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Primary Inversion [Audio Cassette]

Catherine Asaro , Anna Fields
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition CDN $6.00  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $11.51  
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Audio, CD CDN $20.70  
Audio, Cassette, Nov. 30 2000 --  
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Book Description

Nov. 30 2000 Saga of the Skolian Empire
The Skolian Empire rules a third of the civilized galaxy through its mastery of faster-than-light communication. But war with the rival empire of the Traders seems imminent, a war that can only lead to slavery for the Skolians or the destruction of both sides. Destructive skirmishes have already occurred. A desperate attempt must be made to avert total disaster.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the distant future, Asaro's debut novel pits Sauscony Valdoria (Soz) and her crew of Jagernauts-bioengineered fighting empaths-against the Trader Empire. Traders are a race that derive pleasure from the amplified pain and anguish of empaths-especially Jagernauts, as Soz knows from personal experience. Soz is also a likely heir to the powerful Skolian Empire, rival of the Traders. On a neutral planet, she meets the Trader heir and discovers he has the unusual psi abilities her race possesses. The two link mentally and fall in love. But will Soz be forced to kill her lover to protect her empire? Though Asaro, a physicist, provides more than enough esoteric detail on faster-than-light inversion drives, cybernetic enhancements and computer networks, she manages to anchor her story with thoughtful, engaging characters and an intriguing vision of the future-and she leaves the door open for a sequel.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In a distant future where three empires battle for control of the galaxy, Sauscony Valdoria, the heir apparent of the Skolian Empire, finds herself inexplicably attracted to Jaibriol Qox, the son of the Emperor of Tarnth and the symbol of everything Sauscony has been taught to despise. Asaro's sf debut features strong male and female protagonists and a well-realized far-future world. Blending hard science with a familiar tale of star-crossed lovers, this novel deserves a wide readership.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Future history doesn't hang together May 30 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First off, I'm a lover of romance as well as science fiction and I can tell you, there is no romance in this book! Here Ms. Asaro uses the old tried and true cheat of having two people "destined" for each other and bound together through some sort of mystic or psychic melding of minds. It's especially galling here since Soz and Jailbait- whoops! I mean Jaibriol have almost NOTHING in common.
OK, so the romance is bad, what about the science fiction? Well first of all there is Ms. Asaro's future history. I have to give her credit for trying but it just doesn't hold together for me. Aliens pluck prehistoric humans from Earth to seed another planet? Why? When did psi abilities first show up and why do the Allied worlds deny that the abilities exist? If the sadistic Aristos only genetically enhanced ability is a high tolerance for pain how did they come into power and stay in power for so long? And here is the biggest thing that made no sense: If the entire safety of the Tholian Web - whoops! I mean Skolian Web and therefore Skolian Empire rests on a handful people (the Rhons) why in the HEdoublehockeysticks are they allowing these people to get into dangerous situations?! All of them should be the most protected people in the galaxy. That Soz would be allowed to go into battle is ridiculous.Maybe I'm missing some important point because the whole explanation of the Rhon and the Skolian web was very confusing.
Even though the future history was a bit shakey I enjoyed the heck out of the first 1/3 of the book. It was very well written with some excellent action sequences. I love the way it was from a Skolian point of view with people from Earth being the Aliens. This also made for some good humor. My only big problem with the plot here is that Soz lets Jaibriol go. HUH?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Character-driven debut May 23 2004
Asaro's debut novel takes place in the distant future during a long-term war between two empires, the Skolians and the Traders, with a third, originating from Earth, as a neutral power.
Sauscony Valdoria, elite fighter pilot and potential heir to the Skolian empire, is, like all fighter pilots, a natural empath whose abilities are boosted by biologically implanted computer links. While on leave on a neutral, Earth-controlled planet, she meets a Trader aristo and is strangely drawn to him, quickly discovering that he too is a psi sensitive. This should be impossible in Trader aristocrats because their sexuality is sadistically stimulated by the sufferings of empaths and their bloodlines are rigorously controlled.
However, this aristo is intended as the most dangerous weapon the Traders have ever had - capable of bringing down the entire Skolian internet. Sauscony should kill him, but she's fallen in love.
Asaro builds a complex and absorbing story, based mostly on character. Events affecting whole societies turn on personality and personal conflict. The speculative material linking computers and psi power is well done as are the infrequent space battles. The only drag on the pace is the heroine's inner turmoil which is, at times, repetitive. A small flaw in an otherwise outstanding debut.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Great writing wasted on a horrible story June 29 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Given the number of plot summaries already here I'll skip that for this review and go right to the analysis.
