Horizon by Tabitha Lord
Tabitha Lord’s science fiction novel, Horizon, which is the first of a series is so beautifully layered, well thought out, and engaging. I by no means read a lot of science fiction. I prefer to see it on the big screen but what Lord has done with this introductory novel is absolutely amazing. There is such depth to her protagonist, Caeli Crys, and such a rich history that the author has laid out for her people. I was completely engrossed in the division of a people on Algamest: Amathi versus Novali, the advances made on each side of it, and how the power of groupthink drove one to commit genocide of the other. It was a clear example of how division and just one individual can have the power to create both fear and chaos. Marcus, one of the story’s antagonist, is a power-driven dictator that rules with violence, fear, and lies. He truly is a frightening individual in that he is willing to sacrifice his own in order to achieve his agenda. Bloodshed is just a part of business as far as he is concerned and torture and coercion only aid him in achieving his goals. The fear that he created also became a testament to Caeli’s selflessness as she put her own life on the line to help others, including those that in the grand scheme had assisted in the decimation of her people, and also Derek while she was on the run.
Derek…our resident eye candy, hahah! I’m kidding. Derek was a great compliment to Caeli. She is strong when he is weak as they quiet literally meet due to the crashing of his ship in which he should not have survived and could not have if it were not for her. On the flip side he becomes her strength emotionally as she has been alone for so long and then is thrust into numerous situations that are outside of her realm. He has to make the tough calls and more or less pull the trigger via his role within the Alliance and also must take the lead in their relationship.
The Drokoran (excuse me if my spelling is wrong) are a mystery yet to be solved. I appreciated a new threat being introduced as Caeli is escaping Algamest with Derek. The universe is much bigger than the world that she has known. Her abilities and the need for them are much more. Though from a reader’s standpoint you do wonder what is going on with The Resistance on Algamest you cannot help but to be swept up into the whirlwind that is Part II of this novel. It is action packed and you are absorbed in the mission just as Caeli is as a civilian being faced with such responsibility. There were just so many facets to this novel with such fleshed out characters – both leading and supporting -and it all was woven together so masterfully that you would not suspect that this was Lord’s first novel.
FIVE STARS. Easily.