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Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats, Book 1 | [Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough]

Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats, Book 1

Thomas's Duchess is no ordinary cat. She's a purebred Barque Cat, trained to patrol the ship on which she serves, sniffing out oxygen leaks and spotting other problems. But when a corrupt government announces it has found an epidemic that requires the impounding and possible destruction of animals across the galaxy - Barque Cats included - two young people, a kitten, and a mysterious, powerful cat with a hidden agenda, are all that stand between the galaxy's animals and total destruction.
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Publisher's Summary

From the team of Anne McCaffrey (author of the Dragonriders of Pern series) and Nebula Award-winning author Elizabeth Ann Scarborough comes a thrilling new science-fiction tale featuring telepathic cats that are invaluable to the spacefarers who own them.

Thomas's Duchess - or Chessie, to those who love and depend on her services - is no ordinary cat. She's a purebred Barque Cat, trained to patrol the ship on which she serves, sniffing out oxygen leaks and spotting other problems. But when a corrupt government announces it has found an epidemic that requires the impounding and possible destruction of animals across the galaxy - Barque Cats included - two young people, a kitten, and a mysterious, powerful cat with a hidden agenda, are all that stand between the galaxy's animals and total destruction.

©2010 Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough; (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (194 )
5 star
 (69)
4 star
 (55)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (11)
Overall
3.9 (123 )
5 star
 (49)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (30)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.0 (123 )
5 star
 (54)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    John Sunbury, OH, USA 02-26-10
    John Sunbury, OH, USA 02-26-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    125
    5
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    "disappointing"

    I am a longtime Anne McCaffrey fan, but this is not her best effort. The narrator uses almost a 'baby talk' tone for the thoughts of the cats--and the book is long on cat thoughts; short on plot. If you're tempted, read it yourself and skip the irritating narrator!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Raymond, NH, United States 03-19-10
    Marie Raymond, NH, United States 03-19-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    104
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "catalyst"

    This book was very enjoyable. These authors never let a reader/ listener down. A must read for those who love cats.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AJ Alexandria, VA, United States 03-21-11
    AJ Alexandria, VA, United States 03-21-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    122
    8
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    "Who's impersonating McCaffrey?"

    Very bad. The narrator sounds like an 8 year old reading a story to her baby sibling and the content/dialogue is about that level as well. This book might be great for kids who exchange pictures and anecdotes of their cats' cutesy antics AND dress them up in baby clothes with a little bonnet. Nauseating. It can't be McCaffrey unless she's been body-snatched by a prepubescent alien with a troubling cat fetish. Wholly agree that the thing was long on cat-thoughts (and not particularly intelligent ones, mind) and short on everything else.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scraps 11-21-10
    Scraps 11-21-10 Member Since 2010

    I love to read and I read for fun. Escape and imagination are great reasons to love a book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    53
    18
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    "Wait till the rest are available."

    This is a wonderful book BUT it ends mid story. I wish I had waited till the whole series was available.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy Wichita, KS, United States 08-13-10
    Randy Wichita, KS, United States 08-13-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    97
    1
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    "Couldn't wait for it to end..."

    This seemed to be more of a children's book to me. The narrator's voice was so childish at time's I had to just fast forward. I love Anne McCaffrey, but this book was a disappointment to me.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie Grand Forks, ND, United States 09-27-11
    Jamie Grand Forks, ND, United States 09-27-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    8
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    "A sad surprise"

    I was expecting the usual quality of writing and characters found in books by these authors, but I was disappointed. Where I was expecting the Cats to have a rich personality, it was flat. I did finish the book and its companion hoping to develop a true connection with the cats, but I found that they were written with the assumed characteristics of cat personality, people who do not like cats assign to them.. aloofness(better description would be Self-Centered) The Can opener neurotic cat we have all known was the norm where food was concerned. I guess I just could not bond the cats in these books (Yes I am a cat person, my family consists of 2 cats, 3 St. Poodles & 3 humans) nor really to the humans. To bad as Anne McCaffrey is one of my favorite writers so I had very high hopes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Cincinnati, OH, United States 07-30-13
    Robin Cincinnati, OH, United States 07-30-13 Member Since 2005

    Robin

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is really half of a book"
    Would you try another book from Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough and/or the narrator?

    Yes, but mostly because I have read and loved other works by Anne McCaffrey.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    What ending? The book stopped in the middle of the story. It really annoys me when when it's obvious that a story is not complete and it's broken up into two books like this, as it seems to me that the only reason for it is to sell more books. Either finish the story, or label it as a multi-book story like trilogies do so that the reader is at least expecting it.


    Did the narrator do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The narrator seems to think that using a nasal, high pitched voice is sufficient to differentiate the characters. It did not work very well for me.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It would depend on whether the entire story was going to be told. I might consider it, but not if it was just going to end in the middle.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was entertaining, although not up to the usual standard I expect from Anne McCaffrey. I have just purchased the next book, and I am very much hoping that this one at least will have an actual ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. TAKOMA PARK, MD, United States 01-14-13
    C. TAKOMA PARK, MD, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2012

    One-time Army Paramedic trades life of lust and danger for safer, sedentary, pursuits like knitting, reading and cats.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    22
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    "I Really Wanted to Like it, But"
    What did you like best about Catalyst? What did you like least?

    It’s not a bad book. Being a Cat Lady myself I did with purpose look for stories with a cat (as a pivotal character) in it and when I came across this series I was interested to see how the author puts a cat in Science Fiction genera.

    I can appreciate that there is a sequel to the story and that book one set the stage for the next book, but I’m not sure the story was interesting enough to want to go to the next book. The character “Sharah” (spelling not withstanding) was weird to the story and the maturity given to Chester the Kitten seemed wrong to me. The people characters were a bit shallow and under developed. The story is a bit juvenile for my taste, but that’s my issue not the author.

    I will probable get book two in the hope that story develops better, but I’m lookin’ for a miracle here.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I would have introduce the Sharah character and the bugs earlier as a parallel story line made Chester more kitten like (naive).


    What does the narrator bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration was good and it carried what is a so-so story. I'm convened this would not be a better story if I read it.


    Do you think Catalyst needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    It does because you still don't know what's going on, but I'm not sure you'd really want to know by the end.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • Eleanor
    Elsdon, Northumberland, United Kingdom
    4/16/11
    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I simply couldn't finish this one - I listened to over half before admitting defeat. The reader is simply boring. I've always loved McCaffrey's books so it has to be either this story or this narrator. Or maybe the fact of it being co-authored? Anyway, I can't give this more stars because I can't find any good in it. The writing is laboured, patronising and slow, and the audio aspect hasn't enhanced it. Sorry, for me it's a failure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rhona
    Alexandria, United Kingdom
    3/6/13
    Overall
    "Disappointed"

    Found the cat affectation of the narrator to be more than a little irritating - haven't read the book so can't comment on the difference between the two experiences, but I understood Barque cats to be much more intelligent and the books aimed at an older audience than this reading would suggest. Other collaborations between these authors have been much more engaging. I don't think I would rate this as value for money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Evie
    BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom
    6/5/12
    Overall
    "Catalyst"

    I love it. Relaxing and engaging. At first I was not enthusiastic about the narrator's voice, but I got accustomed. McCaffrey and Scarborough think like cats (or at least their picture of how cats think fits with mine!) When will the next one in the series be available on Audible?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

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