Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review--CassaFire

From Goodreads:

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron’s days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it’s a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren's civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan's technology and strange mental abilities.

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy.

My thoughts:
I'm so glad I won a copy of this book! For a year now I've wanted to read CassaStar but just never got around to it. I don't know why. Maybe fear that I wouldn't like it as much as I wanted to for the sake of the Ninja Captain?

However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Alex did a great job with the second book in the series. He gave just enough pertinent information about Byron from the first book that I never felt lost even though I haven't read it yet (I will be fixing that).

Byron and Athee were both likeable characters and I found myself rooting for them. There was a nice romantic thread running through the story (which is great for girls like me), but the story wasn't about the romance. Well, it kind of was, but not. Does that make sense? In the midst of all the mystery about the alien ship and the drama playing out, true friendship and ultimately love are what Byron needs most in his life to really LIVE again.

The tech was great! I loved the idea of teleporting/jumping ships for the mode of space travel. In fact I loved all the telepathic elements of the story. I wish we could start developing our deeply hidden psychic abilities. Oh, and kudos to Alex for letting Athee have more ability than Byron. It's a great writer that can let a new character outshine the character he loved first. And a woman! Every time someone learned that the strongest psychic candidate could also jump (which is rare anyway) was a woman, I laughed at their responses. It was so well done and realistic for a ship full of men to drop their jaws in surprise.

I was pleasantly surprised by all of the world and tech building in the book. Alex found a great balance between different and exciting without overburdening me with HOW everything works. To me this is one of the best examples of believing in your system. As a reader I don't need to know HOW things work as long as it feels believable. The only way you can write that is by believing in it yourself. Makes sense, right?

This is DEFINITELY my kind of science fiction.

I give the second book from Alex a 4.5! I highly recommend it.

Rating scale for book reviews.

1-5 scale and what it means:
1: I couldn’t even finish it / just plain bad
2: I hope I didn’t pay for this / disappointing
3:  I didn’t hate it, but it was still missing something / forgettable but inoffensive
3.5: On the line between good and ok / like, not love
4: Solid mind candy / worth reading
4.5: So very close to perfection! / must read
5: I could not put it down and I’m still thinking about it! / a true treasure


  1. Excellent review. Alex does have a way with words.

  2. Charity, thank you! I am so glad you enjoyed it that much. Don't worry, not a lot of tech and 'how-to' in the first book either. Like you, I don't need to know how it works, just that it does work.
    Thank you again!

  3. Nice book review :) Truly. I'm not very good at writing book reviews, so I really appreciate it when I read a well-written one.

    Also, congratulations on meeting your W1S1 goals for March :)

  4. A fine review -- you done the Ninja Master proud. =] And way to go with Write1Sub1; 3 months down 9 more on the way!

  5. This is a great review. I think I have both books in my Kindle library. Have to check and make sure :-)

    But I'm excited about reading them because of the stronger sci-fi element and the tech.

  6. Congrats on your accomplishments with W1S1, Charity, and good luck with your WIP(s). I like your star rating - totally agree.

  7. Nice review. And congrats on meeting your W1S1 goals!

  8. Great rating system, especially "I hope I didn't pay for this" and "Solid mind candy." Hehe. Congrats on meeting your W1S1 goals as well!

  9. Great review! Alex knows how to "SPACE" better than anyone else I know!


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