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Beyond the Gates

The Starborn Redemption, Book 1
Narrated by: Stacy Gonzalez
Series: The Starborn Redemption, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 39 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 Jason D. Morrow (P)2019 Jason D. Morrow

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Fantastic

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A gripping story with great narration

This book starts yet another series of the Starborn Saga, a saga about the post-apocalyptic world infested with zombie like Greyskins, which are basically humans infected by a particular virus. While the Starborn Ascension explains the origins of the problem and the Starborn Uprising, the solution, this series is set somewhere in between.
Beyond The Gates tells a story of a father and his daughter arrested while trying to escape the Containment Zone which the inhabitants are not allowed to leave. Subsequently, they end up in a death camp.
Surprisingly, although I am not really into stories set in prison, I couldn’t but it down. In fact, it’s a gripping, action-packed tale about trying to survive and escape so, in spite of its very simple language, it may be seen as an allegory of the fight for freedom and fight for your rights. Thus, despite the unusual setting everyone can feel for the characters. It’s a story of a father's love to his daughter, a narrative about hope against hope. What’s more, although we may easily guess how it will end, it is still suspenseful and totally unpredictable.
The narration by Stacey Gonzalez is superb. Her voice is naturally beautiful- so lovely I couldn't resist and I had to see her photo on the Web... However, she can change it so well that even when the most brutal and violent male characters speak you forget that a women is narrating. Actually, her voice take you so deep insto a story that you forget everything else and feel that you are there in the prison.
Consequently, I’d recommend it to anyone keen on fantasy and science-fiction as well as those who just like a good story which is very well read. Needless to say, the Starborn Saga fans will love it just as I did.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Zombies, Superpowers & Mysterious P.A. Conspiracy

Beyond the Gates is a great Post apocalyptic 'Zombie' story with hidden superpowers and a mysterious 'government' conspiracy to boot. The book takes place in the 'Containment Zone' a 500 mile radius that has been walled off from the rest of society and filled with 'Zombies' known as Greyskins, bandits and soldiers. The story follows 12 year Skylar and her father Liam who start off on the run trying to find a way out of the containment zone, they are soon captured and put in a prison camp run by the government that is essentially a life sentence or a death sentence whichever way you look at it. The prison camp is a very tough and bleak place filled with very strict guards and some not so nice inmates that make life very difficult. The prison is also filled with some good people and some interesting characters. I won't give more of the story away than that, but it is quite interesting and exciting with a good dose of mystery, action and intrigue.

The Narration by Stacy Gonzalez was quite good and especially brings the character of Skylar to life. I am very interested in future installments to see where this story goes and figure out what the heck is really going on.

"Please note I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great addition.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I have previously read the original series and really enjoyed it. This book did not disappoint! I liked all of the different character personalities. Also, the narrator did a great job switching between all of the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!

I loved these characters. Often when I finish a book I have a hard time remembering some of their names but not with this one. Nine, Skylar and Liam will stick with me. I am what for book two. While this one took place in a prison camp there was still plenty of action to keep the story interesting and moving. While it does end with a cliffhanger it did complete an integral part of the story. Book two till be a new chapter in the characters lives and a new book in my hands.
I can’t wait to see what other starborns can do. Will the cure still be there and can it be distributed in a way that helps what’s left of the human race? I can’t wait to find out.

I was voluntarily provided this review copy at no charge by the author, publisher and or narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Zombies and more

Forty years ago, a dangerous virus began devastating humanity, and the greyskins were born of the ashes of the dead. Where Skylar and her father live, the concentration of grey skins if far worse than in the rest of the world, so the government decides to isolate the area, which is then known as the Containment Zone. No one is allowed to leave this area, and trying to do so is considered a crime. Skylar’s father has found a cure for the virus, but as it can’t be mass produced, so he keeps it a secret, until they are both captured and sent to a prison camp. Maybe then he needs to bargain for their lives.

I like the post-apocalyptic genre but I normally don’t do zombies. I don’t know exactly what it is that does not attract me at all but it is a fact. The same happens with vampires. I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact that I find it so hard to believe in them or because they awaken a primal fear in me that I dislike.

Well, there are zombies in this book, but it is not a book about zombies. It is a story about a father and a child that could have very well happened in a prison camp of Nazi Germany. There’s deception, sacrifice, danger, survival, love, and a corrupt government that makes and bends the rules just to make some rich and not caring about the social well being.

There is not a lot of world-building, and we don’t really need it. This is the old story of a sick society and the little power of an individual to change things. The characters are interesting, even I think we will know more about them in future books. There is a kind of detachment on the characters that may strike as surreal, like the lack of emotion regarding the death of one of the prisoners, but I believe it to be a defense mechanism against the daily horrors in the prison camp.

I enjoyed the raw narration by Stacy Gonzalez, and how she was able to transmit Skylar and Liam’s emotions. The book is written in first person, alternating POV from one to the other, and Stacy Gonzalez did a very good job differentiating voices and making us relate to the main characters. I think it was a powerful narration that brought home the horrors lived by Skylar, Liam, and the rest of the convicts.

I am curious about what will happen next, how they will manage to survive. I believe there may still be some important role for some secondaries to play in future books. I also want to see the levels of conspiracy the government has in store.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Exciting and interesting read/listen!

This book keeps you on the edge of your seat. It begins with a 12 year old girl, Skylar and her father, heading off to a work prison. They are condemned and sent to the prison for trying to escape the "zone" in which dead people roam (they call "skins" and the government is trying to contain. It keeps you very interested! I listened to this book in one day and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. The narrator, Stacy Gonzalez was good as well, she changed her voice for each character and her performance was stellar! I would recommend this book for anyone who likes apocalyptic novels.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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can I get more ? please 🤗

wow this story was so good I just adored it zombies apocalypse so much in one book you just have to love it the story itself was not only solid but much much more I can speak about the book as a story but really every single word I would say will it ruin you the experience the story was absolutely incredible the narrator was very very good it's a festination of a book just take it and enjoy it if you love is genre of course

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I dare you not to love it.

