The Heretic (Book One of Beyond the Wall) by Lucas Bale

“Something jerked inside him—something alien and unknown. It surged towards the pain and ripped through muscle and sinew. His legs weakened and gave way beneath him, but the arms held him and gently lowered him to the cool ground.”

This book is about a future humanity ruled by a controlling force known as the Consulate Magistratus, and monitored via implant. I expect a small scale rebellion as one of the first small groups tries to free itself from persecution.

The story starts with a small boy, Jordi, who wakes in the night in time to save his family and a small number of villagers from an armed attack. They flee into the forest to await the Preacher who they have been harbouring against the law.
Meanwhile, Shepherd, and his space-freighter, Sotaris, are landing in the port with an illegal cargo. Shepherd travels to the venue where he is to meet his contact in order to cash in his cargo and leave the planet as soon as possible. He has discovered that a consul is en-route and wants to be off planet before they arrive.

Shepherd ship needs repairs though, so in the absence of anyone who can help he set to on the repairs himself. Until a young man, or rather boy, arrives and tells him he is going about the repairs the wrong way. The boy agrees to take a look at the ships systems and Shepherd subsequently embarks on an adventure in which he learns more about himself and Sotaris than he ever thought possible.

This was a good story, I didn’t guess the main twists in the plot. It wasn’t all happy ever after either, it was gritty and bloody, like real life. Humans struggling to survive,
while others battle to oppress them.

It is worth a read though. I shall read the next book in the series in due course.

4/5 Stars (What this means…five-stars-applied-carefully)

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Official description:
Earth is gone.

Centuries have passed since life ended on the blue planet. Humanity’s survivors are now dispersed among distant colonies, thousands of light years from the barren, frozen rock that was once their home.

At a time when power means everything, the ultimate power, the imperium, rests with the Consulate Magistratus. In return for its protection, citizens must concede their rights absolutely. The Magistratus controls interstellar travel, access to technology, even procreation. Every citizen is implanted with a device to monitor their location, health and emotions. Freedom, religion and self-determination are anachronisms. Humanity’s true history survives only in whispers of a secret archive.

Yet there are those who preach a new religion and who want to be free.

In the cold of a winter’s night, a small village is the subject of a brutal attack. A fourteen-year-old boy, Jordi, sees armed men approaching and manages to wake his family. He and a handful of survivors flee into the frozen, snow-covered forest to wait for the preacher who told them their way of life was based on lies.

Shepherd, a freighter-tramp and smuggler, is commissioned to deliver illicit medical supplies to a hostile border planet near the Wall. He is dragged into a fight he does not believe in and a desperate struggle to protect his ship, his way of life and the lives of the persecuted few who seek only freedom.

A revolution is coming…

The Heretic is the bestselling first book in a longer tale spanning four volumes. The award-winning Beyond the Wall series is gripping, epic space opera, written as hard science-fiction. It is the story of humanity’s future and the discovery of the truth of its past.

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