Monday, January 18, 2010

Beyond the Night by Joss Ware

Beyond the Night by Joss Ware
Copyright 2010
Avon - Romance/Paranormal
357 pages
Author's website

The cover blurb describes Beyond the Night as paranormal, but I would call it a futuristic/dystopian novel with some paranormal elements. I'm not sure if that's technically a correct description, but Beyond the Night is definitely set in the opposite of a utopian world.

Elliott Drake and several of his friends have awakened from a 50-year nap. They haven't aged; they just mysteriously bypassed 50 years. Elliott and his friends were exploring in a cave when disaster struck. After awakening, they emerged from the cave to find their world had been utterly destroyed. Now, they must survive in a world controlled by dangerous people who have discovered the secret to immortality and who use zombie-like creatures to do their dirty work.

Jade was captured by the immortals but managed to escape. Since her escape, she has changed her identity to protect herself and those she works with. Jade risks her life regularly as she and her cohorts seek to understand their insane new world and find a way to overcome their enemies. When she meets Dr. Drake, she initially distrusts him, but there's something that draws her to him and slowly he gains her confidence.

Elliott has developed a mysterious ability to cure illness or injury, but there's a catch. Not quite the miracle he originally thought it was, Elliott has to take care not to end up inadvertantly hurting people, as well.

Stuck in this new world together, Jade leads Elliott and friends to the town of Envy. Envy has such an interesting background that I don't think I'll share it; it was awfully fun reading the explanation for the name and the city's history. Once they get to Envy, things really start to happen. They've already had to defend themselves from the zombies or gangas. Now, in Envy, they happen across a secretive plot that could destroy what little the people sheltering in Envy have left. As they set out to find answers, they'll face new dangers and discover the secret that led to the world's destruction.

The secret is weird. I'm not sure how else to describe it and I don't want to give anything away. I enjoyed Beyond the Night because of the story's complexities and uniqueness. Joss Ware is a pen name for Colleen Gleason. In Beyond the Night, I recognized Colleen's hallmark - her ability to create a unique world in spite of the fact that she's entered highly-marketable (often "ditto") writing territory. That's what I loved about the book most, the uniqueness of her world.

What I didn't like was the bad language. There is much more truly nasty language than I expected; the author used a few words that I consider completely taboo, parental-advisory terms. I don't like reading them and I wouldn't hand a book that I know contains those words to my kid. The book is also definitely heavier on romance than what I became accustomed to in Colleen's Victoria Gardella vampire series, which might explain the pen name -- to distinguish the two distinctly different styles, one heavier on romance and the other heavier on action.

It's really totally unfair to compare the two series, but it's also difficult not to. I absolutely loved Colleen Gleason's vampire series and found I had to really work to shut off my expectations. In general, I liked Beyond the Night more the further I got into it. A lot happens, although I thought it was a little slow to crank up and there were times I thought the usual miraculous escape from danger was a little bit of a stretch, but I do like action scenes.

I'm not a typical romance reader in that I dislike graphic sex and bad language, so I'm not going to rate Beyond the Night. Instead, I'll say I enjoyed the fact that there was plenty of complexity to Joss Ware's futuristic world; but, since it's heavier on romance, I'd particularly recommend this book to the romance crowd. If you don't mind more emphasis on romance or are willing to overlook that and the bad language, go for it. Having said that, I do want to continue the series.

In other news: I am now so far behind myself that I'm not sure I'll ever catch up with me. Didn't I say I was going to write some mini reviews? I wonder what ever happened to those. Maybe they'll still appear. I make no promises. A few of the books I've read were sent by either a publisher or publicist and they have top priority. If I do write mini-reviews, it'll probably be a good thing, anyway. I've always thought my posts are way too long.

My eldest son helped divert my mind from the cat to other matters, this weekend. Note to son: I'll mail the Dave Ramsey book, tomorrow, and will be happy to generously offer you some excellent hints about how to stretch your grocery money. You can go a long way on a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut-butter, some raw veggies and fruit, for example. Skip the beer and drink tap water. Don't buy frozen or canned food. There. Don't say your mother never does anything for you.

