Search For Help

Host Saga Book 3

Fiction - Science Fiction
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/27/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Search for Help by Michael Farlow is a science fiction epic and the third book in the Host Saga series, preceded by book one, Future Discovered, and book two, Immortal Guardian. The basis of the series is the discovery of stashed technology left behind on the Arizona property of our protagonist Van Childs, with the revelation of a prior retreat by an alien race, the Galactic Hosts, after a hostile attack by another alien race, the Arkon. A war over the future of Earth between humans and the Arkon is inevitable, and Van is faced with an Armageddon situation: the complexities of politicking and the urgency of just cracking on and building a fleet to save Earth becomes even more convoluted when a saboteur is able to infiltrate Van's Guardian Force ship and questions arise over the possibility that a colleague in a pool of blood is a traitor.

Michael Farlow has some tricks up his sleeve in Search for Help. Given that the title of the book is literally what happens for most of the book—Van and company are searching for help to have a fighting chance against the Arkon—my expectations of a predictable middle book were woefully incorrect, and a twist puts the reader on edge wondering whodunnit. This is on top of the already manic scramble to avoid annihilation and some diplomatic maneuvering. The writing is really well done. It is tight and clean, the dialogue is entertaining and authentic, there are zero information dumps, and a cast that was already thoroughly developed is given enough new page time to go a few layers deeper. One of the pleasant directions this novel redirects to in setting the stage for book four is a physical development that occurs layers deeper, one that will create some excellent new scene potential going forward. Search for Help has a satisfying round-up but the promise for more as Van assures readers himself is that, “We may not have won the fight, but we lived to fight another day.” Very highly recommended.

Pikasho Deka

Search For Help is the third installment of the Host Saga by Michael Farlow. Earth's designated Guardian and leader of the Guardian Force, Commmander Van Childs, has an enormous task on his hands. Realizing that even the Guardian Force, alongside the Federation Space Force (FSF), may not be enough to stop the oncoming Arkon invasion, Van takes a few Federation spaceships outside the solar system to find other sentient races, hoping for an alliance against the Arkons. To his surprise, he finds what he is looking for at the cost of an ensuing battle with space pirates. However, there is a traitor amidst them, working for the Progressive faction of the Federation hell-bent on bringing Van down. As an alliance with the other planetary civilizations becomes increasingly feasible, Van must deal with the enemy closer to home once and for all.

Fans of space opera fiction like Star Wars or Star Trek have another action-packed futuristic sci-fi tale on their hands with Search For Help. Join pilot and aerospace engineer Van Childs on his epic space travels as he tries to bring together an unlikely alliance against an advanced alien empire seeking to conquer all. Author Michael Farlow's worldbuilding is nothing short of phenomenal. Filled with epic space battles, advanced alien civilizations, sentient AIs, and political maneuvers with ever-rising stakes, the narrative keeps your eyes glued to the pages until the very end. If you're a sci-fi lover or already a fan of the series, you'll have a great time reading Search For Help: Host Saga Book 3.

Steven Robson

Search For Help: Host Saga Book 3 by Michael J. Farlow carries on the action-packed adventures of Commander Van Childs, Guardian appointed by the Galactic Host, as he continues his drive to prepare humanity for the expected attack by the Arkon; a ruthless species intent on suppressing other intelligent life they find in the Galaxy. The complexity of Van Childs’ task is woven into myriad potentialities as he battles power struggles on Earth and on newly discovered planets, as well as the influences of enemy technologies most pervasive in their reach. As Van Childs navigates Guardian Force’s way through this incredibly dangerous maze, one apparent thing seems to come into focus: three major forces are involved in this dangerous dance, and the origins of each may not be as far removed as you may expect. Search For Help is very easy to read; a high-octane space adventure loaded with stunning visualizations and true emotions guaranteed to have you engrossed until the final parting shot.

Michael J. Farlow remains true to his legacy in Search For Help: Host Saga Book 3, which I found to be particularly enjoyable. Once again, the characters are all quite well portrayed and their reactions and relationships are real, which fosters a great deal of empathy between them and the reader; I felt a great deal of empathy for Captain Daman and Ms. Fuller knowing that their fates were removed from their own hands by insidious technology. Perhaps the greatest strength of all, however, is Mr. Farlow’s sublime ability to take on incredibly complex space battles involving many participants and swirling changes in the ongoing status of individuals and forces, and do so without falling into confusion for the reader, as often happens with these very complex scenarios. Search For Help is definitely recommended for anyone who loves great adventure, loads of action, wonderful characters, and an excellent plot to satiate the most demanding palate for quality science fiction.

K.C. Finn

Search For Help is a work of fiction in the science fiction and adventure subgenres, penned by author Michael Farlow. It forms the third installment of the Host Saga. It is intended for the general adult reading audience and contains some mild adult content and strong language. In this middle volume of a five-part series, we return to our protagonist Van Childs as he faces the incoming Arkon invasion and attempts to prepare Earth for the hardship which lies ahead. As Van finds himself the target of assassination for his role in it all, the odds don’t look good for winning the fight, and he must find yet more help if Earth is to stand a chance.

Author Michael Farlow has produced some really exciting and intriguing works so far in the Host Saga series, and I’m thrilled to say that this third installment will keep fans on their toes for even more excitement and adventure. One of the features which I found especially interesting in this book was that Farlow had a chance to engage more deeply with the political thriller aspect of the plot and the interplanetary intrigue and conspiracies at play. This added a beautifully complex under-layer to the plot which amped up the tension even when there weren’t any explicit action scenes, making this a page-turner that really rockets to its exciting conclusion. Overall, Search For Help is a recommended read for fans of science fiction and intergalactic warfare everywhere.

Vincent Dublado

Search For Help is the third installment in the Host Saga series. Author Michael Farlow brings back Van Childs to face a new challenge. As the former Navy pilot and aerospace engineering consultant has become the guardian of humanity, this new responsibility is keeping him alert. Their timetable in producing the number of ships and crews necessary for Earth’s defense has been disrupted as the Arkon is showing signs of an early advance. Van, with the help of Harry, an AI with a mechanized android form, must seek help outside the solar system. However, feelings about Van’s concern regarding the Federation’s stability remain divided, and as he seeks outside help, internal strife will produce a traitor—someone whom Van least expects to be the one.

The best praise I can give Search For Help is that Michael Farlow captures the texture of politics and diplomacy in a highly speculative scenario. This book has moments of recollections and emotions that show how it feels to prepare for imminent war. Something about the revelations, after all the twists and turns, gives substance to the efforts that Van put in with the help of allies. The treachery and cunning manipulation by the antagonists give you a genuine taste of intrigue and adventure. Farlow includes vivid details from the past two installments so that you are kept up-to-date and are not lost as the plot progresses. As a sci-fi novel, Search For Help gives value to the genre as it allows you to imagine fictional events with a strong sense of realism. It’s a high space adventure that will engage you from start to finish.