Title: Beyond the Gates (The Starborn Redemption #1)
Author: Jason D. Morrow
Narrator: Stacy Gonzalez
The Containment Zone is a 500-mile radius surrounded by mountains and closed in by gates. No one can leave, and anyone who tries will die. Within are lawless bandits, corrupt soldiers, and once-human greyskins that hunt down people to spread the virus. Some say the Containment Zone is where the greyskin virus originated. Others say the people inside are little more than lab rats being studied by the nefarious Screven government.
When 12-year-old Skylar and her father, Liam, are caught trying to escape, they are taken to Vulture Hill, a government prison camp no one has ever left alive. Inside the prison, Skylar learns that the facility is little more than a testing site for finding people of a certain bloodline – the Starborn. These are people with special powers that manifests in various spectacular ways, and Screven wants to exploit them.
Skylar has always known there was something special about her family. For years, her father has had the ability to completely numb pain with just a thought. Lacerated skin, broken bones, they can all be ignored with enough concentration. Learning that her father is a Starborn means Skylar is probably one too, placing them both in extreme danger.
Now, father and daughter must do the impossible and break out of a prison known for killing so many. But Liam has leverage the government may be willing to buy – the cure for the greyskin virus.
The first two books of The Starborn Redemption are set 40 years after The Starborn Ascension and 17 years before The Starborn Uprising. Each Series can be listened to independently.
Starting this story, I wasn’t sure what to think about such a young MC but that concern quickly slipped away as I got into the book. When young Skylar and her father are capture for trying to escape the contamination zone, they are sentenced to live out their days in a Death Camp. Skyler and her father are horrified at the people within and around the place. Within the camp, they are given dangerous jobs—dealing with the infected humans known as greyskins. When the learn of a plot to wipe out the population of the Death Camp, Skylar and her father break their rule of never trusting anyone and depend on those around them to escape.
The coolest thing about this book was the mix of science fiction and fantasy. It has a dystopia/apocalyptic feel but with heartwarming sentiments and character growth that I’ve seen in a lot of fantasy works.
Either way, this is a very engaging read for those with a love for all things suspense.
Also, the narration is wonderfully done.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.