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Catacombs: A Tale of the Barque Cats [Paperback]

Anne McCaffrey , Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 10 2012 A Tale of Barque Cats

The spacefaring Barque Cats are valued members of every vessel’s crew, thanks to their special bond with humans. Then Pshaw-Ra, a mysterious cat with highly advanced knowledge, gives the felines the power of telepathy. When panic over a virulent plague drives the government to exterminate animals, Pshaw-Ra guides the cats and humans of the starship Ranzo to safety on his home planet, Mau. But Pshaw-Ra has a hidden agenda. His ultimate goal? Mate the Barque Cats with their godlike counterparts who rule on Mau and create a superior race to conquer the universe. His plans, however, may be doomed by his daughters’ battle royal to become queen, by a suspicious Barque Cat with an equally curious human friend—and by something stirring deep beneath the city with a hunger to devour all life . . . and an undying hatred for cats.

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Catacombs: A Tale of the Barque Cats + Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats
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Product Description


“Written with gentle humor and a genuine understanding of the feline species, this welcome addition to a new series will appeal to cat lovers and fans of McCaffrey and Scarborough.”—Library Journal

“[A] space adventure featuring super-smart cats . . . Readers of all ages will be entertained as the barque cats explore strange new worlds.”—Publishers Weekly
“The cats and their observations of humans are hilarious.”—SF Crowsnest

About the Author

Anne McCaffrey, the Hugo Award–winning author of the bestselling Dragonriders of Pern novels, is one of science fiction’s most popular authors. She lives in a house of her own design, Dragonhold-Underhill, in County Wicklow, Ireland.

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, winner of the Nebula Award for her novel The Healer’s War, is the author of numerous fantasy novels. She has co-authored eleven other novels with Anne McCaffrey. She lives on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars catacombs July 22 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I really love this item as I love all of Ann McAffrey books and audiobooks. I would recommend it to anyone who loves cat stories.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  41 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fun feline frolic Dec 12 2010
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
The Barque Cats: and their human Cat Persons bond in an almost mystical way. Each and their human seem to instinctively know what the other wants as if reading minds. Mysterious feline Pshaw-Ra somehow changes the dynamic that leads to a telepathic link between Chester the Barque Cat and his Cat Person; other cats soon follow.

A plague leads to the government order to destroy those considered the carriers, which brings unwanted focus on the Barque Cats. Pshaw-Ra opens up a mousehole to carry the Barque cats and their Cat Persons on the starship Ranzo to Mau where he plans to breed the newcomers with his felines; the offspring will rule the universe. However, he finds problems at home with daughter Nefure claiming the throne while his other daughter Renpet fleeing into the catacombs beneath the Mauan desert. Pshaw-Ra is a target of scorn while something dormant for almost as old as the universe has awakened with a thirst for the light starting with cats for breakfast.

This is a fun feline frolic as the Barque Cats and their Cat Persons try to save the universe from the Mau residents. Faster than the speed of light, readers will enjoy the escapades on Mau although wonder why everyone especially the off-worlders seem emotionally detached from Pshaw-Ro's scheme. Still this is an entertaining human-feline outer space thriller (see Catalyst).

Harriet Klausner
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointment for McCaffrey fans Feb. 6 2011
By Margaret L. Smith - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really hate to say anything bad about a McCaffrey book, but I have no choice here. I doubt that I will even finish reading this one, and will not buy any more in the series. As others have said, there is no depth or complexity to either the characters or the plot.

I've been a McCaffrey fan since reading a Pern short story, "Weyr Search", years before any of the books came out. I've loved everything she has written, both science fiction and romance, except for this and all but the first of the Acorna series. I stopped buying the Acorna books after the second one, and as I indicated above, won't buy any more of the Barque Cat series.

Some of McCaffrey's collaborations have been great - the Planet Pirates books, for instance, and they introduced me to Elizabeth Moon and Jody Lynn Nye, authors I might not have discovered otherwise. This one, though, leaves me cold.

Looking at a list of her books, it appears that most of the ones I just can't get through are collaborations with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, so perhaps my criterion should be "If Scarborough is the co-author, don't bother"?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cats in the World of Science Fiction! Jan. 8 2011
By Donna Gough - Published on
For cat lovers, this book is a gem! Both authors are first-rate, and I, for one, am eagerly waiting for a sequel. Cats that can think and operate in space! Highly recommended! An excellent SF yarn!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sequel Written for Cat Lovers March 3 2011
By David Bower - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I must agree with some of the other reviewers that this book did not seem to be as captivating as the first one. I didn't really have all that much trouble finishing it as I really did get a kick out the writer's insights into cats. These were brought in by casual touches that would be familiar to cat lovers everywhere.

One that immediately comes to mind is where the Grand Vizier, Pshaw-Ra is teaching the kittens to control gravity so as to make themselves heavier or lighter. This shows great insight and experience with the joys of living with one or more cats. I'm sure we can all recall instances when cats could move as light as a feather and others when they could seem as heavy as lead. The latter being the case when one may be lying down and your beloved cat decides to walk across you and each step weighs down upon your body as if the cat weighed 80 pounds.

This is definitely one of those books you'll have problems with if you can't accept the premises established by the authors. If you're willing to cut them some slack and just go with the flow I believe cat lovers will find enough reminders of their experiences with well loved cats to make the book worthwhile reading.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime story Jan. 10 2011
By Marketa - Published on
I read the last reviews with surprise. I am a fan of both McCaffrey and Scarborough and have read all their books. Some I liked more than others. This one is one of the more superior ones. The characters in this book are cats and some humans, I felt that there was ample time to get to know the characters and to grow very fond of them indeed. There was enough action to make the book flow fast, but not so much that there was no time to enjoy the emotions, feelings and thoughts of each of the main characters.

The story line is very interesting and for any cat-lover this book is a purfect read! But even for non-cat people it is a sublime story that should be found on every book shelve.

I hope there will be a third book in this series in the same vane.
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