, nothing about them has physically changed. However, that’s about the only thing that hasn’t changed. They leave the cave to discover that nothing is like how they remember it, and there are these freaky-ass flesh-eating monsters, called gangas, running amok at night. The few survivors they’ve run into have mentioned a place called Envy (N.V as in New Vegas), and the guys have spent the last few months looking for the place. One night the guys stumble upon a bunch of spectacularly stupid teenagers who are travelling about after dark. The kids get attacked by the gangas and the guys jump in to save them. But they’re not the only do-gooders hanging about at night.
Enter Jade. Jade is one seriously kick ass chick, and the attraction between her and Elliott is intense. Elliott is immediately impressed by the way she just jumped in to save the kids, and Jade is fascinated by this man who claims to be a doctor. Bare in mind that since the world ended, those have been few and far between.
There’s this song by Incubus, where they talk about the person being “a mountain that I’d like to climb, not to conquer but to share the view.” I know what you’re thinking… that’s very nice but what has it got to do with the book? I’ll tell you: you sometimes find in some books where there’s a spirited heroine that her partner wants to domesticate her. That so wasn’t the case in this story. He didn’t want to tame her, he just wanted to be with her and enjoy her the way she was. It was actually the two lead characters that made me decide to give this book a higher rating. They were awesome. Jade was a fierce, independent woman and Elliott was that increasingly rare creature in the romance genre: a nice guy. You read that right. A Nice Guy. Jade wasn’t that perfect heroine who was unselfish and calm and sweet and all that other stuff that makes you want to grind your teeth. She was real. You could relate to her. Elliott was confident and assertive but he wasn’t suffering from Alpha Male Syndrome. He understood that Jade had things to do, and he supported her. In fact, he only did the caveman thing once, and Jade let him have it. Another thing I liked about Jade was that she acknowledged the fact that they’d only known each other for a few days and that, no matter how attracted they were to one another, he had no right to dictate to her! Ahem… sorry. It’s a major peeve of mine when the hero decides that the heroine is his and then gets all bossy, and she lets him.
In conclusion: this book was brilliant. Not as fast-paced as it maybe should have been, but the world building was really interesting, and the characters didn’t follow the same old tired cliches. If Ware carries on like this, it’s going to be an awesome series. I can feel it in my bones. You can get Beyond the Night at Amazon. I know it says the book is written by Colleen Gleason, but it’s the same book. “Joss Ware” is just a pen name.