Saturday, August 25, 2012

Book Review: "Union" by Jolea M. Harrison

Union review
Author: Jolea M. Harrison
4 out of 5 stars

Book Info: Genre: Science Fantasy Reading Level: Young Adult

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: There are no holes in space. None to hide in. None where it’s safe. Life on-board a space ship pursued through the void is precarious at best, where the difference between living and dying is measured one instant to the next.

On the run, Dynan Telaerin’s responsibilities increase to the breaking point while he’s the only one capable of flying the ship and making one repair after the other to his almost-crippled craft, at the same time as trying to be a husband to his new wife, Loren. Bringing her and Marc Talryn into the terrifying danger that is Dynan’s life hardens his resolve to protect them at all cost.

Making it back to the fold of the Brittallia System doesn’t guarantee safety, as betrayals abound where he least expects it. They come from people he has trusted nearly the whole of his life. That life of peace, held for a brief moment in time, is abruptly shattered. Loren is taken from him in an attempt to forestall a terrible vision of death.

The specter of evil haunts every thought and guides every action in the attempt to find her and keep her safe. The man who would take her and make the vision a reality is stalking him...

...driving him ever onward, leading him to the envisioned slaughter. Maralt Adaeryn sees the cruel end of an ancient prophecy and he holds a dreadful secret. There are some things worse than death. 

Additional information: Union, the 5th book of the Guardians of the Word series, is suitable for mature young adults. Chosen, Myth, Telepath, and Legend are available on, and I reviewed most of them just last week (mid-August, 2012); click the link on the title of each to see it. The last three books of the series – Adept, Seer, and King – will be released on an approximate 3-month schedule.

My Thoughts: This book again manages a good combination of action and character development, with the plot proceeding apace. While it is not as long as the previous book, it is longer than the first three, but it reads quickly and smoothly and kept me engaged throughout.

I’m still bothered by Maralt’s level of power, and the fact that absolutely no one can seem to stand up against it. Why is it no one else can seem to develop that level of power? Is it just the lack of boundaries caused by a lack of any ethical constraints that allows him to so easily overpower everyone that would even think about getting in his way? The whole thing is very unbalanced; one would think that between Dynan, Marc, and Carryn they could find a workable plan. Also, how did Maralt become so adept at swordplay and fighting? No one can get close to them on the few times when he doesn’t just make them drop their swords. It’s extremely annoying to me that he’s always right there whenever they stop, always able to drop everyone within seconds, always able to do anything and everything he wants. If the book were about the villain, or even if the villain were a bit more likeable, I might be able to get behind it, but as it is, it’s just seriously frustrating.

While each of these book is subsequently better edited than the previous, typos still get through; as they do in most every book I’ve read in the past 20 years or so. The most amusing one in this book, to me, was “derbis” for “debris”; I’m not certain why it amused me so, but it really made me laugh. Something I have noted being misused through most of the series is the word “askance”, which is being used not in its normal sense of looking at something obliquely, or with disapproval, but as in “ask-ance” as in to look at a person in such as way as to imply asking a question. This is not a word at all, and it’s something that has made me repeatedly twitch when I have read it.

Despite these issues, I enjoyed the story quite a lot. To see my reviews of the previous books, I have placed links on their titles up in the “Additional Information” section for your convenience. I will definitely be continuing this series to its conclusion, and eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, Adept.


  1. Amen! I was beginning to wonder if others were growing weary of " Maralt the unbeatable!" LOVE the series with the exception of an obvious power imbalance.

    1. Thanks - glad I'm not the only one! I have the most recent one in my files - I'm making a conscious effort to read it sooner rather than later so I don't forget what has gone before, so watch this blog - hopefully the review will be popping up in the next few weeks! *fingers crossed in hope*


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