Sometimes a book’s subtitle just lays it out for you. I did it with all three of my non-fiction books, as Mari Collier did with Earthbound, a perfect mix of SF and Western. Sure, the movies have Cowboys and Aliens, but Mari does it better.
The story actually starts in Ireland, where alien Llewellyn is basically a slave to another race. Circumstances bring his freedom; unfortunately, he’s left with a spaceship that he doesn’t know how to pilot out of Earth orbit. He becomes giant Irishman Zebediah MacDonald, trying to make a life for himself on a primitive planet, especially the place where he hides the spacecraft: Texas.
Eventually Mac meets Anna, a woman who’s lost her children and been captured by the Comanche. Mac may be an alien, but Anna has shocking secrets of her own—and a connection to Mac that even she doesn’t know about. Together the two begin to build a life, as the clouds of Civil War gather around them.
Earthbound is a great story with memorable characters, but to me the most fun was the historical aspect of it. Mari has done her research—it’s no surprise that she’s on the board of her local Historical Society. She doesn’t shirk on the details of life back then, from social constrictions to the dangers of childbirth, but it’s never dull. The supporting characters are great, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.