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Beyond Fear

Average rating  
3.6
/
243 reviews
  • 350 people read Jaye Ford’s first fiction novel, Beyond Fear, before it hit bookstores.
  • They were sent 3 copies of the novel; one to read and two more to share with friends, family or book club members. Their quotes on the novel were then used for future runs of the book and on the book’s website.
     
:Beyond Fear
3
I liked the main story line and it flowed well. It was the kind of book that you didn't need to think too much about and had some good moments where you wanted to find out what happend so had to turn the page. It was a great beach book thatyou could pick up and put down, you knew what you were getting. However, I found it very obvious and whilst you wanted to know what was going to happen, there was nothing at all surprising. I also found it very simple, there was on storyline (the romance line was far too obvious and I don't count that), no twists and turns and I found the characters, other than the heroine, to lack any depth. I would recommend Beyond Fear to people who don't read very much and like a straightforward book. I would give it 3 stars.
I particularly like ...
The local aspect and the imagery in the story.
It'll be nice to improve ...
the plot needed to be more complex and the characters to have more depth.
6
Ruth,VIC
15 Mar 2011 13:21
Member since 05/03/2007
3.5
When I started reading the book, I was a bit unsure whether I liked it or not. The first chapters, instead of easing me into the story and the suspense, were not as mature;y written as I would have liked. There were multiple background stories that seemed confusing at first and the events unfolded almost to fast. I would have preferred them to move a bit more slowly, building one layer on another until the moment when Jodie meets the Anderson brothers at the pub. I almost didn't take Jodie's paranoia seriously because her story was told in a way that was too melodramatic. However, once the story got started, (and the narrative slowed down a bit), the scene by the car was truly freaky and I began to be drawn into the events happening in the book. In a way, the writing matured the farther into the story I ventured. I could not put the book down. I read it every spare moment I could grab, and finished it in one marathon book session before I went to bed, (which was hard on my husband because he knows I have a hard time falling asleep and that my book time is sacred, so he stayed out of the room, not knowing he would fall asleep on the couch because I was still reading after 1am!) I liked the pace and series of events that happened once the girls were at the barn, (although the amount of times that Jodie went under the barn, came back out, went under again got a bit tedious and sort of became a mental inside joke to me, even as I was totally absorbed in the story). I thought that the set up the events at the barn could have unfolded at a much slower, more suspenseful pace. The book could have actually been a few chapters longer. The ending also came quite abruptly. It's hard to have such a roller coaster ride and then come to an abrupt stop, ok everyone off, thanks for riding with us today. I'm not sure how to phrase my thoughts on this, but I am reminded of the musical piece "Night on Bald Mountain" by Mussorgsky. The musical themes are wonderful and evil and scary and wild but at the end he writes the sun coming up and purging the darkness and I wish I had felt more of that at the end of the book. I wasn't sure who I would even share the book with, (I handed out the copies after I had read it) but everyone who read it after me was just a absorbed in the story as i was. Given our shared experiences, I would recommend the book to anyone but with the disclaimer that they have to get past the first few chapters and just enjoy the ride that the author takes you on. I give it 3 3/4 stars because I think it was better than average, gripping at times, and a good first book. I'm sure that I will be able to give Jaye Ford 4 or more stars on her next book because I think that she has only opened the flood gates on her ideas and talent. It takes a good story to draw me into a book the way that she did and it takes a good writer to write a good story.
I particularly like ...
The story was so gripping I could not put the book down until I knew what was happening next!
It'll be nice to improve ...
It needed a slower, less melodramatic beginning.
3
jencomar
15 Mar 2011 21:26
Member since 22/04/2010
5
The title says it all. Beyond Fear had me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Four friends go on a relaxing weekend away to a farm house. They are excited to be going as it has become a yearly ritual and give them time away from their ordinary lives. Things quickly turn strange as they are nearly run off the road. Stranded with a damaged car by the side of a dark road in the bush is not the best way to start a girl’s weekend. They soon arrive at the isolated farm house which starts to stir the main character Jodie. She has suffered through a horrific experience as a teenager which shapes the way she is as an adult tough, smart and heroic. As the story deepens Jodie struggles with her own nightmares and doubts her mental state as strange occurrences begin to happen at the farm. The action heats up when Jodie and the girls receive some surprise visitors at the farm and it becomes a fight for survival. Beyond Fear is not only realistically written but a mixture of suspense and action - a real psychological thriller.
I particularly like ...
the realistic way it was written. I could relate to the characters and setting very easily. It had the right mix of psychological tension, action, excitement and suspense.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Nothing I really enjoyed the way it was written and how easy it was to read. It kept me interested and was easy to relate too.
2
Carlz
27 Mar 2011 21:29
Member since 18/10/2009
5
This book had me from the outset!! From the photo on the cover, to the blurb on the back, I knew I was going to enjoy it! Loved the way the book just held my attention, couldn't put it down! Suspense from the start, continuing all the way through! Thoroughly enjoyed this book, am looking forward to Jayne's next book!
