CassaStorm by Alex Cavanaugh
I was privileged to receive an ARC of Alex Cavanaugh‘s CassaStorm (Release date: September 17, 2013, Dancing Lemur Press).
You can read my review of CassaFire (book 2) by clicking on the link.
A storm gathers across the galaxy…
Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, his only struggles are occasional rogue pirate raids and endless government bureaucracies. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.
After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, shaking Bassan to the core and threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.
Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could be on its way back. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…
Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. He knows how to build on the conflict from the first two books in the series and raise the stakes even higher. The stakes affect the entire known universe, but Cavanaugh also makes it very personal. Byron is still just as stubborn and private as ever, but he’s learned to let those he loves into his mind. In this story he’s got two more lessons to learn, and the last one’s a doosey!
One of the things I appreciate about Cavanaugh’s writing style is the fact you could read any one of the books in this series independently of the other and enjoy a good book. However, I can promise you that if you invest the time to read CassaStar and CassaFire first, the emotional impact and payoff of CassaStorm will be much higher.
I can’t say enough about the world building in this series. The science is amazing for two reasons–it’s understandable and so ingrained in the world that you just accept and believe every bit of it. The descriptions of the planets, ships, etc make it easy to ground yourself in the Cassan universe without that feeling of drifting untethered in zero G.
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