Synopsis: (From Goodreads) For centuries, the gadda have worked to keep their identity secret from the rapidly expanding human race. All this is now at risk – the most terrible of gadda teachings, the Forbidden Texts, have been stolen and the race is on to find them.
Ione Gorton may have got her best friend back from Australia, but Maggie′s elevation to the ranks of the guardians means that she′s not around as much.
And when Stephen O′Malley, almost the youngest (and definitely the hottest) ever candidate for the sixth-order test, needs a place to stay after still more strange violence hits Sclossin, Ione is all too happy to lend a hand …
But Ione, like Maggie before her, is soon a target for the forces behind the theft of the Forbidden Texts, and the now-urgent search for the artefact will change life for gadda and human alike.
Review: This is the second book in the Dream of Asarlai series by Nicole Murphy following the first book, Secret Ones (see my review). Secret Ones introduces us to the Gadda, a secret human race who have access extraordinary power and magic. The love story between Maggie and Lucas was the focus of the first book alongside the investigation of trying to find who stole The Forbidden Texts which contain pertinent ancient Gadda information.
I was actually expecting Power Unbound to continue with the story of Maggie and Lucas. Rather, it is from the point of view from two new characters, Ione a mother of young Jack and also Maggie’s closest friend along with Stephen O’Malley a determined American who is studying to be a sixth order gadda- the highest ranking and level of training in the gadda community. The Forbidden Texts are still missing and Asarlai continues to cause destruction and endangering the lives of gadda to ensure the texts remain with her.
I really enjoy learning about the gadda, their hierachy and the powers that they have. It is interesting that some of the gadda are considered ‘humanists’ which mean they try to use their powers to help the good of humankind while the ‘purists’ are those who think the gadda should not have anything to do with them. This is an interesting undertone throughout the book.
Although I was disappointed not to continue on with the journey of Maggie and Lucas, Ione was a quirky character who I liked instantly. She has a knack for computers and as a widowed mother she does her best to provide for her son Jack. However, Ione does not have access to her gadda powers because she flunked out of her studies and didn’t even pass the first order gadda- which apparently teenagers undertake. So, when she meets determined and strong-willed Stephen who is a bit of a high achiever their differences are a nice compliment of each other.
As in the first novel, there were a few things that stopped me from rating this 4/5. Firstly, I would have liked the gadda to have been more focussed in Australia, especially since it is an Aussie author. However, the gadda clan reside in Sclossin, Ireland and there were no trips Down Under in Power Unbound. Secondly, there were some plot details that didn’t really convince me. Stephen wants to become a sixth order gadda to avenge for his teenage bullies and to make a name for his family. Stephen and his father had a falling out several years prior due to him taking the side of the bully over Stephen. It just seemed a bit far-fetched that that incident would be Stephen’s motive for trying to excel and the conflict with his father just seemed silly. I am not saying that bullying doesn’t leave a lasting mark on someone, but it just didn’t seem to fit right with this character.
Anyway, Power Unbound does have a nice romantic element as did Secret Ones, this time we see Ione and Stephen develop a friendship and then more. Maggie and Lucas also pop in at times. Overall, the Dream of Asarlai series provides much enjoyment with a combination of paranormal and scifi elements with plenty of romance. I will be posting my review for Rogue Gadda (Dream of Asarlai #3) on Thursday and an interview with Nicole Murphy on Friday.
Purchase Power Unbound @
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About the author: Nicole has been telling stories for as long as she can remember and been writing them down since primary school.
Her two main occupations thus far in her life – teaching and journalism – have taught her a great deal about writing. As a teacher, having to explain the nuances of story to young children helped to hone the information in her mind. As a journalist, Nicole has won awards for her writing (in particular a series of articles on mental illness) and has interviewed people such as Gary McDonald, Noeline Brown and Roy Billing. She quit journalism in 2008 to focus on her fiction writing.
Nicole lives in Queanbeyan with her husband Tim, a computer programmer who happens to be one of the top croquet players in Australia and has just captained NSW to victory in the interstate cup (From Goodreads).
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