THE HERETIC by Lucas Bale

As I have mentioned before, I download books when they are offered for free, they go into the depths of the Kindle until I get around to reading them, because of course every day there is ANOTHER one offered that I just gotta read first.  Then, as I peruse the ‘stacks’, as it were, those shelves back in the far corners, you know, the ones where they usually don’t have enough lights to see the titles on the spines very well?, yeah there, I choose a book by its title and start reading.  I seldom remember anything about it, and being the laziest person South of the Border and East of the Sierras, I don’t bother looking them up for plot, I just start reading.

I thought this was going to be about the middle ages, you know, when heretics were hunted down and exterminated.  Imagine my astonishment to find that it is a sci fi.  Who knew?

Here is the official plot description:

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.

On the planet Herse, a nasty hostile kind of place, Shepherd, a freighter-tramp and smuggler, is commissioned to deliver illicit medical supplies to a village some distance from the main city.  It is here he discovers just how monitored the citizens are, and how free will and autonomous thinking and actions are stamped out.

The storyline follows Shepherd and a teenager named Jodi, who is one of the citizens of a village that are being hunted by the Magistratus for heretical beliefs, for following the Preacher, who talks of freedom and choice.

Not exactly a new storyline, but hey, there are only 7 basic stories in the world, and this is a version of one of them.  Exciting, fun, and once again — one of my huge pet peeves — we have interplanetary space travel and no indoor plumbing.

This is the first of a four book series in this space opera.

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