Horizon is a great series opener that introduces us to the political intrigue, romance, and danger of the world. While it can seem to go off on a tangent, Lord takes us on a journey that will only broaden into the next book.
Caeli has just witnessed the genocide of her people and is on the run, trying to stay hidden. But all her plans go awry when she feels an incoming spaceship crash nearby and her empathetic abilities tell her she has the chance to save a life. For Derek, his life is saved by a beautiful woman who brought him back from the brink of death. As they spend more time together, their relationship transcends gratitude and begin to share the memories of their past. This single act changes Caeli’s life and takes her to places she’d never dreamed even existed, as she finds out about the grand scale of planetary politics, and the way her planet faces an unknown danger that only Caeli knows about.
Caeli is a character you can’t stop yourself from liking. She is noble, compassionate, and brave. Her powers are dangerous and could become downright unethical, without her strength of character. Additionally, her extensive flashback to the past puts most of the spotlight on her journey and history. I particularly enjoyed this tactic of Lord’s because Caeli is not only my favorite character, but her history presents a fascinating aspect within the story. There is also a subtle suspense between the flashbacks and the present, a whole gap of unanswered questions.
The Planetary Conflict
The conflict between her people and their neighbors is incredibly interesting, even if it lacks a certain descriptive vividness. Her time with the conquerors, those who are responsible for the genocide of her people, is even more fascinating. Caeli’s observations uncover the nuanced details between the government perpetrators, and the average citizens that have been indoctrinated. This experience gives her a mature and wise perspective on their conflict. She ignores the generalizations of us versus them and instead sees the individual lives that hang in the balance.
Romance-wise, I ended up enjoying it. I wasn’t sure at the beginning because it felt very sudden, but the healing connection between Caeli and Derek enables a much more direct and electric connection. Their memories blend together and Caeli knows what Derek is thinking and feeling. In addition, their relationship is based on mutual respect and sharing.
Just a few notes
I just had a few small complaints. The narration style made it a bit difficult for me to immediately get into the story. It is told in alternating chapters between Caeli and Derek, which is a phenomenal tactic, but in an omniscient kind of perspective. We aren’t directly in their minds, with “I” for example, but we get to know their thoughts. But it is something we warm up to after a while.
Also I wish we could have seen more interaction with the side characters, especially Kat and Derek. Because Lord has this grand plot, Caeli even getting on the Horizon seems a little off track. However, in the end we just have to trust in the direction of the series even if we don’t understand it. By the final pages, all becomes much clearer as the actions on the ship are essential for giving Caeli’s planet a sense of scale.
This is a story of rebellion and revolution, emphasizing the necessity to see past the assumptions we have and see the good in the individual. You should read this book even just for Caeli’s plot and history alone. Lord not only asks us to see beyond the faces of our enemies, but to realize our place in the grander scope of the universe. All in all, this makes for a great beginning to this series and I am glad I already have the next one so I can dive right in (and review for you next week).
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
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