A Tale of the Barque Cats

Book - 2010
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In Catalyst, award-winning authors Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough introduced readers to the beguiling Barque Cats: spacefaring felines who serve aboard starships as full-fledged members of the crew. Highly evolved, the cats share an almost telepathic bond with their minders, or Cat Persons-until, suddenly, there is no "almost" about it, and a particular Barque Cat, Chester, learns to exchange thoughts with his human friend, Jubal. Other cats soon gain the same ability. 

Behind the seeming miracle is a mysterious cat named Pshaw-Ra, who possesses knowledge and technology far beyond anything the Barque Cats-or their humans-have ever seen. When fear of a virulent plague leads the government first to quarantine and then to kill all animals suspected of infection, Pshaw-Ra-with the help of Chester, Jubal, and the crew of the starship Ranzo -activates a "mousehole" in space that carries the refugees to a place of safety: Pshaw-Ra's home planet of Mau, where godlike cats are worshiped by human slaves. 

But Pshaw-Ra's actions are less noble than they appear. The scheming cat plans to mate the Barque Cats with his own feline stock, creating a hybrid race of superior cats-a race destined to conquer the universe. Yet right from the start, his plans go awry.

For one thing, there's a new queen on Mau: Pshaw-Ra's daughter Nefure, a spoiled brat-er, cat-with a temper as short as her attention span. Pshaw-Ra's other daughter, the rightful queen Renpet, is exiled, running for her life in the only direction available to her-down into the vast catacombs beneath the Mauan desert. Far from receiving the hero's welcome he expected, Pshaw-Ra must use every bit of his considerable cleverness just to survive.

Meanwhile, as usual, Chester and Jubal stumble right into the middle of things, in the process uncovering the lost secrets of the Mauan civilization. But that's not all they uncover. In the forgotten catacombs deep below the Mauan capital, something has awakened. Something as old as the universe. Something that hungers to devour all light and life-and that bears an undying hatred for cats.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Del Rey/Ballantine Books, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345513786
Branch Call Number: SF MCC
Characteristics: 236 p. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Scarborough, Elizabeth Ann


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Oct 06, 2018

The cat premise was good but after the beginning it fell very flat.

Jun 12, 2012

story about intelligent cats in space, different, female gender oriented

Aug 28, 2011

The best part for me was the Egyptian inspired planet, complete with dynastic struggles among the royal cats. After that it all got a bit too cutie-pie.

Jul 01, 2011

An easy and fun follow-up to Catalyst. Develops the characters of the cats, looking forward to their next adventure.

Jun 08, 2011

The only reason I finished this book is because I hate to leave off in the middle of a story, but I wouldn't have missed anything if I had.

The whole story is way too rushed, the 'big' battle at the end is rather boring, the characters are one-dimensional - a huge disappointment for a McCaffrey book.

Very glad I didn't buy this one.

Incinerated_Newt Mar 10, 2011

Cute, but I found it harder to get into than the first one. It's still fun to get a cats-eye view of things, though.


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Aug 28, 2011

I was, after all, a cat . . . Rats were no big deal, at least not one at a time. Or even in twos and threes - but there were dozens in the ship, maybe hundreds. I lost count. We cleaned out the biggest nests in the first few days, stopping only to eat - other stuff, that is - and sleep. It was a terrible time. In my sleep I heard them cying, "Mother!" and "Head for the outer hull! I'll try to hold the monsters off."

Aug 28, 2011

that was something called a myth, which is like a lie only really old.

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