Horizon, and its sequel Infinity, by Tabitha Lord

Today, for a change, I'm not blogging about middle grade books. Instead I offer the first two books of a space-opera(ish) sci fi romance, books that should please teen readers in particular very much (though it was not written, as far as I know, with teens in mind). Horizon (2015) nd its sequel, Infinity (2017) by Tabitha Lord, are self-published, but there is no need to be judgey on that account; I would not have guessed.

Horizon begins with an almost destroyed space craft falling from the sky. A young woman, living alone in the wilds nearby, senses it happen, and rushes to see if she can save either of the two men on board. She saves the life of one, Derek, healing him with her mental powers. And as he regains his strength, Caeli shares her story. It is a sad one.

Caeli once had a pretty idyllic life--loving parents, her life to come with the man she loved, a fulfilling career in medicine--until the genocide began and almost everyone she loved died. Her planet is home to two societies of people, one empathetic with mental powers, living a more rural life, and the others more urban, lacking mental gifts.  The new leader of the second group fears and loathes Caeli's people, and wants to do away with the protective cloak established over the planet that has kept them a peaceful, unknown backwater. So he launches an assault on that levels their homes. Caeli and the other survivors (mostly women and children) are marched to the city, a hellish journey on which Caeli is raped by one of the guards (in the second book, she projects that experience directly into his own mind, make him feel as if it happened to him...). In the city, she makes contact with the resistance, and when she finds hereself in danger, she must flee. And now she has healed Derek, they fall in love.

But Caeli's homeworld is not currently a place where happiness is possible, and Derek has his own commitments as an operative for an interplanetary alliance that strives to keep the galaxay safe from oppression. So the two of them rejoin Derek's mothership, and fly off to his homeworld, with a brief stop for interplanetary adventure. In the second book, Infinity, things really get going back on Caeli's homeworld. It can't be part of the interplanetary alliance with an evil dictator ruling it, so Caeli and Derek lead a somewhat off-the-record mission to strengthen and revitalize the resistance. In what was a very realistic result, they don't offer a miracle cure, and it is only when the reistence is a battered, almost destroyed fragement of itself that success seems possible.  Alongside the current desperate struggle is back story from an earlier conflict, that illuminates the origin of the mental powers of Caeli's people.

The books didn't seem to me to offer that much truly original or exciting, but they are perfectly fine reading fare for those who enjoy high-body-count tension on alien words (my own preference is for the good guys to start saving the day before the high body count part), with a generous helping of racey sex! Caeli seemed to much of a wonder girl for me to really take to her, and Derek was not a deeply three dimensional character (although he got points, in my book, for remembering in a sensitive way (I mean this sincerely) Caeli's dead former lover and fiancĂ©.   In any event, the books were fine, it was a solid story, and I read through to the end with interest, and maybe you will love them more than my own lukewarmness.

My idea of the perfect reader--a fifteen year old girl whose just starting to read sci fi.

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