Home Beyond Hell
Karen Yakey’s Home Beyond Hell takes place in a futuristic dystopian world ravaged by war. Vanessa Brouwer is a young twenty-two-year-old green-eyed blonde who yearns to see the world outside her castle community. A gardener by trade, this plucky heroine and her community are taken hostage by a passing gang of soldiers captained by a mysterious masked man. Although he seems cold and ruthless, Vanessa discovers that while his exterior is tough, there is much more than what meets the eye.
Captain Ethan Evans is a man running from his past. Struggling with losing his own home, Ethan has found Vanessa’s and is uncomfortable with how much he longs to stay, but fear of destroying her home keeps him ready to run. His mask hides more than his disfigurements, and Vanessa soon learns that the reason he and his soldiers move so often is darker than she first anticipated.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The point of view switches in-between Vanessa and Ethan giving the novel a well-rounded perspective. The characters are likable even in their woes, and the story seems promising. Every character is fleshed out, and Yakey does a great job exploring their histories. Vanessa is not a one-stop heroine, she’s invested in the characters around her, and through her, the reader becomes involved with them as well. For example, Morgan, Ethan’s right-hand man, has an interesting storyline verging in a possible love interest with Vanessa, but Yakey keeps it from becoming too much of a clichéd love triangle.
Yakey’s storytelling takes the classic romance tropes and makes them interesting. She doesn’t rely on lazy cliches but instead takes what’s typical and twists it into something new. I found myself rooting for all the characters even when they were at odds with each other. Yakey has taken the anti-hero ideology and created something new and shiny with it. The only thing I didn’t care for because this is the first in a series was that it felt disappointingly unfulfilled. This novel read more like a long prologue that never really went anywhere plot-wise. It felt like it stopped at the beginning of the real story instead of ending at a point that made sense. However, it is quite a long novel, clocking in at about 373 pages and 44 chapters. Perhaps that is a testament to the quality of writing that I found myself frustrated by the end and wanting more. This is a series worth following, and I personally will be on the lookout for the next chapter.
|Self-Published under RIVERHAUNT PRESS, LLC
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