Series: Stephanie Harrington #1
Published by Baen (10.4.2011)
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 361 pages
Source: I own it
Stephanie Harrington always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl . . . until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home --- a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie’s explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!
Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries, and the biggest one of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species.
The forest-dwelling treecats are small, cute, smart, and have a pronounced taste for celery. And they are also very, verydeadly when they or their friends are threatened . . . as Stephanie discovers when she comes face-to-face with Sphinx’s most lethal predator after a hang-gliding accident.
But her discoveries are only beginning, for the treecats are also telepathic and able to bond with certain humans, and Stephanie’s find --- and her first-of-its kind bond with the treecat Climbs Quickly --- land both of them in a fresh torrent of danger. Galactic-sized wealth is at stake, and Stephanie and the treecats are squarely in the path of highly-placed enemies determined to make sure the planet Sphinx remains entirely in human hands, even if that means the extermination of another thinking species.
Unfortunately for those enemies, the treecats have saved Stephanie Harrington’s life. She owes them . . . and Stephanie is a young woman who stands by her friends.
Which means things are about to get very interesting on Sphinx.
Just like the title says, this story was a BEAUTIFUL. FRIENDSHIP. If you want a story about a beautiful, unconditional, powerful bond between a cat and a person, this story is for you ;)
I freaking LOVED the treecats!!! They were 10000% of why I loved this book so much. I freaking LOVED Climbs Quickly/Lionheart!! Oh my lawd I loved him. *cries* Loveloveloveloooove (how many times can I say love without sounding redundant? But I can’t help it, IT’S TRUE OKAY.) I couldn’t get enough of him. I wish I had a Climbs Quickly of my own T.T
I loved the shit out of the first half, it’s been a long time since I felt such pure enjoyment while reading a book. I looked forward to Stephanie and Climbs Quickly meeting and was highly emotionally invested in their bond and their friendship. There were some scenes where it was just so endearing that my heart couldn’t handle it, I actually shed a tear!! Plus there was a certain part where I was actually sobbing, guys. RIGHT IN THE FEELS. View Spoiler »The scene with the hexapuma – BE STILL MY HEART. Stephanie and Climbs Quickly were fiercely determined to protect each other without any regard to their own lives. They were willing to save one another at the cost of their own life. I was legit sobbing through damn near that entire scene because my heart couldn’t handle it!! I have such a bleeding heart for animals and I seriously just loved the shit out of Climbs Quickly you guys. Don’t judge me. « Hide Spoiler
I don’t think I could rave enough over how much I absolutely loved the world in this book and the treecat clan. The idea of a sentient, telepathic, empathic alien race of tree-dwelling cats just screams “Jessi book” haha! I knew I would love this one and I was most certainly not wrong. I can’t wait to dive into the next installment and see more of my favorite little treecat!
The only real reservation I had about this book, and the ONLY reason it didn’t get a 5 star review was that there were LONG stretches of straight internal dialogue or informational jargon – for paragraphs on end -that it got a bit boring in the last half. I just wanted some more treecat action! Some of it was building the world, yes, but there was a lot in there that was just plain unnecessary. I don’t need two full pages detailing what they had for a meal, thank you.
Boring parts aside, this book was truly a hidden gem!
Writing style: 4/5
Overall rating: 4.5/5