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Catacombs: A Tale of the Barque Catsby Anne Mccaffrey
Synopses & Reviews
In Catalyst, award-winning authors Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough introduced readers to the beguiling Barque Cats: spacefaring felines who serve aboard starships as full-fledged members of the crew. Highly evolved, the cats share an almost telepathic bond with their minders, or Cat Persons—until, suddenly, there is no “almost” about it, and a particular Barque Cat, Chester, learns to exchange thoughts with his human friend, Jubal. Other cats soon gain the same ability.
Behind the seeming miracle is a mysterious cat named Pshaw-Ra, who possesses knowledge and technology far beyond anything the Barque Cats—or their humans—have ever seen. When fear of a virulent plague leads the government first to quarantine and then to kill all animals suspected of infection, Pshaw-Ra—with the help of Chester, Jubal, and the crew of the starship Ranzo—activates a “mousehole” in space that carries the refugees to a place of safety: Pshaw-Ra’s home planet of Mau, where godlike cats are worshiped by human slaves.
But Pshaw-Ra’s actions are less noble than they appear. The scheming cat plans to mate the Barque Cats with his own feline stock, creating a hybrid race of superior cats—a race destined to conquer the universe. Yet right from the start, his plans go awry.
For one thing, there’s a new queen on Mau: Pshaw-Ra’s daughter Nefure, a spoiled brat—er, cat—with a temper as short as her attention span. Pshaw-Ra’s other daughter, the rightful queen Renpet, is exiled, running for her life in the only direction available to her—down into the vast catacombs beneath the Mauan desert. Far from receiving the hero’s welcome he expected, Pshaw-Ra must use every bit of his considerable cleverness just to survive.
Meanwhile, as usual, Chester and Jubal stumble right into the middle of things, in the process uncovering the lost secrets of the Mauan civilization. But that’s not all they uncover. In the forgotten catacombs deep below the Mauan capital, something has awakened. Something as old as the universe. Something that hungers to devour all light and life—and that bears an undying hatred for cats.
"McCaffrey and Scarborough follow January 2010's Catalyst with another light space adventure featuring super-smart cats. The barque cats, mistaken for a public health hazard, flee Earth for the feline-dominated planet, Mau, with the help of Pshaw-Ra, a mysterious cat with his own spaceship. Oddly, no one--including the humans--is bothered that he plans to take over the universe on behalf of felinekind. Chester and his 10-year-old human friend Jubal are likable young heroes who make a good foil to the charismatic, shadowy Pshaw-Ra. Readers of all ages will be entertained as the barque cats explore strange new worlds and save the day. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
From the team of McCaffrey (author of the Dragonriders of Pern series) and Nebula Award-winning author Scarborough comes the sequel to "Catalyst," featuring telepathic cats which are invaluable to the spacefarers who own them.
About the Author
Praise for Anne McCaffrey’s and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough’s Catalyst
“McCaffrey and Scarborough switch perspective to how the cats see things, and their viewpoint is delightful. . . . This series is off to a good start.”—SF Crowsnest.com
“The human-feline interactions work well, and the intriguing plot is sure to entertain.”—Booklist
“This is magic . . . science fiction at its most primal and its best.”—January Magazine
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