Faster Than Light: Outsider by Malcolm Pierce
The Heilmann Drive allowed humanity to spread across the stars and prosper for nearly two thousand years. But when the use of the device begins to eat into the fabric of the universe, the People's Interstellar Republic bans all faster-than-light travel. A new age begins, one of isolation and stagnation, and becomes known as the Fall.
One rebel, Captain Seth Garland, steals the last starship in existence. He is now mankind's only hope of re-uniting the stars.
Outsider: Leah Wu left her birth world of Yuan to join Seth Garland as a pariah. Now she returns with the ISS Fenghuang to a planet in crisis. A drought has ravaged the population, and a series of unexplained deaths has wracked one of the remaining viable farming communities. When a threat of unimaginable power presents itself in the hills of Yuan, Leah realizes that she may be the only one who can save the planet she once called home.