Review: Beyond by Maureen A. Miller

Beyond by Maureen A. Miller
Release Date: September 9, 2012
Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 302
Source:  Author

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.

 

Review:  I REALLY wanted to give this book five stars. I almost did. The characters are great. I read a different review that put the characters in a great way. There was just enough of naiveté to make it obvious that it was a teenager as the main character but no over the top angst that some writers get stuck in. The setting was believable in a sci-fi kind of way. It was young adult in the best way. The romance in this story was adorable too. There was just enough of a problem in order to make it interesting but it wasn’t overly complicated either. I can’t say enough good things about the plot and characters. Really well done.

There are just a few things that kept it from being 5 stars. The first being that while the spaceship is really well done, there were not a lot of visual descriptions that gave me something to hold on to. This was noticeable for the spaceship, her room and the planet she visits. There were SO many places that the author could have gone. In one way I am glad she didn’t do it over the top because that would have made the whole thing boring. But I wanted more descriptions of the people that she named other than, ‘they were all good looking with light complexion.’ Lastly, there were a few unanswered questions. Not unanswered questions that would lead to a sequel. More like questions I had as a reader that I would have liked answered.

The author also talked about the passage of time, but not whether she aged at all. I think so as no one mentions it but it wasn’t addressed. *SPOILER* She’s gone from earth 5 years which means she should look early 20s if time passes. But up in space it was more like 6 months time wise. So did she age super fast? * END SPOILER* It was different questions like this that would have made a huge impact on the book.

After all this, I am a new fan. Her books are reasonable priced on eBook sellers and I think I am going to look into her adult novels. Brilliantly done. A lovely debut to the young adult genre.