Back to the rest of you . . . What was I saying? Oh, bookish stuff. A lot of us are trying to read more deliberately, this year. I haven't actually read all that much, but it sure seems like I'm enjoying my reading a bit more. Over the weekend, I read The Making of the African Queen by Katherine Hepburn. I love the movie, so I enjoyed reading about the experience. I also finished They Were Just People: Stories of Rescues in Poland During the Holocaust by Tammeus and Cukierkorn. I have a feeling I'll have a lot to say about that book. If you're a fan of WWII books, grab a copy of They Were Just People. It is excellent.

Gotta go. I haven't used that nifty new treadmill for a few days. Enough moping around. It just makes the butt bigger, you know.

Bookfool, who will be watching old Chuck episodes but has watched some of the new season on Hulu and thinks, "Yes! Chuck still rocks!"


  1. I am behind on reviews too. My biggest goal this year is to review every book I read. Yikes! I am doing some mini reviews this weekend. The problem is I just don't have anything to really say about some of them.
    Tell your son I spend too much at the grocery store too. For just my sister and me it is crazy. We eat way too much frozen and processes food. She is a very picky eater and we don't cook. lol :)

  2. Brittanie,

    I decided a while back that there's no need to review every single book I read -- or, at least, there's no need to go into painful detail. Some of them I just save for my end-of-month reviews because a paragraph is all I can come up with. The problem comes when you have an obligation. Maybe you could just write what they're about in a single paragraph if you don't have much to say -- and then what you liked . . . the humor, writing style, action, romance, realism, setting, etc. That's more than enough.

    My son is going to kill me. :) He's got to stretch his budget, this month, but he doesn't seem to want to talk to me so I figured I'd offer him some helpful hints at my blog! LOL Seriously, I'll be lucky if he ever speaks to me, again. I tend to go for convenience at the grocery store, too. But, I'm old. I have a little extra slack in my budget, now that I don't have any debt.

  3. Our new favorite is the Chef Boyardee pizza mix cause it is cheap pizza but soooo good! The one with pepperoni is $1.30 more than just the cheese one but it's still over a $1 per person so it is tons cheaper than delivery. :)

    I do make a lot of hamburger helper so I do boxed mixes and frozen veggies cause they taste better and they last longer. I do have the Green bags and will buy more fresh veggies when I have to start making baby food in a couple of months. :)

  4. *writes down lessons Bookfool gives her son, for surely they will be valuable to me one day as well :p*

    My favorite of those lessons is to drink water instead of beer :p Love it! I can't wait to read Colleen', I mean JOSS's new book :D I tend to not be offended by language and s*x, so I think I'm really going to enjoy this one!!! Sounds like a winner to me! I really just miss Colleen's writing. I so wish she'd write more Gardella books! I'm not ready for that series to be over yet :p

  5. Well, that is one heck of a cover! lol It sounds like a good story, though. I will have to add it to my list of books to check out.

    I always get sooo far behind on my reviews for audiobooks. I still have some from this past summer to cover. Mini-reviews sometimes just work great and are the way to go - much less stressful too, lol.

  6. Krista,

    I have bad memories of Chef Boyardee, but I think it's probably because my mother used too much sauce. I didn't like pizza till I was in high school and finally started eating out with other people. That was many years after my father sternly told me that I'd better figure out how to eat things like pizza and tacos (I was a very picky eater) because, "Some day, you're going to want to go on a date and you eat pizza on dates." LOL


    You just email me if you're having a tight budget month and I'll help you out. :)

    I mentioned water instead of beer because my son is as big a fan of beer as I am of Coke. When we've been on a tight budget, we've usually allowed ourselves one or two meals out in a month, but no soft drinks because they have the highest markup. Beer isn't cheap, either.

    I think you'll enjoy Colleen/Joss's book. It's got plenty of adventure -- quite different from the Gardella series in many ways. It's modern, the focus is on a different couple in each book, it's futuristic instead of historical. If anything, I think the book shows that Colleen . . . uh, Joss (it's hard not calling her Colleen!) can write whatever she feels like writing.

    I miss the Gardella series, too. I thought 5 books would satisfy me, but I miss those characters.


    Yep, pretty sexy cover, isn't it? I'm going to have to do at least a few mini-reviews. We'll see. Sometimes, when I'm way behind I don't want to look at the computer at all.

  7. Thanks for the mention of They Were Just People: Stories of Rescue in Poland During the Holocaust. If anyone wants to look at the book's Web site, it's And search on Facebook for They Were Just People.

  8. Bill,

    You're very welcome. Your book is awesome. I'll try to remember to link up to your website when I write my review.


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