Carolyn Cushman Reviews To Guard Against the Dark by Julie E. Czerneda

Julie E. Czerneda, To Guard Against the Dark (DAW 978-0-7564-0878-7, $26.00, 428pp, hc) October 2017. Cover by Matt Stawicki.

Locus Magazine, Science Fiction FantasyThe Clan Chronicles wraps up with this ninth volume (third in the Reunification trilogy), which finds Jason Morgan still mourning from losing Sira when the Clan left their bodies to live in the dimension some call AllThereIs. Unlike some of the recent novels in the series, this volume doesn’t spend much time on the brooding and pain, and instead dives into action. Back in the human universe, the Trade Pact is in trouble, with various species and groups, all with their own agendas, doing their best to dismantle it, intentionally or not. In the process, some have made it clear that humans aren’t welcome. Morgan, recruited to help Trade Pact Enforcers figure out who set the Assemblers to destroy the Clan, pulls himself together and starts to investigate with an entertaining pair of Enforcer constables. New players, unexpected alliances, and possible motives keep popping up, until it looks like multiple universes could be at stake. Fortunately, Morgan gets help from friends old and new – even Sira, sort of. This isn’t a good place for new readers to dive in; even readers who’ve stuck with the series from the beginning may find it difficult to follow all the players and plot twists without a bit of a refresher. Luckily, fast-paced action mixed with plenty of humorous banter and oddball alien interactions keep things moving at a nice clip, for an adventure – and touching conclusion to the series – that fans won’t want to miss.

Carolyn F. Cushman, Senior Editor, has worked for Locus since 1985, the longest of any of the current staff, and handles our in-house books database, writes our New and Notable section, and does the monthly Books Received column. She is a graduate of Western Washington University with a degree in English. She published a fantasy novel, Witch and Wombat, in 1994.

This review and more like it in the November 2017 issue of Locus.Locus Magazine, Science Fiction Fantasy

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