Spirit of the Lone Horse by Ani Manjikian
Stars of Heros spans from the 19th Century to the 26th Century and beyond. The series title is a tribute to, and a word play on, the main themes in the books: horses, space, family, and heroes. Whether ordinary people or aliens, these heroes try to make a difference on their home world. In Spirit of the Lone Horse, the first in the series, we are introduced to Jo Mason and her family. Jo is the commanding officer of a large mounted band base. Thanks to a horse almost killing her, she is terrified by the noble creatures she once loved. Meeting the rogue stallion’s son, she is faced with the choice of running away from her fear or taking back control of her life. Her decision begins an adventure that weaves a tapestry through past mistakes and regrets, present circumstances and consequences, and future hopes and dreams.
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I read Spirit of the Lone Horse at the request of my daughter, Jen. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I had no idea that it was supposed to be a Sci-fi so, as I began reading, the events seemed pretty normal. I liked the chstar o herosaracters and the relationships between them. Twins were prominent and the author did a fine job of creating special bonds between them as you would expect of twins. There was a mystery that had to be solved and I was intrigued. It captured my interest and I had to know who and why because do I like a good mystery.
After a few chapters the book took an unexpected twist that threw it into the Sci-fi genre and I was delighted. I have always liked science fiction from the my youth when I read H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. The story isn't your typical Sci-Fi, though there are aliens and a space ship and time travel. For this book the aliens do not play a significant role in the mystery. However there are hints of their involvement in the lives of the earthly characters that will certainly make for some good reading in future volumes of this series.
Overall I found the characters were well developed throughout the book, no shallow characters here. The story was engaging and entertaining. I enjoyed this read and would recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery mixed with a bit of science fiction. 5 Stars
I received this book via a gift certificate from the author.
I was excited to read a story about horses (I love horses!) I knew it was a mix of military, sci-fi, time travel, and horses (of course) but the blurb was vague about the rest.
The story begins well. It pulled me in with the terrible accident that left Captain Jo Mason afraid of horses. But was it really an accident? It's only many years later with the new incidents that occur that the truth finally comes out.
My problem with this book is that it has so many details. I don't mean story wise but rather how the horse competition works etc. The author obviously did a ton of research. I'll give her that. She knows her military, her horses, and her horse shows very well. Yet, all the explanations slowed the pace for me. I don't usually skim when I read books because I'm afraid I'll miss something that could be important later. Still, I'm ashamed to admit I felt the need to do it once or twice.
Because of this, when the story turned science fiction and the characters seemed to know things I didn't, it took me by surprise. The first and most obvious was with a 'spaceship'. They all had dreams about it, about being in it, but no one seemed to question it more than that. It felt strange for military people not to question such a surreal event. This threw me back and made me wonder if I had actually missed something. Then I started questioning myself. Should I go back and check or shrug it off? I did the latter.
Still, if I put aside those moments of confusion, I liked the story overall. We have people with telepathy, with double personalities, people from the future, shape shifters, etc. I mean, it has everything.
about the author
Ani H. Manjikian is an avid animal lover and web developer living in the Puget Sound area. Born and raised in Southern California, the diagnosis of hydrocephalus at birth should have killed her, or worse, left her blank to the world. Her strength of spirit, parents' love, and a miracle all combined to overcome that prognosis within nine months.From this almost impossible beginning, she has developed into all-around person with the technical knowledge and analytical mind of a programmer, creative and detailed orientation of a writer/editor, and aesthetic instincts of a designer/photographer.