Hello friends, it has not been a good reading week. I had 4 books drop on 9/4 and I only read one and a half. I had high hopes of relaxing and reading over my Labor Day Weekend, but it just didn’t work out that way for me. I’m more hopeful for the upcoming weekend. My kids have settled in to their college routines and have their own plans for the weekend, my hubby also has plans for the weekend, so I’m crossing my fingers for some reading and me time.
Maverick by Cheryl Brooks (Cat Star Legacy #1)
Science Fiction Romance
Released: September 4, 2018
I was so excited to be back in the world of Ms. Brooks’ imagination. I read and enjoyed the original Cat Star Chronicles series that introduced us not only to her famous Zetithians, but to many other planets and worlds and to the inhabitants of those worlds. In every shape, color and size, some humanoid like, a lot of them not human at all, but in Ms. Brooks’ world there is always some way to communicate and a lot of inter-species canoodling. Of course, there are humans from earth too, and they just happen to be biologically compatible to some of these off-world species.
This new series will center around the children of the original cast. In this first book, we meet Larsanken “Larry” Tshevnoe who is now an adult with his own ship. He cruises through the galaxy with his trusty navigator, Brak, who is a Scorillian-think gigantic talking praying mantis. Larry is a communications expert and he travels around fixing other ships communications devices. He stops on Barada Seven in the hopes of locating his childhood friend Althea, a female Zetithian that he grew up with on his parent’s ship. Althea is an empath. She left her family and friends and moved to Barada Seven to escape the constant noise in her head, her empathic gifts picking up everyone’s feelings. If that wasn’t enough, Althea’s mother is a witch, and she’s inherited some of her gifts as well. All those gifts made it difficult for Althea to function so she left home and settled on Barada Seven where for some reason the land didn’t scream in her head and she could live in the jungles and not be bombarded by everyone’s feelings.
It’s been four long years and Larry has missed his friend. Larry wants to ask Althea to come home with him to use her empath skills to read a girl that he kind of likes. It’s difficult for a Zetithian male to trust that a woman is into him for himself or because of the rumors surrounding the Zetithian males exceptional “skills” during sex. Because of this, he hasn’t been physical with anyone for fear of making a huge mistake. Althea misses her family so she agrees to go with him.
I didn’t realize how much I missed this world and though it’s been about 4 years since the last book in the first series, it was like coming home. Ms. Brooks does a great job of giving just enough back story, and while having read the previous series would definitely enhance your reading experience, it’s not necessary.
From the moment it’s revealed that Althea couldn’t read Larry’s emotions, I knew exactly what that meant and just settled in to see how their friendship would bloom into love. Things progress a bit slow as Althea fights what she’s feeling and tries to ignore all the hints her body throws at her. She also doesn’t want to come between Larry and any woman he might be interested in. But in the world of the Zetithians, if you’re meant to be mated, there is no stopping it.
A side story introduces half siblings of both Larry and Althea and bring a bit of excitement when Larry diverts course to pick up Keplok and Dartula who have broken down. We later learn that they were on a mission to find something special that was taken from their home planet and had set out to retrieve it. They now need Larry’s help and his ship. The addition of these two characters brought a lot of humor to the story.
Ms. Brooks’ writing style has really matured since the first series. While we still got a true feel for these sexy Zetithians, I really appreciated the fact that I wasn’t overwhelmed with explanations and descriptions of snard, joy juice, or coronal/penile acrobatics. There is more emphasis on the story, the characters and the people and things they encounter. I did miss the multitude of alien species from the first series though. Brak is a kick with his dry humor, but a lot of the alien species that I remembered from before are not mentioned until near the end.
This a fun, over the top, fantastical adventure that always makes me ask, “how does she come up with this stuff?” I’m so glad Ms. Brooks decided to revisit these characters and give us the next generation.