Title: Union of the Snake
Author: KC Burn
Length: 87 Pages
At a Glance: A complete gem of a self-published book.
Reviewed By: Jennifer
Blurb: NOTE: Previously available in the Come Undone Anthology from Irksome Rebel Press.
Zerek, a smuggler and rebel, has made a life’s work of trying to save his fellow humans from enslavement at the hands of the predatory Hilruda. But humans are losing the battle and once they’re no longer a threat, the Hilruda will turn their attentions to the third species on the planet, the Kadrussians.
Essian, leader of the Snake clan, is the closest to a prince the Kadrussians have. There’s no way he’s going to let the Hilruda become the dominant species on the planet but none of the clans can stand independently against them. Overcoming generations of autonomy to unite the clans would be tricky enough, but doing it without the Hilruda realizing what’s going on will be impossible. But Essian’s found a secret weapon – Zerek.
An unexpected attraction between the two complicates their mutually beneficial agreement. The idea of Essian choosing a simple human smuggler over a more appropriate Kadrussian mate is unthinkable, no matter how much Zerek might want otherwise. Cooperating with Essian might be Zerek’s last chance to save humanity but it could cost him his heart and his happiness.
Review: It is always a pleasure to run across a book that makes you want more, but is completely satisfying as it stands. Union of the Snake is one such book. When I finished the book, I wanted to dive in and read more about this world and more about Zerek and Essian, but it was so well-paced I couldn’t find a reason to complain and whine about it.
In a future on another planet, humans, Kadrussians, and the Hilruda coexist. Sort of. Humans are pretty much bottom of the chain after losing contact with the rest of their species. The Kadrussians, a snake-like species, prefer to keep to themselves, so that leaves humans to the mercy of the cadaverous Hilruda.
At the start of the book, famed smuggler Zerek is captured by the Hilruda and thrown into their fighting pits. Little does he know he’s about to go on an incredible journey that will take him through the Kadrussian clans and…well, he just wants to survive his first fight without having to kill anyone.
Essian is the Serpentes clan leader that helps Zerek escape. As a smuggler, Essian needs his help, and together the two set out to bring the clans together to fight back against the Hilruda once and for all.
This book is a slow burn, and I loved it. Told from the third person limited perspective of Zerek, I was thrilled. Had the author also included Essian, a lot of the mystery would have been revealed right away. What I loved was being kept in suspense, just like Zerek was. Yes, I was frustrated, but in the same way Zerek was. I wanted to know, and I wanted Essian to reveal his secrets.
As I said, the pacing of the book was superb. There were many places where KC Burn could have dragged out the dialogue or let things linger, but everything was kept tight and focused. I never felt bored with any of the scenes, and those I wanted to be longer were.
In the end, pretty much all of the questions I had were answered. The important ones were, anyway. The way they were revealed, too, made sense. I appreciated that. Nothing felt contrived.
I want more from Zerek and Essian. I could easily see more books following these two as they fulfill the prophecy. Or even more set in this world with other humans and Kadrussians?
This self-published book is a complete gem, and I am thrilled I took a chance on it. If you like sci-fi, aliens, and don’t mind a bit of violence crucial to the plot, then I think you will enjoy this book as much as I did.
You can buy Union of the Snake here: