Wednesday, October 2, 2019

#SPFBO5 Book Review: BELIEF'S HORIZON by I.W. Ferguson


Title: Belief's Horizon

Author: I.W. Ferguson

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication Date: October 22, 2018

Rating: 6/10


Happen Fell is a simple farm boy who lives on the planet Grith.  His family has told him that it is time to embark on the traditional rite of passage for every young boy his age.  This requires travelling to the annual trade fair held in another town and showing that he can hold his own with the various traders buying and selling their wares.  If he is successful he will prove to be worthy of taking up the family farm and passing it on to the next generation of Fells.

But things don't really go as planned for Happen and his cousin/travelling companion Cor.  Along their journey they are beset by treachery that could not only postpone their arrival at the fair but also potentially threaten their very lives.  It is in the midst of these troubles that they encounter two mysterious travellers named Nora and Ariadne.  Ariadne in particular has a strange appearance as she has no mouth and speaks through what seems to be a magical box that her companion Nora holds.

Things get even more strange when Ariadne claims that she is from another planet and calmly discloses that there have been scouts from where she is from that have been travelling to Grith for centuries undetected.  Not only that but she fears that Grith is in immediate danger from something called the Lightfeeder Menace, which could end up destroying everything and everyone on this tranquil world.

What is the Lightfeeder Menace exactly and could what Ariadne says actually be true?  Happen can hardly believe the things that are being revealed to him by the enigmatic space traveller but he may find that his coming of age test may be far greater than simply journeying to a local farm fair to barter with the locals.  He just might be a crucial component to saving humanity on his home planet from a devastating threat that nobody, including himself, could ever envision.

I thought that BELIEF'S HORIZON was ultimately a fun and enjoyable read.  I like a good coming-of-age story from time to time and this one is handled fairly well in most respects.  Happen is the perfect example of how the main characters in stories such as these are usually constituted.  He doubts himself on a number of different levels, not really certain as to whether or not he is ready to take up the mantle and become a responsible adult.  He's often hesitant and doesn't trust his decisions etc...

I also liked the other characters in the story Nora and Ariadne and thought they lent a very cool mystery to the book with regard to why they travelled to Grith and delivering the message of the Lightfeeder Menace.  As they became more and more a part of the narrative we get little nuggets of the planet that Ariadne comes from and the reasons for her arrival at this particular time in Grith's history.

What I was somewhat disappointed in were certain components of the story and how they were relayed to the reader.  For instance, the thing that made this just an okay book for me was how most things happened far too easily.  A lot what took place was told rather than shown which is not what I normally prefer in a story.  Also, quite a few situations that arise are resolved too quickly without a lot of buildup beforehand or explanation afterward. 

While BELIEF'S HORIZON was pretty enjoyable overall, I felt like there was not enough tension and I wasn't completely satisfied in the end due to the reasons that I just mentioned.  But that is simply my own opinion and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to readers who enjoy SF stories with interesting otherworldly space travellers, a decent coming-of-age plotline, and a mystery that ties everything together.  I liked it enough to want to check out book #2 in The Lightfeeder Menace series once it is released to see what happens (no pun intended) next to these characters.

2 comments:

  1. I don't see a lot of Space Fantasy that plays the fantasy tropes as straight as this (a farm boy on the way to a job fair! Classic).

    Another good review. I didn't feel like I had a great grip on what BELIEF'S HORIZON was about before but this review really clarifies.

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  2. Thanks Victoria! I did think it was interesting to have a coming-of-age SF story. Normally you see that theme in YA and Adult fantasy books. So it was different and refreshing in that respect. I'm glad you liked the review.

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