Thursday, April 24, 2008

Two-fer Thursday

Good morning, everyone. I hope you did something cool for Earth Day yesterday. My employer was giving out bare root plants to anyone who wanted one so...I sashayed over to the office to get a lovely little Rose of Sharon. Then I found out that they had a whole slew of plants left over (no one wanted them?!) so I finagled a Forsythia and a Lilac to add to my collection :-) I've always been a bit of an environmentalist, preferring to plant a tree to taking it down. It's always baffled me why people prefer to have sterilized lots with no trees but my dh pointed out that no trees equals no leaves to rake in the fall. For my part, I'd rather see all my trees stay unless they become diseased and create a hazard to houses or passers-by. And generally if one has to come out, it'll be replaced. I think my husband believes I'm related to Mother Nature and would prefer to live in a forest. He might be right about the forest part, LOL

The two-fer part of the title of this post is because I really didn't have a subject for today. I did want to speak about Earth Day but didn't have a whole lot to say. And I did promise, earlier this week, to give a brief review of Cheryl Brooks' book, SLAVE, the first in The Cat Star Chronicles.

Way back when, I used to do book reviews for the Writer's Club at AOL (loved doing it though occasionally I'd get the heavy duty SF tome that had pages and pages of convoluted sentences and twenty dollar words designed to impress the reader with how brilliant the author was). I much prefer easy-to-read, fast-paced books with a high entertainment value. SLAVE fits my demands easily. So on with the review...

by Cheryl Brooks
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 13-978-1-4022-1192-8
$5.99 US/#8.99 Canada
314 pages

Told in first person, SLAVE is the story of Jacinth's journey to find and liberate her kidnapped sister from a life of slavery. When she discovers that Ranata is on a planet where women are bound in sexual servitude to men, she realizes that she must have a man she can trust to help her find and free Ranata. She finds that man, bound in chains himself, in a slave market. Though she violently opposes slavery, she purchases the man only to free him almost immediately when he announces that it's his duty to attempt escape. She really doesn't have time to deal with issues of keeping a reluctant slave and she can't use a man in chains in her quest to find her sister. No, he has to appear to be 'in charge' and she has to appear to be the 'slave' without risking actually becoming one. That's why she needs a man she can trust.

To her surprise, Cat follows her back to her ship; he has no where to go, he's still in chains and he feels a debt of gratitude to her for his freedom. That's not why he stays, however, his attraction for Jacinth, and hers for him, is apparent from the beginning. And his being an alien with distinctly feline characteristics makes him a very interesting character. Who doesn't love a guy who can purr?

Their journey to the planet Statzeel, where her sister is supposedly located, takes place in what seems a single day. And therein lies my single fault with the story and that's due no doubt to my SF background). Jacinth has spent 6 years trying to find her sister, visiting a score of planets as she follows Ranata's trail. A journey from one star system to another in a single day just doesn't seem...reasonable to me. HOWEVER, this is a fault that I easily overlooked as the story progressed because the world building, in general, was so fresh and vibrant. And Cat was so darned...well, Cat!

SLAVE is a wonderful blend of humor (Jacinth's habit of using slang taken from ancient Earth and Cat's blank confusion when she uses it is marvelous), passion and adventure. There's a touch of eroticism but while it's a sexy read, it isn't what I call an erotic romance...which is fine since I don't believe that it's intended to be erotic. SLAVE is a great way to spend your down time, which is my way of a copy. I think you'll like it.

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