Beyond The Fence (The Dartmoor Chronicles Book 1) - Jen Minkman

Again, due to BL not being able to do Spoiler tags correctly, I am posting the shortened version of my review.



4.5 stars. If only Kian wasn't such a dick and some stuff wasn't so magically convenient, I would have rated it higher. 

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I would like to give a warning to all, be sure to have read The Island trilogy before you start this one. This one takes place 5 years after the events in The Island trilogy, and while there is quite a bit of story what happened, you will still be utterly confused if you haven't read the trilogy.

I, on the other hand, was delighted with the fact that even if Leia and Walter aren't in the book, they still get talked about, there are references to their journey, about their island, about their visit. The Star Wars part also gets mentioned a few times, and I was just squealing in delight. And not only do they get referenced, oh no, we also have an Islander in this story. 

The book is told from the POV of two characters. The amazing and sweet Sarah, who I really liked. And Kian, a pretentious little dick who gets pissy if he doesn't get what he want. 
Each x number of chapters the POV switches, and so you get a fresh look on things from every x number of chapters. Though in all honesty, I wasn't looking forward to Kian's POV. 

Sarah, Sarah, was just amazing. I loved her determination, her strength, the way she never gives up. How she just fights, not only for herself, but for everyone around her. Anyone else in her situation might have just given up, given up on fighting, given up on getting somewhere. But not Sarah, Sarah just fights. She hides what she is feeling, but on the inside there is a girl who is willing to do anything to get out, and get the life she deserves. Because she does deserve some happiness and love. Not only did she lose her father, no she lost her life in return. She was Redstamped, treating as a danger, treated as a criminal, while she hasn't done anything. It reminds me a bit on how people treated children of NSB-ers after WWII (just without the drugs).

Reading more about Blackmoor was just really creeping me out. Reading about how President Jacob does his thing, man, that is one creepy guy. Which we knew from The Island series, but reading about it so close, from the POV of someone who is Redstamped, whose life is destroyed by the rules of that place. It gave me goosebumps, and I just wanted to throw something against that President. Treating your people like that, indoctrinating them like that. Using religion in that way. Bah, horrible. I feel sad for all those people there. Having to keep calm, never even being able to defend those you love, never able to be angry for a bit, never able to show many emotions, for the fear of being purged. Because purging? It just happens without trial. You flip your switch? You die. No trial, no words to help you, no nothing. It is a terrible thing, and I do hope that something will happen so that people in that country can live free. No violence is a good thing, but to hide every emotion because you might just get purged? That is also bad.
Rewriting a book and make people believe that what is in there is truth: No. No, and just no. :|

The worldbuilding in this book is amazing, though I would still like a book about the period when the world ended. About how everything went from good to bad. How wars and bombs destroyed country and people. Or maybe a story about the people from the mainland living in bunkers/shelters. Quite a bit is explained in this and The Island series, but I am still curious about that period.

But all in all, this is a fantastic book, and I was just stuck in it from the start. I was actually quite sad that I couldn't read much yesterday due to not feeling all too well, I just wanted to read the book, finish it, and then weep because I have to wait for several months for book 2 to come out!

I also have to give bonus points to the amazing cover! I just can't stop looking at it. It just gorgeous.

I absolutely can't wait for the next book to come out. And I would highly recommend this book to everyone. Be prepared to cheer, cry, get angry (especially at Kian), be amazed, and much more!

Review first posted at