Across the Dark Horizon by Tagan Shepard is an action/science fiction book set in a near future where humanity has made significant breakthroughs in space travel and established a colony on the moon.
The need for resources rapidly dwindling on Earth, and plain old greed have led Andrus corporation to lunar mining. However, with such a dangerous and isolated location as the moon, workers are difficult to find. In need of another source of labour, Andrus makes a deal to turn the site into a prison colony. Cheaper labour with the benefit of removing criminals from society on Earth was not a hard sell. But when conditions are so harsh, and the simple requests of the prisoners are ignored, rebellion brews.
Gail Moore took this job to further her career, but she cares deeply about the welfare of her employees as well as that of the prisoners. Major Charlene Hawk has seen her fair share of combat on Earth, but the moon is a different beast altogether. Quelling the riot and saving everyone’s lives will be hard enough, but when the flames of desire ignite between the two women, will they be able to quell their own feelings while trying to save the lives of everyone in the colony?
The moon is about to cross into the dark horizon and all ties with Earth will be severed for two weeks. With little to lose and control of the station, the prisoners hold everyone’s lives in their hands. Retreat is impossible and time is running out. With so many lives hang in the balance it will take the strength of both women to save them all.
It’s hard not to be drawn to Major Charlene “Charlie” Hawk. Strong, methodical and but also full of compassion. Her career in the military has made relationships difficult and she has resigned herself to a rather solitary life. Until she meets Gail that is, and the woman’s pull is too strong to ignore.
I love Gail’s character. She is also strong and runs the colony with an organized, detail-oriented approach but believes it is also tempered with compassion. There are some great scenes where she confronts her own biases and takes responsibility for them that really bolster her character in my eyes. I also love how Shepard wove Gail’s Lakota Sioux culture into the story and how life on the moon impacts her spirit.
The Writing Style
This is a well written and very fast paced book. It is not overly long and there is quite a bit of action crammed into the pages. Shepard builds great tension throughout the book through both the plot and the bourgeoning relationship between Charlie and Gail. The two story lines complement one another well and keep you enthralled in compelling action and evocative romance.
My favourite aspect of the story is the fact that the two mains are both depicted as strong and competent women. They have certain similar traits, but much of what makes them strong lies in different spheres. The military bred physical strength and tactical knowledge Charlie possesses and the organizational detail-oriented nature of Gail, are equally integral to the success of the mission and everyone’s ultimate survival. Their skills complement one another and neither is more or less important than the other in contributing to their success.
Just a warning that while it does not occur, there are a couple of instances where the threat of sexual assault is uttered towards one of the main characters.
If you are looking for a fast read that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then look no further. The adrenaline rush of jumping into the chaos of a prison riot on the moon, where every decision can mean the difference between life and death for everyone in the facility, is intense. Then throw in a fiery attraction between the two strong women that need to save the desperate situation…the result is heart pounding excitement throughout!
Excerpt from Across the Dark Horizon by Tagan Shepard
He Rolled his eyes and emptied his water bottle. “You’re telling me that you aren’t even a little bit excited to be going to the Moon?”
“I don’t get excited about missions. I get prepared.”
He laughed and slapped her on the shoulder hard but she didn’t as much as flinch. “Relax a little would you? Just take a moment to take it all in.”
He didn’t give her a chance to respond before slipping back through the curtain to coach. He knew her well enough by now to know she wouldn’t relax. Not until this was all over and they were on this same plane watching the stars streak behind them in the opposite direction. She’d been a soldier for a long time. She knew how to read a situation. She knew to trust her gut.
Her gut was telling her this wasn’t going to be a mission like any other she’d been a part of. Not just because it was on the Moon. Something about it didn’t feel right. It was like a rock in her boot, annoying her with every step and too far imbedded to be dislodged. Something must have been left out of her briefing. Something that would explain why this mission felt different from all the others. She flipped the folder open again, hoping to find what was making her so uneasy.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781642471007
- Publisher: Bella Books
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