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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully sexy romp through a grad level physics book.
Must Read! Catch the Lightning flings us to an alternate universe Earth in 1987. The LA scenes are chilling, gang warfare, drug-related murders, the day-to-day hopelessness of growing up in the inner city. Then we flash forward (using inversion theory) to the Skolian Empire, to a time beyond events in Primary Inversion and the Radiant Seas, to a finale sprinkled with...
Published on June 7 2000 by Diane Turnshek

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2.0 out of 5 stars "Lightning" fails to strike twice
I read this book right after the first in the Skolian Saga, Primary Inversion, and boy was I shocked. Yuuk! This book doesn't pick up where the first left off, but skips over 50-150 years of interesting sounding stuff, and focuses on the nephew of the star of Book #1. (Actually it starts on an alternate, present day earth, but that's just a mistake).
After...
Published on Aug. 19 2000 by Nathan


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1.0 out of 5 stars Not good, June 24 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Catch The Lightning (Mass Market Paperback)
Catherine Asaro's works were recommended to me because I'm such a fan of Lois McMaster Bujold, and because I like both romance (even sexy romance) and science fiction. I read Primary Inversion and thought it was merely OK (bit of a chore to finish, actually), but hoped the series would get better. Unfortunately, it didn't.
First it was annoying because I couldn't figure out whether the main male character (I won't say hero) was the brother of the main character in Primary Inversion; but apparently time-travel is involved and it turns out there's a whole hardly-worth-it family tree to attempt to comprehend.
Then the main female character was ignorant, annoying and much too (some might say illegally?) young for the male character; the sex scenes were out of place in the context of the story and not well done, the science incomprehensible, and the supporting characters stereotypical yet not even believable as friends of the female lead. None of them, including the leads, engendered the slightest sympathy from me; there was no joyous discovery of what the future holds, only the most predictable, Star Trek-at-its-worst conclusions. A little girl from the Barrio, an ignorant brute of a man, and me not caring at all.
Please, if you're looking for futuristic romance and flawed but sympathetic characters with good stories, skip these and read something by Bujold.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Asaro's Second Book = Big Disappointment, Sept. 30 2003
By 
Justin A. Bacon (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Catch The Lightning (Mass Market Paperback)
Last week I picked up the first two novels in Catherine Asaro's Ruby Dynasty/Skolian Empire series -- PRIMARY INVERSIONS because I wanted to try the series; CATCH THE LIGHTNING because it was used (and thus cheap).
After finishing PRIMARY INVERSIONS I was ready to go back to the store and pick up the rest of the series. Great stuff. A hard SF foundation for some first rate space opera, coupled with strong characterization and some really nice romance elements. There were some weak points, but the book left a great impression and, as a first novel, it showed great promise.
Then I started reading CATCH THE LIGHTNING. And it's major let-down. The hard SF has been flushed for an *incredibly* stupid alternate universe tale. (Claiming that Jesus Christ could be born 340 years later without any noticeable alteration to world history or, for that matter, Christianity pretty much destroys any credibility Asaro has.) Remnants of the strong characterization are still there (notably in the main characters), but most of the cast is largely populated by cliches and stereotypes. And the romance elements have literally become explicit, softcore porn. (When you're describing condoms being put on, erections, hands on balls, nipples being caressed, and penetration it's softcore porn.)
In short: If you haven't read Asaro before and are looking to give her a try, this isn't the book you want to try. Pick up PRIAMRY INVERSION instead. If you've read PRIMARY INVERSION and are looking forward to more of the same, then CATCH THE LIGHTNING is going to be a huge disappointment. I'd skip it, and move on to Asaro's later books.
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1.0 out of 5 stars really poor, April 28 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Catch The Lightning (Mass Market Paperback)
I got this from the library and was very disappointed. Not only was the story line very choppy, jumping from place to place without any real development of details (or characters or plot), but it completely glossed over things like her reaction to a wildly new culture, language, technology, etc. All the physics "detail" tossed in looked like it was made up by someone who didn't have a clue what they were talking about. (perhaps the author does have a clue, but that's how it came across to me)
Also, aside from whether you liked the frequent sex scene detail in the book or not, they also mentioned, but then avoided the fact that this was sex between an adult man and a minor. When they first had sex, and when they got married it was brought up, and even the people in the future were shocked and disapproving. But then they all just jumped on past the issue.
Overall, this book was poor enough to put me off trying anything else by this author. Even in high school this would have been embarrassing to admit having wasted time on.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beginning with the ending, April 1 2002
By 
C. Glover (Langhorne, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Catch The Lightning (Mass Market Paperback)
This was the first book I read by Catherine Asaro and I was hooked on the Skolian Series. It is hard to explain when this takes place because it has has time travel. It begins in the past ends up in a distant the future. Chronologically, it is toward the end of her Skolian Series so I had to go back and read the other books to learn more about the beginning and the other characters. This book is a lightweight start. I think it was one of the first she wrote, the stories get richer and more complex in her later novels. Catch the Lightning begins on Earth and reads familar. The universe of the Skolians slowly unfolds to draw you in. It is a love story, and it has some very sexy parts. But again, the story unfolds, so before you know it you believe in the lovers and accept they are destined to be together. It is also a story about family and responsibility. I recommend it if you are getting bored with hard sci-fi and want to try something soft that still challenges your definition of the universe. This book should have been more popular.
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2.0 out of 5 stars "Lightning" fails to strike twice, Aug. 19 2000
By 
Nathan (Wilmington, DE United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Catch The Lightning (Mass Market Paperback)
I read this book right after the first in the Skolian Saga, Primary Inversion, and boy was I shocked. Yuuk! This book doesn't pick up where the first left off, but skips over 50-150 years of interesting sounding stuff, and focuses on the nephew of the star of Book #1. (Actually it starts on an alternate, present day earth, but that's just a mistake).
