Unity is not a very good title for Steven Harper’s Battlestar Galactica novel. Sure, it is the name of a radical religious group that plays a role in the story, but that one word doesn’t really capture the essence. The image on the cover does a better selling job, for what is a pretty exciting tale of the race to cure a highly infectious disease.
After an overly quick end to a Cylon attack and the recovery of another Colonial survivor, many of our favourite characters start falling victim to the “plague of tongues,” which makes them shake and speak nonsense before they collapse and die. The plague spreads rapidly and the carrier finds himself caught up in a mix of pop hysteria and religious fervor. As always, the Cylons are hot on their heels, waiting to attack at any moment and the resulting tension ratchets up with each chapter. There’s plenty of action, and an exciting race against time to find the cure.
Despite the medical focus, this is definitely a Starbuck story, though Baltar gets some nice development as well. I thought the author pushed the “giggly teen crush” angle for Starbuck a bit far, but he provided compelling reasons for his choices in some interesting, if incorrect, background. Once again, I found myself wishing I had read this 2007 book before I saw the last season of the show.
A fun read. 4 out of 5
Next up: “The Cylons’ Secret” by Craig Shaw Gardner