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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.