I particularly like ...
the suspense at which the reader was held throughout the whole book. I also liked the fact that it was Australian, things I could relate to, that were typically Australian like lollies, not sweets, referral in the story to the NRMA, cordial, Macca's...all things which makeup everyday Australian language. I also liked the mixture of personalities of the characters.
It'll be nice to improve ...
I can't really think of anything that could be improved...I enjoyed it!!
2
Rabetta
23 Mar 2011 10:50
Member since 15/10/2009
5
Beyond Fear got me right in from the start, the story line was exciting, the characters were interesting. I loved the cover, & the size of the print made it very easy to read.
I particularly like ...
I found it very hard to put the book down & read it in less than 2 days.
It'll be nice to improve ...
maybe there could be a follow up story on the characters & where things end up with them
2
rachael,NSW
16 Mar 2011 21:45
Member since 28/04/2006
5
Beyond Fear is an exciting, action-packed story that keeps you captivated by the story from beginning to end. It's the story about four friends who leave on their girls' weekend away hoping to enjoy a relaxing, enjoyable weekend in an isolated barn that had been restored as a B&B. Unfortunately the weekend begins with them having an accident on an isolated stretch of road. The main character called Jodie has a secret that she has never shared with her friends that she had been stabbed as a young girl and had to watch in horror as her friend was raped and also stabbed. She has had to live with the memory of leaving her friend to die alone as she fled from this attack. This memory haunts her constantly and when she tells her friends that she suspects there is something strange going on around the barn, they dismiss her fears thinking she's overreacting. From there the plot develops into one of extreme danger and fear with the reader being led on an exciting adventure of intrigue. You admire the tenacity and courage of not ony Jodie but also Matt a policeman who has been staying in his father's home in an attempt to escape his own demons. Jodie first meets Matt when he helps the friends after their car accident. The story is exciting till the last page.
I particularly like ...
The storyline and characters.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Nothing!
1
Robyn,NSW
15 Mar 2011 18:34
Member since 04/03/2007
2
An easy to read book that you can whip through in a weekend. Light thriller with a dash of romance.
I particularly like ...
Light reading
It'll be nice to improve ...
I thought the heroine was annoying paranoid for the beginning. Why did the suitcases have to come out of the car when it was getting towed- they were just going to town and the 2 women would have to meet their friends there anyway. Since they were there with the suitcases, why keep going on about how cold they were, open a bag and get more clothes. The heroine should have recognised the guy from the pubs voice when he was outside the barn. When they are under the barn and lose the gun and light- why not take a minute to look for them? They couldn't have gone far and a cop knows how to use it. Called the barn a B&B... they did not have someone come in and cook breakfast therefore it's not a B&B. For her to have hidden her scars for so many years of these weekends away, she would never get changed with someone else in the room... she would have been found out long before. The barn was known to be the site of the killing, why was it not properly searched?
1
niqueyq
15 Mar 2011 17:35
Member since 14/04/2010
3
I honestly enjoyed reading this book. I certainly did want to get to the end of the book to see if the plot would unfold as I expected (and it did). I found I was caught up in the detail of the fight scenes and swept along with the momentum but was not really 'thrilled' as I had hoped. While I wouldn't class this as a blood and guts horror, I felt there was more overt violence than psychological thrill. I enjoyed the read and would definitely share the book with family and friends, but in doing so I would probably suggest to them it's not a suspenseful thriller, rather more of a depiction of how individuals can be come psychologically conditioned to respond to extreme acts of violence.
I particularly like ...
Female main Character was strong and not saved by a knight in shining armour
It'll be nice to improve ...
Pace in the early chapters and predicability of the plot eroded any real suspense
2
Jem George
15 Mar 2011 17:33
Member since 06/01/2011
2
I really wanted to like this book, to support a new Australian author, but I'm sorry, it just isn't happening. I was very surprised that the first chapter was published as is. The character introductions in this chapter were just awful and it was just generally sloppily written. A good editor should have tightened this up. I read many books each year and have a night stand literally about to topple over with books yet to be read, so I have a rule that if a book hasn't caught my attention after 2 chapters it gets binned. If I hadn't been involved with the soup project, this book would have gone that way, but I did plod on. And to my surprise, it did improve. I enjoyed it for 2 chapters before it just became inane dribble again...sigh...
I particularly like ...
It was short and easy to read and didn't waste too much of my life...
It'll be nice to improve ...
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. OMG, why would you have your 2 main characters both physically and psychologically scarred????? Why??? They don't come across as strong and defiant, but weak and annoying. The whole story was a bit unbelievable, I mean, the bad guys know that the ladies are leaving on Sunday, so why not just wait a day before digging up the guns??? At another point in the book, the 5 victims agree that if one of them escapes they will run for help, but when they get the chance they dont! There was no logic in staying when there was a house and potential safety and help just down the road. Also, when they are trying to escape, they describe the outside as being so dark they couldn't see each other, and the bad guys see them. But then it is revealed that it's only 8 at night. I've spent some time in the country and I know the light in the country is different than in the city but please, 8 o'clock and it's pitch dark? Not really realistic is it.
