This novel is the type of Science Fiction that I love to read. My favorite sci-fi novels are the ones that are sci-fi now but could one day become sci-fact. Across the Dark Horizon by Tagan Shepard is exactly that kind of story, almost frighteningly so.
The story takes place a few years in the future. During this time space travel has become much easier. It is now possible to travel to places like the moon in a matter of hours instead of days using spacecraft that is not much different (inside at least) than a jumbo jet. Because of this innovation, a powerful commercial company called Andrus has built a Moon Base for mining minerals that are becoming scarce on earth but are still plentiful in space. For their workforce, they have chosen to use prisoners who would otherwise spend their lives in jail for violent crimes. There is also a much smaller civilian workforce on the base to oversee the work and monitor the prisoners. The head of the Moon Base is Gail Moore, and when the prisoners riot and take over two thirds of the base, she calls for help. Somehow Andrus gets the U.S. government to send in a company of Army Special Forces headed by Major Charlie Hawk. They arrive at the base not long before the area moves into a two week ‘dark’ period when the base will be on the dark side of the moon, cut off from the earth and reliant solely on battery power. You can imagine all the terrible things that could happen during this nerve-wracking time.
This is an action packed story that caught my attention on the first page and didn’t let go until the very end of the book. There is no lagging in this story. Every time you think the characters might get a break, something else happens that no one saw coming. The author did an excellent job of building the conflict in the story toward the climax and resolution. I had a hard time putting the book down because of this.
I really liked the main characters. Charlie and Gail are mature and strong women who have made it as far as they have in their lives through hard work and sacrifice. There is a romance between them, but because of their strong personalities and the chaos around them, this is not really a sweet and gentle romance.
If you love an action packed and scarily realistic sci-fi story with strong characters, then I believe you will like Across the Dark Horizon.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.