Hardship (Theirs Not to Reason Why #4) by Jean Johnson
My rating: 9 out of 10 stars
It began with a terrible vision of the future. Compelled by her precognitive abilities, Ia must somehow save her home galaxy long after she’s gone. Now Jean Johnson presents the long-awaited epic conclusion to her national bestselling military science fiction series…
Demoralized, their ship destroyed, Ia’s Damned must fight their way out of a planet-bound blockade and back into space. But there is more happening here on Dabin than meets even Ia’s inner eye.
Some of the Feyori, energy-based beings of vast power and arrogance, are moving to block her efforts under the direction of her counter-faction foe, Miklinn. The Terran Army Division stationed on Dabin is not cooperating with her battle plans. Events are not happening as Ia has foreseen, and too many people are now in grave danger, thanks to alien Meddling.
All these hardships are threatening to derail Ia’s carefully laid plans. The Meddlers, however, have made one fatal mistake:
They’re just making Bloody Mary mad.
This is an excellent instalment in the Theirs Not to Reason Why book series. The book blurb is a wee bit misleading though. At least the first bit. The destruction of Ia’s ship at the end of the last book was intentional to begin with. The blurb makes it sound like Ia’s damned are demoralized due to it. It is true that they are demoralized for parts of this book but that is more due to events in this book itself rather than starting out demoralized like the blurb makes you believe. It is however my great pleasure to say that the last statement of the blurb is very much accurate. Ia gets seriously pissed off in this book and a pissed of Ia makes for some very entertaining reading.
The book starts off with Ia pretty sure of herself predicting the future as usual. Pretty soon though it turns out that someone have been messing with the timestreams and Ia’s precognitive abilities on Dabin. Not very surprisingly, the Terran army commander is both influenced by meddling forces as well as being arrogant and generally incompetent. All of this forces Ia to take matters into her own hands, literally, without relying on her precognitive abilities.
Luckily, Ia is not only a serious badass but have more than a few tricks up her sleeve. After going on a wee killing spree among the Salik invaders she turns her focus on the meddlers as well as one arrogant and incompetent General. Well, obviously I will not spoil the book by giving out too many details but I did indeed like those parts of the book…tremendously.
The book have all the bits that made me like the previous books. Sometimes the book slows down a bit with long talkative parts, especially during a military hearing in the second half of the book. This did not feel as disrupting in this book as in some of the previous ones though. At least not as far as I remember the previous books. The overall impression is that this is a very enjoyable, even great, book.
The book ends at a fairly logical place after the situation on Dabin have been dealt with yet it does end rather in the middle of things. A bit like the first of the Lord of The Rings movies which probably surprised a few people with its ending equally in the middle of the story. My understanding is that it was only planned to make four books but that the fourth one became too long so it was more or less just cut into two books rather than cutting it down heavily. Personally I am grateful for that. It makes one for more book that I can look forward to.