Birch, CJ. “Unknown Horizons”, Bold Strokes Books, 2017.
Lieutenant Alison Ash steps aboard the Persephone, knowing that in doing so, her life will never be the same. In less than three weeks, the ship will dock at the Posterus and the most important journey humankind has ever undertaken will begin. Alison knows that so many pleasures she has had in the past will become part of her memory and never happen again and neither will she ever again see her family. She has been trying to hide her memory loss from others but in doing so she puts the entire mission in jeopardy. We learn that this mission is the very first generational ship. The mission and her new attraction to Captain Jordan Kellow will change her life forever.
Here, for our characters, Earth is a distant memory for some and/or just a dream for others. As a child, Lieutenant dreamed of living on Earth, but now has been assigned Executive Officer aboard the first generational ship of the Union Fleet. The mission has been years in the making and the Posterus will lead some to a new, inhabitable planet, but it’s going to take 100 years. Alison sees this is as the opportunity of a lifetime. She really wants to leave her family’s legacy (and her recent memory loss) behind. Soon she is drawn to a beautiful and guarded woman, knowing that it is forbidden to take up with others in the company and, in fact, is forbidden. Of course has no real control over how her heart behaves.
Ash’s memories begin to return to her and she discovers that the Posterus and all 45,000 on its inhabitants just might be in serious danger, and that she may be the reason.
This is a bit of science fiction with lesbian romance thrown in but it is important to know that this is the first book in a series and in that way you are not disappointed if issues are not resolved. Both the romance and the tension are intrigue build throughout the book. We do know that Ash and Jordan are aware of the possible doom of the mission yet they have to be emotionally solid to deal with the situation. There is certainly physical attraction between the two women and that is frustrating, especially since they are not allowed to act on it. Ash is a serious worker and is always ready to give of herself to help someone and Jordan has a difficult time dealing with it.
The women also have to deal with the Burrs who are mechanically altered humans who fought in the final battles for the domination of the now desolate planet Earth. Most of the Burrs are over 100 years old, and their leader has a plan for Ash and the Posterus. This is a story about the nature of love and we read of growth, love and courage.