Review – Unknown Horizons By CJ Birch

Unknown Horizons.jpg

Title: Unknown Horizons
Author: CJ Birch
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Format: E-ARC via Netgalley
Publication Date: 18th April 2017
Rating: 2/5 Stars


The moment Lieutenant Alison Ash steps aboard the Persephone, she knows her life will never be the same. She will never again watch the sun rise over the asteroid belt, never again see Earth from a handheld telescope, and never again see her family.

In less than three weeks, the ship will dock at the Posterus and begin the most important journey humankind has ever undertaken. More important than discovering fire, creating language, or even abandoning Earth to live confined in biospheres among the asteroid belt over 100 years ago.

What Ash doesn’t expect is that by keeping her recent memory loss a secret she is
jeopardizing not only the Persephone’s mission but humankind’s launch of the first ever generational ship. Nor does she anticipate her attraction to Captain Jordan Kellow, but both will change her life forever.


This book was kindly provided to me for honest review by the Publisher via Netgalley. This has not impacted on the content of this review, which it my own honest opinion.


I went into Unknown Horizons feeling hopeful. From the synopsis, I knew that there were two aspects to this book that I typically enjoy and want to read more of. Firstly space travel, I love books about traveling through space, it’s one of my favourite elements of science fiction. Secondly, a romance between two women, something that needs to happen more across all genres. Unfortunately this book left me feeling somewhat underwhelmed.

At the very beginning I almost gave up, the main character/narrator seemed to be all over the place. But I hate quitting on books, so I decided to keep reading, and things did improve a bit. Unfortunately I felt life there was an awful lot of telling and not enough showing. There were several time jumps between chapters, and as a reader I was just told of changes and developments. It kept me out of the story, and made connecting to the characters difficult.

The plot of the book, while rushed, was interesting with plenty of twists and turns. There was some good world building in this book, I just with there was some more of it. It was clear that everything about the world and the plot had  been really well planned out. But at times it felt like the story was moving from one dramatic plot point to the next with little to connect the two events. There was a lot of action, which was fairly well written, but there was very little time taken to show the development between characters. This is why I had trouble caring about the romance. I was looking forward to it, but it felt rushed and underdeveloped. The main character was instantly struck speechless by how beautiful Captain Jordan is, and cannot keep her cool around her. This clashes a bit with Ash’s previously established confident, tough character, which is a little bit jarring. I feel like I needed to see more development, things just felt really inconsistent.

This review was difficult to write. Not because I had nothing to say, but because this story had potential, but it felt rushed, and ultimately fell flat for me. Towards the end things definitely picked up, and what I learn about the world was really interesting, there just wasn’t enough. Also, I would add a trigger warning for sexual assault and torture, be wary of this before choosing to read this book. I had high hopes, but ultimately, I can’t give this book more than 2 stars.


3 thoughts on “Review – Unknown Horizons By CJ Birch

  1. I felt the exact way about this book! The premise was so interesting and I was quite excited to read it but it ended up being very underdeveloped in some places. The whole thing felt so rushed and I didn’t connect to the characters at all. I wish the author would have taken her time to develop the plot, characters and the romance a lot more thoroughly!


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