“Unity” by Anttimatti Pennanen


Anttimatti Pennanen
Independently Published (2021)
ISBN: 9789526978109
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (11/2021)

Sequels, as most of us know, tend to pale in comparison to the first in a series. Perhaps you all see this more in movies. “Jaws 2?” What was that about? My mother used to say that sequels were for authors who either didn’t know what they were writing the first time, got bad reviews, and wanted to give it another shot; or they were for writers who were stumped when it came to finding a new subject. Yes… Mom was a strict one, but she was usually always right.

When it comes to this sequel, however, she would have been completely wrong. For anyone who read the first book, “Black Table” by Anttimatti Pennanen, and got the thrill and fun of meeting best awesome friends Jon and Gus as they traveled from Finland to attend the Portland Comic Con, then you should be excited to read what happens after that exciting journey. First, they met their hero and watched a heart attack take the man out, but not before he pushed an odd book in their hands and sent them on an incredible, interstellar journey to save the entire universe. They accomplished their very large mission in the first book, yet there’s something still amiss in Jon and Gus’ world….

Beginning at the Monastery of Malacho (very cool location), readers meet up with a Servant of Light named Aldo. He’s sitting in his quiet room at the monastery, surrounded by his wealth of scrolls, when a darkness starts to infiltrate his space. He quickly finishes up the document he’s working on, “opens a door” in a wall with a special amulet he wears around his neck, and inserts the document into a tube. Out of the monastery it goes, like a vacuum is somehow sucking it out into space. With it, a bright light is also emitted…one that diminishes the second this strange intruder breaks down Aldo’s door and basically “snuffs” the lights out for good.

Aldo’s ancestors’ home was the location where humanoids lived seven thousand years ago, but their constant need to battle others and increase their technology in order to form the perfect weapon, while their natural resources dwindled, caused their eventual demise. It has been seven days since the Unity “jumped” away from a tragic ending and the crew is now on board with a damaged Black Table – which was the transport they used to travel to different worlds – and floating in an unchartered location in space. Gus, the techno wizard on the ship, is using his knowledge to replace the broken parts of the Table and the ship; Jon has taken over crew safety and keeping up morale during these difficult times. Uzano is basically the pilot, and Nova is working as the co-pilot and science officer. (“Star Trek,” anyone?)  

When they are able to land on a planet that shows life, the crew gets their fashion-sense together as part of their plan to blend in with the citizens they’re about to meet. But, as they walk down the streets running by buildings made of glass and stone, they receive the strangest stares, and when they walk into what looks like an Irish pub and order Betterales, they hear an unbelievable story. Meeting the local authority in town, Ecuro, the crew are told that people have been vanishing. While some believe they may have been taken by a strange, huge animal; some witnesses state that they saw someone disappear into a dark alley and just…never come back. One such missing person is Ecuro’s own daughter, Bik. Now, could this be the Swarm…the darkness Jon feels is following them because he’s seen it in a dream ever since the Unity jumped away from the black hole in space? Can Jon and Gus stop the darkness by using a discovered “light” in order to protect people, find a way to defeat the evil, and make sure to solidify a future for those who are working to bring back a ‘normal’ world? Well…you have to read and find out.

Twice in a row this author created a fun, exciting, interesting plot with characters you really end up wanting to be your best friends, just so you don’t have to say goodbye to them when the book is over. Jon and Gus are still filled with quips as they share hearty fist-bumps, and Jello is still a topic of conversation. For anyone who has yet to stumble across this series, do so immediately. Even Mom would want to read a third when it comes to this group!

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