Catherine Asaro's writing abilities are either the result of a brilliant writer or a dedicated editor. Whatever the reason, the book is an enjoyable read. At no point does the author get bogged down on the science, and that only helps with the flow of the story. It's a little surprising that a scientist can present these ideas without making it come off like a lecture.
The story is where it all breaks down. Granted, making a judgement on the plot is a very personal thing, and people may not agree with this assessment, but the number of "good" reviews this book has gotten has prompted me to present an alternate view.
The story is broken into three sections. The first is a contrived meeting between the main characters. Given the number of available locations, the rarity of a Rhon and the precautions necessary to keep Jaibrol under control there is no way this meeting, the foundation of the story, could happen. It's ridiculous.
Part two is a psychological diversion that creates some interesting character development but little plot development. In a longer story this would be appropriate, but it's too long for this book.
Part three is just as convoluted as part one. Again Soz and Jaibrol come together in a ridiculous fashion. This, of course, allows them to escape together and the story ends.
With the story seemingly based upon the struggles of Soz and Jaibrol to find happiness, the absurd character meetings and the wasted second part make the overall story simply a mess.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Skilful, compelling writing March 4 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Asaro has begun her Skolian Empire saga with a strong first novel. Sauscony Valdoria is one of the few true Rhon left in the Allied worlds. Only Rhon can rule 'psiberspace' and manipulate the invasive, essential Skolian Web (similar but on a totally different scale to the Internet), and for that there needs to be a Triad. Soz is one of 2 possible heirs to the military arm of the Triad, the other being her own brother (while another brother, Kurj, currently holds the position). Ambition, missions, secrets and manipulations have made Soz and her family distrustful of each other, while with their telepathic gifts they have an undeniable need for closeness - a need Kurj sees as a weakness.
Soz is not only telepathic, but also a bioengineered psi warrior pilot - thus on all fronts she seems to inspire fear rather than love. She's long lived, and has a history behind her that brings much depth to the character, and the reader is able to read much into her actions as a result.
Jaibroil Highton is the Highton heir to the Traders - enemies of the Skolian empire. When Soz and Jaiobriol first meet, they find they are able to make the rare psi bond of true Rhon - essentially they are enemies, but the only true match for each other.
Asaro doesn't make it easy for Soz, who is conflicted by many loyalties and also by her own drives, desires and ambitions. Ultimately events work around her until she feels she has no choice but to act, although the cost is high. By the end of the book, she has lost as much as she has gained.
A strong, complex, character driven novel with much in it as a vision of the future. The scientific elements are well thought out and well drawn, although I did get a little lost in the science of it from time to time. Nevertheless, a must for any Psi-Fi (ha!) reader
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Promising but cut the cheese
Primary Inversion is a heady mix of the worst of romance and the best of hardcore sf. The sadistic Traders and psionically-enchanced Skolians are fighting a continuous war. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2001 by kankan
4.0 out of 5 stars Good First Effort
PRIMARY INVERSION is apparently the first scifi novel by Asaro. For a first try, it is pretty good, despite some shortcomings. Read more
Published on Oct. 30 2001 by AntiochAndy
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing
Granted, I was sick and stuck in bed, but I still devoured Asaro's Skolian books in a week. I couldn't get enough. They're a great blend of sci-fi and romance. Read more
Published on June 27 2001 by E. Tobler
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Good
_Primary Inversion_ is the first science fiction novel I ever really liked. It focuses on Sauscony Valdoria, heir to the Skolian empire, military commander, and telepath. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2000 by Ashareh
5.0 out of 5 stars Primary Inversion
Asaro already hooked me on Soz when I read her short "Aurora in Four Voices" in an Analog magazine a couple of years ago. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2000 by Brian Almquist
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!
I picked this book up the other day, and read it almost in one sitting. Interesting characters, amazing science theory, strange and sometimes convoluted politics... Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2000 by Nathan
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't thank you enough, Catherine!
Primary Inversion first appeared in hard cover in 1994 and was one of the strongest first SF novels ever, a romantic adventure with a healthy dose of super science. Read more
Published on June 7 2000 by Diane Turnshek
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow...a good way to be converted to science fiction!
I've read a few science fiction books in the past but have never been overly thrilled. Maybe, if more of those books had been like Catherine Asaro's "Primary Inversion",... Read more
Published on May 9 2000 by Lori-Anne Cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect blend of all the elements that makes a sci fi book
Primary Inversion reminds me of Lois McMaster Bujold's Mirror Dance. Asaro balances a complex political scene with brilliant action and heart breaking characters. Read more
Published on Dec 1 1999 by Randall Miyashiro
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