1
Michelle,VIC
16 Mar 2011 22:37
Member since 02/03/2007
2
It was a bit of a average read. It took a while to get into the plot and it was very predicatable as to where it was going. It also seemed to go around in circles with her feeling etc
I particularly like ...
It was based in australia so you felt you could relate to the caracters a bit more
It'll be nice to improve ...
To get into the plot bit more quickly
1
saraar
16 Mar 2011 16:31
Member since 27/10/2010
1.5
Beyond Fear is an admirable first attempt at writing a novel. The basis of the story has huge potential and the setting was particularly great for a thriller. However, the supporting characters especially were underdeveloped and unbelievable and as such the story was not at all believable. I just found myself questioning what I was reading constantly.
I particularly like ...
That Jaye had the determination to write her first novel.
It'll be nice to improve ...
A lot. Better and more believable character development and a less predictable story line. Thrillers need at least one surprising twist and I did not feel that Beyond Fear had that at all.
1
kyles147
15 Mar 2011 22:00
Member since 30/08/2009
4
Beyond Fear is a thriller which represents everyone's worst nightmare. Jaye Ford keeps the nail biting tension constant throughout. Be prepared to read this through without putting it down!
I particularly like ...
The concept of the women going away (very apt for me and my friends), and the nasties they encountered along the way.
It'll be nice to improve ...
the ending. I felt that the relationship with Matt occurred too fast, and was slightly unbelievable. It could have worked better perhaps if he had been perhaps an old school friend that she was reconnecting with, or a past lover maybe?
1
Pippa
15 Mar 2011 19:00
Member since 10/09/2009
4
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book due to the subject matter but I became really engrossed and could not stop reading it. I found it really tense and wanted to find out what would happen. I didn't find the characters all that believable though. I think women tend to be a bit more supportive of each other, especially regarding potential threats to safety. Also one character made a joke about wanting to use heart resuscitation equipment to Corinne, who's husband had died of a heart attack! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fast paced thriller and likes suspensful stories. I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars.
I particularly like ...
The story line and the suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Better character development. There wasn't a real sense of these women actually being really close friends.
1
roslyns
15 Mar 2011 17:43
Member since 16/04/2009
2
I thought it was a bit simplistic. There wasn't much of a distinction between the other three girls and felt like i never really got to know them. They were all just faceless figures in the book. I didn't think there was a build up to a climax as there just seemed to be constant tension. I found it very easy to read however and it would be a nice read on holiday sitting by the pool sipping cocktails.
I particularly like ...
The familiarity of the rural setting and the description of the icy nights that made me glad it was summer!
It'll be nice to improve ...
Probably a bit more subtlety, nothing was left to the imagination.
1
happymumathome
15 Mar 2011 16:36
Member since 25/07/2009
5
Felt Like i was watching a movie not reading a book - easy to read - great story & characters loved it !!!
I particularly like ...
everything
It'll be nice to improve ...
nothing
0
madmum
15 Mar 2011 16:30
Member since 23/10/2009
2
i thought it was good took a while to get into it
I particularly like ...
was the suspence towards the end to the book
It'll be nice to improve ...
get to the point at the beginning very slow start very repetative
0
cynth
15 Mar 2011 15:33
Member since 20/12/2010
2
The book promised much, but failed to deliver in full. The story line was a little predictable and took a long time to really get started. I found some of the main characters difficult to connect with - couldn't fully understand why such different women were friends. The basic premise of the story was good, and the beginings of a psychological thriller were there, but it just didn't quite make it.
I particularly like ...
The underlying concept.
It'll be nice to improve ...
The speed at which the storyline develops.
1
sarejones
15 Mar 2011 13:34
Member since 28/09/2010
2
I must admit I was disappointed with Beyond Fear. I was hoping for an exciting thriller, instead I book full of cliche's and more like a bad horror movie. I really did want to enjoy the book but I found the characters all very un-likeable and the romance part of the book between Matt and Jodie extremely predictable. About half way through the book I started to read it more quickly (and did have one nightmare about staying in a barn so it must have affected me!) but in general, I was rushing to finish it so I could read something else. There just wasn't anything in it for me that stood out from other books of this genre. I think the story would work better as a movie!
I particularly like ...
It was a quick read and a page turner.
It'll be nice to improve ...
Less cliched!!
0
Wendy,VIC
15 Mar 2011 13:28
Member since 26/07/2008
4
I liked the cover straight away of Beyond Fear and the book got me engrossed straight away. i read it in 1 and 1/2 days
I particularly like ...
I liked that the main leads were woman and that they were all different but good friends ,it was fast paced and i liked how it built up to something terrible happening
It'll be nice to improve ...
There is not really much i would improve from Beyond Fear.I cant think of anything
1
wendy9
15 Mar 2011 13:24
Member since 14/06/2010
2.5
N/A
I particularly like ...
It was easy to read and the setting added to the fear being not to far from Sydney.
It'll be nice to improve ...
The writing needs to allow the reader to feel the fear, not tell them to be scared and that it is scary.
1
Chrissi
15 Mar 2011 13:20
Member since 26/05/2010