Five Unicorn Flush by T.J.Berry

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Blurb:

Only one woman with a magical parasite can unite the galaxy, in the mind-blowing SF sequel to Space Unicorn Blues

The Bala, magical creatures, have hidden themselves from cruel and destructive humanity, leaving the galaxy in shambles. Without unicorn-powered faster-than-light travel, mankind is scattered, starving and isolated across the stars. Cowboy Jim has the sole surviving FTL drive, and he and his Reason soldiers are determined to track down and re-enslave the Bala. But on their new planet, the Bala are on the brink of civil war: should they accept Unicorn rule, or follow necromancer Bao Zhi and exact revenge on their human oppressors? Only Captain Jenny, with her new elfin parasite, can return peace to the galaxy.

My Review: (Contains spoilers)

Thank you to Gemma at Angry Robots, and Angry Robots for sending me what is one of the wackiest, Monty python style sci-fi novels I’ve read. It’s like if you mixed the Expanse, the Orville and Star Trek all together. It’s that wacky. And very enjoyable.
What can I say about this novel? It’s amazing in the sense it has epic spaceship fights. It’s amazing in the sense that it shows disabilities and I applaud this. Jenny is a lucky woman because staying in a wheelchair is not the best option, and her partner, Kalia is there for her. I have not read the first book, but now I will.


Gary Cobalt is the Jesus Christ of this Universe. He’s literally the epitome of all goodness. Many times I sympathized with this half-unicorn and the half-human creature. I wonder if the Bala do worship Gods?

Or is there a religion at all? He has a big problem trying to get the Bala (all creatures of magic that we’ve read in our mythology) to live in this world when its basically just a big prison and no one dares venture out.


Well Actually and Stagecoach Mary was two well done AI characters. I really wanted to see more of them in the novel. Their viewpoint of interpreting this whole mess is unique. I also feel that the Human Experiment failed badly.

You’ve got wars, killings, etc. All the stuff you’d get in a basic sci-fi show. In a sense, it’s very much like Doctor Who.


The dialogue, the writing, the prose is fantastic. I did feel many times for Jenny, but she’s done wrong and she’s willing to make up for it. You don’t often find people like that. Gary’s father, Findae is a representation of the old arrogant English aristocracy. He’s literally the best enjoyable character in the book.


It’s also funny that some of the Bala had a comfortable life with their human masters and want to go back. I do feel Spartacus must have sensed this when he lead the slave revolt against Rome as well. Sometimes the slave became the master. And well, it is an odd thing really.


Even so, this novel has its serious moments, and it has gore. But not too much that it would strike you instantly on the face, there’s a setup. What I love is how Berry always an explanation for what’s happening. So crazy Russian mafia go on a ship and riot ensures?

The result of that doesn’t need to be explained, you’ll figure that out quickly. So you are well accustomed to what comes next, but it is there.


Horm, I felt was more under-used in the novel. I would have liked to see her more of her viewpoint. I do feel Gary needs a partner to defend him. He tries to do good but nobody wants it. Could this make Gary turn into something else? Who is to say.


My rating is a solid 5/5. Can’t wait to read the first book, and then for the third 🙂

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