This debut novel by Joss Ware is a fantastic futuristic escape that fuels the mind with questions of the possibility of world devastation and the fall out on the human population as they fight to find answers and to survive.
Dr. Elliott Drake, known to his friends as Dred, is one of five men who wake up in a strange world that is drastically changed from what they have known. While on a caving adventure, the men succumb to a deep sleep that they wake from 50 years into the future into a devastated world full of macabre zombie like creatures and Strangers that look human but are bizarre immortal beings with crystals glowing from within their chests. Stranger still is the fact that some of the men have come out of the stasis with supernatural powers themselves that they cannot explain and do not have control of yet.
Diana Kapiza wants her past to stay buried. Known as Jade now, a lounge singer in Envy, what once was Las Vegas, she has known the cruelty of the Strangers and is part of a resistance to fight against their domination. Spending three years as a concubine to Preston, one of the Strangers that seem to control the ganga, she helps with an underground group of soldiers who are attempting to rebuild the Internet to try and get answers to the mysterious devastation of the earth. She is now a runner during the day and escapes the town limits to ride to various outposts in search of electronics and other information to aid their cause.
When a group of teens are attacked outside of the town of Envy, Dred and his friends fight the Ganga that attack them, but the monsters manage to take the one blonde kid in the group away with them. A beauty on horseback comes to their aid. Elliott wants to follow and learn more about the woman, but no one knows where she is from or why she fights to save those in trouble. Taking the teens back to the town of Envy, the men are welcomed into the town limits and get a heroes’ greeting, including a visit to the local bar where a very seductive woman is singing onstage. Realizing this woman is the same vision on bareback and that she might be able to help them find the answers they are looking for, the men follow her without question when after the show she leads them to a very remote area of town and to the hidden lair of the resistance. The men are welcomed into the resistance with open arms but are wary to reveal their powers in case they, too, turn on them. When Dred finds himself in a position to save a man who can protect Jade, he sacrifices himself to the consequences of using the power but is unable to stop an innocent who inadvertently dies instead of himself. Finding himself in a position to once again save someone that is necessary to the resistance, Jade and Dred go to bring the injured back to safety. Instead, they are betrayed, and Jade is once again captured and in the hands of a monster.
This story was a captivating read that held on to my attention from the first paragraph to the last. Ms. Ware brilliantly weaves a tale of the possibilities of futuristic devastation, monstrous zombies, familial betrayals, greed, friendship, self sacrifice and love within a gripping action and adventure story that proves to be the beginning of a fantastic series. I cannot wait for the next installment in this series as it has captured my attention and will not let go. Thankfully, the first three in the series will be available in January to March of 2010.
- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Avon; Original edition (January 12, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061734012
- ISBN-13: 978-0061734014
To purchase a print copy of Beyond the Night from Amazon click here.