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Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats by Anne…
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» See also 33 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Interesting changes in point of view. Part of the story is told from one of the cat's point of view.
  kbartosh | Mar 27, 2018 |
I have to agree with previous reviews on this one, it seems somewhat juvenile when compared to other Anne McCaffrey works. I was really hoping for more being the cat lover that I am. That said, it wasn't bad, I did enjoy it, I just wasn't as wowed as I had hoped to be. I will definitely go on to read Catacombs. I really miss Anne, she was one of my first introductions to Fantasy and Sci-Fi and has been a favorite of mine for many years. ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
This book encompasses all of: universal domination, catnapping, telepathy, space travel, disease... When Janina's valuable pregnant kitty Chessie, trained in helping out on space ships... as will be all of her progeny, is kidnapped, Janina must find her! While Chessie is away from Janina, she is sheltered in a barn with another pregnant cat, and the kittens get to know the kidnapper's young son, Jubal, and one of the kittens (Chester) ends up with an amazing bond (seemingly telepathic) with Jubal. Unfortunately, they later become separated, as well and while the government worries about and works to eliminate a disease amongst animals that could threaten everyone, Jubal insists he must find Chester.

I really enjoyed this. I waffled between 4 and 4.5 stars, but am going with 4. Science fiction is not always my “thing”, but the cats did it for me in this one. I do suspect, though, that this one is not going to be all that appealing to someone who isn't a cat person. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, and there's no question I'll be reading the next book. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jul 5, 2015 |
A light and fast moving space opera with a YA feel -- we are introduced to the Barque Cats who act as valuable crew members on many space ships. Other, more ordinary, cats are sometimes kept as ship cats but the Barque cats are considered special. Then, there is the threat of a galaxywide epidemic spreading from planet to planet by animals and the Barque Cats are in danger, not just of being quarantined but of being killed. Our young heroes are looking for a plan to save their beloved cats with help coming from some unexpected places.

I enjoyed this book but it would best be read with an uncritical eye. However, young teens would probably read it as a great adventure story, especially with the interesting cat personalities who play a very large part in the story.
  hailelib | Nov 6, 2014 |
Wow. If this were a first book, by a new author or authors, I'd mark them down as authors to be aware of - very interesting ideas, medium-good writing (description, dialog, characterization), serious plot holes, and a heavy reliance on coincidence and deus ex machina. From McCaffrey and Scarborough, it's embarrassing. Even if it were written as a YA (which is sort of the flavor), it's one of those poor YA books where the author(s) talk down to the children reading and assume they can gloss over a lot of serious flaws in the story. The bugs - ok, maybe. Simultaneously the kidnapping of a pregnant Barque Cat (never happened before)? And also simultaneously, the arrival of a Maine Coon-type feral cat - who happens to be a pregnant queen (whose kittens can be mistaken for Barque Cats)? And that's just the setup - the trigger (or series of triggers) that _start_ the story. The rest of the story is equally poorly self-supporting. Deus (and diabolus) ex machina all over the place - Ponty (in both roles), Vlast, Klinger, Pshaw-Ra.... And then to top it off, the story just ends. No conclusion, in fact it's in the middle of a space chase. Read the next book to find the thrilling...well, not conclusion (since this is at least a trilogy). Next bit, anyway. Nope, not interested. Yuck. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Jul 20, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anne McCaffreyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Scarborough, Elizabeth Annmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to the memories of Punkin and Chessie McCaffrey and Kittibits (Bonnie Dundee) Scarborough, who would be Barque Cats had they been born a bit later, and to Treat Scarborough, whose quirky personality made him the model for Pshaw-Ra.

It is also dedicated to Dr. Tony and Jeaneatte Rogstad for their dedication to the health and well-being of cats, dogs, and any other animals in need.
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"How much for that pretty kittycat you got there, young Lady?"
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Pilot, navigator, engineer, doctor, scientist--ship's cat? All are essential to the well-staffed space vessel. Since the early days of interstellar travel, when Tuxedo Thomas, a Maine coon cat, show what a cat could do for a ship and its crew, the so-called Barque Cats have become highly prized crew members. Thomas's carefully bred progeny, ably assisted by humans--Cat Persons--with whom they share a deep and loving bond, now travel the galaxy, responsible for keeping spacecraft free of vermin, for alerting human crews to potential environmental hazards, and for acting as morale officers.

Even among Barque Cats, Chessie is something special. Her pedigree, skills, and intelligence, as well as the close rapport that she has with her human, Janina, make her the most valuable crew member aboard the Molly Daise. And the litter of kittens in her belly only adds to her value.

Then the unthinkable happens. Chessie is kidnapped--er, catnapped--from Dr. Jared Vlast's vet clinic at Hood Station by a grizzled spacer named Carl Poindexter. But Chessie's newborn kittens turn out to be even more extraordinary than their mother. For while Chessie's connection to Janina is close and intuitive, the bond that the kitten Chester forms with Carl's son, Jubal, is downright telepathic. And when Chester is sent into space to learn his trade, neither he nor Jubal will rest until they're reunited.

But the announcement of a widespread epidemic affecting livestock on various planets throw the future into doubt. Suddenly the galactic government announce a plan to impound and destroy all exposed animals. Not even the Barque Cats will be spared.

With the clock racing against them, Janina, Jubal, Dr. Vlast, and a handful of very special kittens will join forces with the mysterious Pshaw-Ra--an alien-looking cat with a hidden agenda--to save the Barque Cats, other animals, and quite possibly the universe as they know it from total destruction. [from the jacket]
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Pilot, navigator, engineer, doctor, scientist--ship's cat? All are essential to a well-staffed space vessel. Barque Cats have become highly prized crew members who travel the galaxy, responsible for keeping spacecraft free of vermin and for acting as morale officers. But the announcement of a widespread epidemic affecting livestock on numerous planets throws their future into doubt. Suddenly the galactic government announces a plan to impound and possibly destroy all exposed animals. Not even the Barque Cats will be spared.… (more)

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