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"Horizon" by Tabitha Lord

Author: Tabitha Lord

Narrator: DW Draffin

Length: 8 hours 15 minutes

Publisher: Wave Equation Media⎮2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Horizon, Book 1

Release date: Oct. 25, 2018

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.

Grand Prize Winner - Writer's Digest 2016 Finalist - Next Generation Indie Awards Finalist - National Indie Excellence Awards

Buy on 📷Audible

**I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Tabitha Lord. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.**

Sorry guys. I found “Horizon” to be just a step above mediocre. While the premise was interesting and the narration was good, the execution of the characters and story left something to be desired. I struggled to get into it and struggled even more to stay with it. I guess this one just wasn’t for me.

Perhaps the hardest thing for me to swallow was the cop-out of ‘Our minds have touched, so we feel like we know each other’ thing. To me, it felt like the author used it as a way to avoid the initial, awkward getting-to-know-you phase most characters go through. And the lack left Caeli and Dereck’s interactions feeling forced, flat, and just lacking in chemistry or vitality. Individually, they were interesting and I liked them well enough, but together….

One thing Ms. Lord did do quite well was fill in backstory and planetary history. THAT was actually pretty unique and fascination. Using flashbacks to provide the information also kept it from being dull or feeling too much like an information-dump. The seeting was unique, the history was intriguing, and I wouldn't mind reading more stories taking place in this particular literary universe (assuming the characters were a little better developed).

Mr. Draffin was an interesting choice for narrator. He has this smooth, calm voice that would almost be better suited to poetry than an action sequence. He’s clearly a professional and good at what he does, don’t get me wrong, but a more dynamic voice would have suited “Horizon” better. His portrayal of the characters made it pretty easy to distinguish them without dialogue tags, but there were a few places when multiple male speakers were harder to tell apart. I also stumbled across some places that appeared to have been recorded at different volumes or in a different environment, as they had a distinctly different sound quality. It was a little jarring, but thankfully didn’t happen often. Other than that, the audio recording was clean and well done.

Bottom line: Maybe I needed this one in print to really get into it? The narrator’s voice had a lulling effect on me and made it hard to really stay engaged. Couple that with characters who seemed to skip a genuine introduction to each other, and I can’t whole-heartedly recommend it.

Tabitha’s HORIZON series has won seven independent book awards including the prestigious Writer’s Digest Grand Prize in 2016. She has short fiction published by World Weaver Press, Electric Athenaeum Magazine, Grimbold Books, and more. Tabitha is also a partner and senior writer for Book Club Babble, and a managing editor for the Inkitt Writer’s Blog. She lives in Rhode Island and is married with four independent-minded and creative kids, two spoiled cats, and lovable black lab. She holds a degree in Classics from College of the Holy Cross and taught Latin for years at a Waldorf school where she now serves on the Board of Trustees.

DW Draffin is an actor and narrator in San Francisco. He has founded his own science fiction theater company, sold screenplays to New Line and FOX2000, and narrated the books of authors he idolizes.

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