Series: Beyond #1
Publisher: Maureen A. Miller
Date Published: December 13th 2013
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
Audiobook Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
Audiobook Narrator: Emma Lysy
Source: Provided as part of book tour
Description: It is the day after Aimee Patterson’s high school graduation. College beckons, as does her dream of becoming an engineer. On an early evening walk, her cocker spaniel charges into the woods on the other side of the pond. Aimee trails after him, and in the stillness of that forest the unthinkable happens. She becomes paralyzed and watches in horror as her hands vanish before her eyes. Waking to the sound of voices, Aimee realizes that she has been kidnapped. Little does she know how far away from home she is, though. In an attempt to flee her captors, she launches from their confines only to freeze at the view outside the window. The sky is black and filled with stars, and in the distance is a familiar blue globe. The planet Earth. A group of humans forced to flee their planet after an epidemic destroyed their civilization now travel the galaxies in search of an antidote. Retrieving samples of plant life from every solar system, on this occasion Aimee was accidentally seized instead. Aimee must learn to avoid the advances of an awkward young scientist who seems intent on dissecting her, as her own fascination turns to the exotic young warrior, Zak. Having fallen in love with Zak, she is now torn with the decision to return to Earth or live beyond the stars.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When I picked up Beyond, I was looking for a fun alien space story. That’s what I got, but I got so much more. Beyond is an intriguing space adventure tale, full of relatable (and brilliant) characters and fun world-building.
I loved that the aliens are not little green men or creepy squid creatures, but people. They’re not human, but they’re pretty much human – in appearance, emotion, and relationships – but they are so much more advanced in technology. Our alien race is running from a plague, and desperately searching other planets for a cure. By accident, or by evil intention, they snag a girl from Earth in addition to the plants they were sampling.
This girl, Aimee, is a recent high school graduate, a smart cookie who plans to go to college to study engineering (my kind of lady). So being on this space ship? Well, that’s an internship of a lifetime!
I loved the Artificial Intelligence machine JOH. What a fun character, and so real. Definitely not just a “computer” like Aimee calls him at first. I loved getting to know Zak and his backstory. He’s different from the rest of the alien race on the ship, yet similar, and so honorable and determined to save his own home planet one day. I enjoyed watching Zak and Aimee interact and fall for each other. I ached for them when the spaceship made its way back to Earth and Aimee was to be returned to her home.
But most of all I enjoyed that an Earthling got to save the day! I liked that Aimee wasn’t a special snowflake – I don’t think it was her and only her who could cure the plague. I think any human from Earth, or at least with a similar lifestyle, could have contained the necessary something in their DNA. So that’s what I liked about this story – she was just at the wrong (or right) place at the time the spaceship was searching for a cure on her planet and got picked up for an adventure of her life.
What’s to happen next for Zak and Aimee? Well, this is a series, so I’m hoping there are more fun adventures for them.
Now let’s chat about the audio since that is the version I am reviewing. I love audiobooks, and this was no exception. I think Emma Lysy did a great job with the pacing and the storytelling for this book. Her voice was kind of unique to me, almost like when I want to mimic a queen, and I open up the back of my throat and kind of make my words um, bigger? Does that make sense? That’s kind of what her voice sounds like. I liked her voices for the other characters and enjoyed the way each character’s voice had something unique to it.
Overall, a solid read (and listen). Have you read this series?