As always, I have to state that this book was given to me for free in exchange for a review.
I always like to state that this does not impact my review or my opinion of the book. My reviews are honest and my own opinion of the story, performance, and overall thoughts on the book.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Sometimes when I am finished with a book I can't always remember some of the details and character information, but this one was not the case. These characters will stick with me.

I found this book and story to be moving. I love to twist and I love cliffhangers, and if you do too, then this will be the perfect novel for you.

The narration was excellent. And whoever chose the narrator did an outstanding job.

Beyond The Gates tells a story of a father and his daughter arrested while trying to escape the Containment Zone which the inhabitants are not allowed to leave. Subsequently, they end up in a death camp.

Surprisingly, although I am not really into stories set in a prison, I couldn’t put it down. In fact, it’s a gripping, action-packed tale about trying to survive and escape so, in spite of its very simple language, it may be seen as an allegory of the fight for freedom and fight for your rights. Thus, despite the unusual setting everyone can feel for the characters. It’s a story of a father's love for his daughter, a narrative about hope against hope. What’s more, although we may easily guess how it will end, it is still suspenseful and totally unpredictable.

Consequently, I’d recommend it to anyone keen on fantasy and science-fiction as well as those who just like a good story. Needless to say, the Starborn Saga fans will love it just as I did.

Jason D. Morrow did his thing when writing this book. I am and will be forever a fan now.
Stacy Gonzales was perfect as the narrator as well. You felt the emotions that she read and you felt like you were experiencing the book as a participant and not as a listener.

Overall 5 stars for everything. Characters were well written and the story was gripping.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beyond the Gates

This story was nothing short of AMAZING! This was everything that I love in a post-apocalyptic book. Lots of action, edginess, and a great cast of characters. It is beyond me how someone can make something so unreal feel so real.

This story mainly takes place in a "containment center" a prison really. I am a huge fan of both "Orange is the New Black" and "Wentworth" so I kept picturing both of those and even some of the characters when they were talking about the women's section. It was written and described very well. You do get a bit of a back story in flashbacks which was great, so you learn what happened to Skylar's mom. This also had one of my favorite features in a book - the switching back and forth between Skylar and Liam so you get their POV.

The characters were great! I loved both Skylar and Liam, her dad. But it was really Nine (aka Waverly) who stole the show for me! Loved her!

This was my first book by this author. I seriously can not wait to get the next one in the series! I am hooked.

AUDIO - I thought the narration was equally great. The voices seemed to fit. I could understand her very well. Her pronunciations and expressions were perfect. A lot of times it is the audio that ruins it for me, but this was great!

I voluntarily posted this review after receiving a copy of this book from The Audio Bookworm - Thank You!!

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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 05-25-19

Trust your gift

Forty years before, society was devastated by a virulent virus which killed quickly then restored a sort of life to the bodies. These creatures became known as Greyskins. Life continued, some areas more contaminated than others. One particularly badly over-run area was designated a containment area with No one allowed to leave without permission. But there is something suspicious about the military control which seems almost to favour Greyskins over survivors.
The ongoing story is told from the perspective of Liam and Skylar, rather and twelve years old daughter. Caught in the containment area, they are bussed to the notorious Culture Bill Prison Camp, from which no one is known to have returned, and follows their lives inside and the treatment endured. Because Liam has a secret: he has invented a cure for the Greyskin virus, or rather, an antidote which kills it completely. Will this be enough to secure their escape from the prison life?

The dual points of view allow the reader to be shown different areas and happenings within the prison whilst still keeping the story intensely personal..And this works well. What would have been welcomed, however, was a more fulsome accounting of the preceding forty years, how the virus first developed and spread and the country became divided into desperately sectioned areas ( presumably!).
The reader knows even less of the geography and history than the twelve years old girl. It is almost as if they exist in a vacuum prior to their delivery to the prison apart from a couple of brief incidents mentioned retrospectively. And almost nothing is knkwn, either, of the Greyskins themselves: zombie-like, they infect the healthy by biting, foam around in large flocks but, well, they have been around for 40 years, surely a little more information was possible. This reader would certainly have enjoyed more background information to better set a scene.
Characterisation was pretty good for the two main protagonists - one a frightened young girl, the other a father determined to keep his only child safe - mostly provided by the introspective monologues each holds in their heads. Other characters, well, not so much but adequate. Narrator, Stacy Gonzalez, did a fine job of interpreting the father and daughter and also gave individual voicings for the other characters met along the way, even if they mostly all sounded like mentally defective ancients. It was a good attempt for one whose voice did not have the timbre to portray the depth of male speech.

This, part one of the two part Starborn Redemption series, and with the definite invitation to continue on to book two, ends with an immediate resolution but still a cliffhanger. My thanks to the rights holder of Beyond the Gates, who, at my request, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. It was a gripping post apocalyptic tale, rather different from most, including other zombie stories, and more horror than S.F. It also heavily hints at far more of interest in its background than is displayed - the mysterious Jeremiah, the growing hordes of zombies even after forty years, the strange way that the containment area was policed and closed: all was far more intriguing to this reader than the immediate story, though it was pretty good overall. Of course, this was my first Starborn book and it is quite possible that some of my queries have already been answered in other series, but, it so, a synopsis would have been appreciated.

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Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-28-19

thoroughly enjoyed

the narrator was fantastic Four this book there were two different narrators for both characters and it keeps you on the edge of your toes definitely worth a listen