Catalyst

A Tale of the Barque Cats, Book 1
Narrated by: Laural Merlington
Series: Barque Cats, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
4 out of 5 stars (388 ratings)

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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    171
  • 4 Stars
    106
  • 3 Stars
    74
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    17

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    163
  • 4 Stars
    80
  • 3 Stars
    33
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    137
  • 4 Stars
    82
  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    7

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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!

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

catalyst

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

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Why All the Hate? This is a Good YA Sci-Fi

Out of the 1295 titles I have through audible, I have never written a review be for...
I am now because of all the unfair and bad reviews for this book.

This is a Good YA Sci-Fi. it should be judged by what it is trying to be.
If you are looking for a Military Sci-Fi, then you will be disappointed.

Do you have to love cats to enjoy this book?

No. I like dogs and it still made me smile and root for the cats.

Did the Narrated give a one star Performance?

Absolutely not!

I have 9 more books that Laural Merlington narrated and I love all of her Performances!
I can see some one say it is a 4 star performance, but as some one who has tried to narrate a book before... she gets a 5 out of 5

Is it one of the best Sci-Fi's out there?

No. But it made some good points about how animals are harmed by us humans for the sake of convenience or money.(this is for YA. It is OK if you get hit in the head with a point)

Did this book make me laugh out loud?
No... but it did make me smile.

If there is a second book would you pick it up?

Yes. I am going to pick up the next book.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful! Fanciful!

Great story about a boy and his cat/or a cat and his boy! Fell in love with the cat characters and their struggles. The humans were their helpers just as we are here. Loved to hear what they were thinking and how they manipulated us. Amusing lightweight read. Sent me scurrying for the next book in the series.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly Entertaining

If you've ever met a cat, then you could relate to this futuristic tale of space faring kittens. Writers definitely have spent time with felines to have pegged them so completely.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If you love cats and McCaffery you will Love this!

i was looking for something new and was che king differentnauthors i read before. i lives all of Ann's Pern books and came across this and loved it. i am looking forward to Payday to get book 2 in yhis series.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Eleanor
  • 04-16-11

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Peri
  • 07-25-15

Not quite what I expected

Being English I struggled with the narrator initially, but overall found her okay andengagingtowards the end.

Story -in some ways I much prefer the 'no one told the cat', as I was a little confused with timelines.

The barque cats featured in this story are in other stories by Anne mccaffrey(most noticeably the tower ( and the hive) sequence.

But it is one I will listen again too

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Teresa Cooper
  • 04-26-15

Oh dear.

Not what I really expected or looked forward to. I'm a fan of Anne McCaffrey but this book seamed, at least to me, very unlike a McCaffrey book. But at least I tried the book and you never know what something unless you try it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Rhona
  • 03-06-13

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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Evie
  • 06-05-12

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?

1 person found this helpful