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Reviews by Riley

Recently, I read two great scifi books in Tabitha Lord’s Horizon series.  So far these are the only two books in the series, but I am hoping for more soon!  (As I write this post, both of these books are just $.99.  A great deal!)

Thank you to Tabitha Lord, who provided copies of her books so that I could bring you my honest reviews.

About Horizon

Caeli Crys isn’t living—she’s surviving. On the run after the genocide of her empathic people, she witnesses a spaceship crash near her hidden camp. When she feels the injured pilot suffering from miles away, she can’t help but risk discovery to save his life.

Commander Derek Markham awakens stranded on an uncharted planet. His co-pilot is dead, his ship is in ruins, and he’s only alive because a beautiful young woman is healing him with her mind.

As Derek recovers, Caeli shares the horror of her past and her fear for the future. When Derek’s command ship, Horizon, sends rescue, Derek convinces Caeli to leave with him. But his world is as treacherous as hers—full of spies, interplanetary terrorist plots, and political intrigue. Soon the Horizon team is racing to defend an outlying planet from a deadly enemy, and Caeli’s unique skills may just give them the edge they need to save it.

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Review of Horizon

Horizon is a two-part story. The first story takes place on Almagest, Caeli’s home world. The second story takes place off world. The stories are intertwined by the characters and, if you continue to read the series, you will find they are connected by even more.

In the story, the Almagest society is divided into Novali and Amathi. The Novali are the people with special gifts such as empathy, telepathy and the ability to heal with the mind – like Caeli. Noone knows for sure how they acquired these abilities. Eventually, the Amathi, split from the Novali and for years, both peoples lived apart, yet in peace. The Novali also believe that contact with those off-world is too risky and have worked to maintain a psychic cover for their world.

The differences between the two peoples and the psychic cover become points of contention for the Amathi and eventually, the peace is shattered in a terrible way, eventually leading to Caeli being on the run, rescuing Derek and eventually leaving her home planet to be safe on the Horizon. The life-changing decision to leave home is depicted with angst and emotion for Caeli – as it should.

Caeli is the most fascinating character in Horizon. She has been through so much. She struggles, she perseveres. She succeeds. She struggles again. Off of her home world, she finds her healing talents are unique but appreciated. And she can appreciate and learn from the healing skills and technology of the Horizon. Eventually, Caeli will fill a vital role with the Horizon’s own crew, despite the fact that she is not really part of their world. Caeli is a multi-faceted character that rises to every occasion, but not without difficulty and second thoughts.

The romance between Derek and Caeli is a key motivator for both characters, not just in their relationship, but also in everything else that goes on. It did not get in the way of the rest of the story, but held an equally important role in the overall tale.

Derek is a strong, take-charge leader, once he is back on Horizon. He invites challenge and meets it head on. I did think the big take-down of the bad guys at the end went a little too smoothly, but in the end, it will turn out to have other consequences.

One of my favorite parts of the story is Almagest. It is an interesting world that was, at one time, more advanced and probably had contact with other worlds. You never really get the whole story of what happened. It has been lost over war and time. I like how much of the Almagest history is unknown. This makes for much theorizing. And it likely, fodder for future stories.

5 stars for Horizon. I recommend this one for scifi romance readers who appreciate an intricate plot that is a open to many possible endings, both for this book and for the series.

About Infinity

In the second installment of the award-winning Horizon series, Dr. Caeli Crys returns to her war-torn world to fight for those she left behind.

Almagest, Caeli’s home, stands on the brink of revolution. Long hidden from the rest of the galaxy, the once-peaceful planet suffers under a regime that grows more violent and oppressive by the day.

Marcus, Almagest’s dictator, is building an arsenal of alien weaponry by selling empathic children into slavery. A resistance has risen, but they are outmanned, outgunned, and in hiding.  Joined by Commander Derek Markham and his elite squadron of operatives, Caeli embarks on a dangerous mission to find the Resistance, rescue her captive people, and save her civilization from destruction.

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Review of Infinity

In book 1, Horizon, the story ended with Caeli safely away from her home planet of Almagest. It could have ended there, but Caeli was not really the kind of person who would have wanted to leave her friends in a bad situation. So Infinity is the story of Caeli going home.

The situation has become quite bad. Marcus, the Amathi leader/dictator, has imprisoned the Novali and is going after the resistance. He has sold one of the Novali children to a slaver and intends to sell more. You can imagine what an unscruplous person would want to do with someone who could read minds or heal/hurt with their mind. Marcus is the kind of villian everyone loves to hate. Truth be told, he seems to be setting up his world for revolution while blindly following his own agenda.

Caeli’s journey home and the ensuing revolution is one of the most emotion-filled sci fi stories I’ve read lately. Ms. Lord has really focused on the characters and their relationships and their feelings, without sacrificing any of the needed plotting and action. Action like spying and rescuing and getting captured and a battle for the cause. Derek and his team join the cause even though it is not their world. There are political reasons for this, but it is also the right thing to do. Derek and Caeli have become a team, both romantically and in saving the world. They also have some really great people on their team, both from the world of Almagest and from the Horizon.

I said this when I reviewed Horizon and it still holds true for Infinity. I like how much of the Almagest history is unknown, lost in a war. In Infinity, some of Almagest’s history and the beginnings of the Novali is revealed through computer logs. But not all. I can still theorize all I want. Will my theories prove true or not? I am going to have to read the next book in the series!

The ending of Infinity is both satisfying and full of questions. Plus there is a teaser for the next book. 5 stars for Infinity and…..next book please!

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