Review: The Gray Horizon by M. Kircher

the gray horizon

The Gray Horizon by M. Kircher
Series: The Horizons Trilogy #2
First Published by: Self-Published on August 13th 2014
Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 256 (E-Book)
Source: E-Book copy from author


My Rating: 3.5 stars

I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review from the author. It does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

What does it mean to be brave? This is the question Caden must answer as he accompanies Thea, Ben, Rain, and Naomi back out under the dark clouds of the canopy, to rescue Viv from the deadly shadows and save a shattered Earth from the brink of destruction. Caden’s lazy, arrogant nature is tested as the group draws closer to finding Viv, forcing him to confront his inner demons and admit his feelings for Thea—even as their relationship is threatened by her ever-growing connection to Ben.

Will Caden discover his true potential? Or, when the group uncovers a devastating secret and faces a betrayal that has the power to turn the tide in the war with the shadows, will he abandon his friends and go back to a life of never-ending darkness?

Find out in The Gray Horizon, the exciting, action-packed sequel to The War Inside.

my thoughts 2

I really enjoyed the sequel, I finished this within a day!

This is a dystopian/paranormal book in which the world the sky is covered in dark clouds from pollution. The sun can’t get through the clouds, which means nothing can grow and survive in this world. Food is scarce and it’s hard to survive. Everyday your just trying to survive until the next day and try and find food, and do the same the next day. Thea, our main character, sees a girl being beat up by 2 guys and runs to save her. While bringing Viv back to a healthy state, Thea notices that her bandages need to be changed. While changing, Thea sees this weird light coming off Viv’s abdomen. Whoever comes in contact with this light, will receive this light on them as well (if they believe in the light).

I am really excited that I got to review the 2nd book. I definitely enjoyed this! My biggest issue is connecting with the characters. I really like all the characters, but I’ve just had a hard time connecting with them. As well as the action, I felt that it was building up to this one epic battle scene. It comes, and within 3 pages, it’s over with. But when the action was there, holy cow! These dark creatures are freaky! They have human like qualities, but kind of remind me of ghosts.

My favorite thing about this series, is the world that M. Kircher has created. Not only is this dystopian, which is one of my favorite genres, but it includes paranormal aspects which is my favorite genre! I love that the romance isn’t the biggest part of this which is nice to get away from for a while. Yes, there is a couple scenes, which are adorable and sweet by the way. Rain is definitely my favorite character, he is hilarious and is head-over-heels for Viv. I love Viv and Rain’s relationship! I also really enjoy how this changes point of views every so often. I think the majority of The Gray Horizon is told from Caden’s point of view. Who, I really like!

Excerpt 1

Thea’s entire body jerked, and she sprang away from his touch, as though his fingers were hot embers pressed to her skin. She coiled into a tight ball and clutched her arms around the knees of her leather pants. Her eyes darted wildly and tears streamed down both of her cheeks.

Caden took a step back from the terrified girl and gave her a moment to breathe. His boots crunched in the mix of dirt and snow. Behind him, the others began to stir. They weren’t frantic with worry now, not like the first couple of times this had happened. The nightmares about Viv had become routine for all of them—even Thea.

After a few seconds, he held his gloved palms out to her. “Hey, it’s just me, okay? It’s Caden.” He kept his tone low and measured, trying to coax her frazzled mind out of the dream. “We’re out in the wilderness again, remember? Looking for Viv.”

Thea’s light green eyes focused first on him and then shifted to their surroundings, taking in the mud, ice, and dark trees overhead. Her gaze flitted up through the leafless branches to where thick clouds covered the sky. Her chest rose and fell, then her eyes rested again on his face. Slowly, they began to lose their haunted look.

“That’s right,” he told her. “Calm down. I’m here with you and everything is going to be fine.”

Thea nodded and swallowed. She ran a bony hand through her wet, tangled hair. It had taken a week of these night terrors for the group to figure out that Caden was the only one who could get through to her. She’d respond to his voice alone when the dreams took hold and wouldn’t let go.

The nightmares were about Viv, of course. Caden shuddered, trying not to imagine what the shadows were doing to her now.


Excerpt 2

“Thea can be attracted to who ever she wants,” Caden muttered and tried to move past her.

But before he could make it around her, Naomi’s fingers tightened on his arm. “You should try to hold it in a bit better,” she told him, yanking his face close to hers. Her golden eyes were sharp. “It looks desperate, the way you moon over her and snap at Ben anytime he opens his mouth. Get a handle on your emotions, boy.” She glared at him and then released her grip.

What on earth is her problem? Why can’t she just leave me alone? Caden stepped away and rubbed his arm. “Moon?” he sputtered angrily. “I’ve never mooned in my life.” He scowled at Naomi. “And I have no idea why you’d think I’d moon over Thea.” Embarrassment heated his neck and burned his skin. Have I been so transparent? Are Thea and Ben up there right now, laughing at me?

Naomi’s bow-shaped lips tilted up at the corners. It was almost a smile, but not quite. A white-handled knife appeared in her hand and she rolled it back and forth between her fingers.

“Hmmm,” she said, and threw the knife into the sand where it stuck, the blade buried deep. The muscles underneath her smooth brown skin rippled. “Whatever you say Ca-den.” Naomi smirked and arched a black eyebrow at him.

“Thea’s gorgeous, okay?” he said through clenched teeth. “But that’s all, there’s nothing else going on between us.”

As soon as the words left his lips, Caden saw Naomi’s lids droop and her grin became lazy and catlike. She stared pointedly at a spot behind his right shoulder and Caden twisted around.

And then his stomach dropped.

There was Thea, standing directly behind him, her staff clenched tightly in her hands and a hurt look on her face.

His heart pounded. She didn’t say a word, just straightened her spine and glared at him with hard eyes.

Damn it! Caden groaned inside his head. Why did I let Naomi get to me like that?

“I forgot my staff,” Thea muttered. She plucked the long wooden pole off the ground and immediately pivoted back toward the forest.

“Thea, wait!” Caden called out and ran after her. He reached out to grab her, but she was too fast. She twisted away from him and started to run, leaving his hands grasping empty air.

“Forget it,” Thea called over her shoulder. “It’s nothing.” And then the forest enveloped her body into its shadowy folds.

favorite quotes

“Because fighting for goodness and love was worth it.” — M. Kircher, The Gray Horizon


“I think he likes her,” Caden wheezed to Naomi, who was running next to him.

“Well, that’s a relief,” Naomi panted. “I thought he was going to ask me to marry him, or something.” — M. Kircher, The Gray Horizon


About the Author:


“I believe that stories can change the world. I also believe that teens and young adults have eyes that are open and ears that are awake to the thrumming life hidden deep within great books. I write YA fiction because I’m in love with stories and because I want generations of young people to hold tight to the vastness of their potential—the potential that lies waiting in all of us. The world is ours for the making. No matter who you are, you have the power to do great things.


Happy reading!”  — M. Kircher


Kircher lives in Connecticut with her husband, son, and daughter. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Gordon College.

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