After reading all the science theory and explanations in the first book, I was incredibly bored rereading them being re-explained here, usually almost word for word. Five pages on the genes and genetic problems of the Rhon, two on the "tree on the road" ftl model, and on it goes. Also, the characters weren't nearly as captivating as in the first book. I didn't really ever care for or about them, and the memories of pain in the first book are so much more horrible than the actual pain in this one.
Where the first book had a couple of tastefully done sex scenes, it seems that every 20 pages here the characters have to jump in bed together. Also, I think that Tina's reaction to being pulled 400 years into the future of an alternate universe is a little underdone; she just takes it all in stride like she does that kind of thing every day. There was never any real suspense in this book, and the first half of the book doesn't really have anything to do with the second half.
I definitely don't recommend this book. I enjoyed Primary Inversion enough that I'm willing to try book #3, but this one really stunk. I actually found myself rushing through the last two chapters, so eager was I for it to actually end!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully sexy romp through a grad level physics book., June 7 2000
By 
Diane Turnshek (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Catch The Lightning (Mass Market Paperback)
Must Read! Catch the Lightning flings us to an alternate universe Earth in 1987. The LA scenes are chilling, gang warfare, drug-related murders, the day-to-day hopelessness of growing up in the inner city. Then we flash forward (using inversion theory) to the Skolian Empire, to a time beyond events in Primary Inversion and the Radiant Seas, to a finale sprinkled with grayed characters we knew and loved in their youth. Catch the Lightning works as a powerful love story. You have to love people named Akushtina Santis Pulivok, and Althor Vyan Selei kya Skolia. I understand why Catherine Asaro's books cross genre boundaries to appeal to the romance market with pages like 44-50, 103-105 and (oooh--hot, hot!) 356--but how does the general romance reader deal with quantum mechanics, introns, inversion theory, time paradoxes, imaginary transforms and, for crying out loud, Hilbert space? "'Riemann sheet,' Heather said. 'It's a mathematical representation designed to make multivalued complex quantities into single-valued functions.'" The steep language obviously didn't bother romance readers who awarded this book the coveted Under the Covers Award and the Sapphire Award. Catch the Lightning is a delightfully sexy romp through a grad level physics book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Romance and sci-fi at their best!!!!!!!, May 11 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Catch The Lightning (Mass Market Paperback)
I came across "Catch the Lightning" by accident. Romance Writers of America, of which I am a member, lists the works of romance authors each month. "Quantum Rose" (serialized in Analog mag) was on the list and I immediately went in search of it, since I love to read both sci-fi and romance. Enjoying the series so much, I searched for other titles by Catherine and found "Catch the Lightning." I absolutely loved reading this novel. What a sexy hero Althor is with his buff body and golden skin, and Tina is certainly his "match made in Skolia heaven." I was particularly intrigued by the way the author linked Iotica, Althor's language, and the culture of the Ruby Dynasty with Mayan language and culture (I'm a linguist as well). The quantum mechanics was a bit above my head, but it didn't detract from the fast-paced action and developing romance. It's wonderful to see an author who combines so well sci-fi and romance, the head and the heart, the right and left brain hemispheres in such an exciting read. I highly recommend this novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic blend of hardcore scif & romance. I loved it!, Oct. 15 1998
This review is from: Catch The Lightning (Mass Market Paperback)
Ahhh, what a satisfying book. If only everything I read were this good, well, I'd probably never get anything done! This is the second book in Catherine Asaro's Skolian Empire Saga and is also another not-to-be missed read for hard-core scifi fans and romance readers looking for a well-written futuristic love story.
Ms. Asaro has created another extraordinary heroine and hero while maintaining a non-stop action filled read. I now know why these books appeal to so many different types of readers - there's adventure, romance, political intrigue and interesting future societies and theories that boggle the mind.
The best thing about this book for me was the characters. If I can't care about them I just won't be able to get into a book, no matter how interesting others may find it. The author takes as much care developing her characters as she does her plot which makes this book so special. Tina may only be seventeen but she was forced to grow up early and her actions, and responses to the unbelievable situations she's thrust into are very realistic. She's vulnerable and tough, smart and easy to like. Althor is a perfect match for her, he's strong, sensitive and moody and with her strong empathic abilities she's probably the only one who would be able to fully understand and love him.
My only complaint, and it's a minor one really, that can probably be attributed to the fact that I don't read much hard scifi, is that sometimes the book lapsed into long technical explanations that jogged me out of the story and because I read this book immediately after finishing PRIMARY INVERSION some of the explanations didn't seem necessary to me so I skimmed them. Despite that nit I can't recommend this one highly enough. The characterization is flawless - you'll love and route for these people as they face impossible odds.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Catherine Asaro is a breath of fresh air to science fiction!, Sept. 30 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Catch The Lightning (Mass Market Paperback)
Catch The Lightning is one of those books you just can't put down! The characters are so real and the story so compelling that when I got to the end of the book, I was looking for more! How often does an author come along who can enthrall the often deadly-critical science fiction readers with a universe that is most likely not only possible, but makes you want to live there and struggle side by side with its characters? Another thing that makes Catherine's book both unique and enticing is the realistic detail and emotional display of the characters. I would have to say that if -I- met a strange, gorgeous man on the street who 1) saved me from being raped (possibly killed), 2) who could feel my thoughts / emotions AND 3) was SENSITIVE to them...I'd go for him! :) Truely, Asaro is one of the best science fiction authors of this century and I hope to learn more and more about the Skolian Empire and it's people from her. Also, I think that her content and writing style could become a cornerstone to future science fiction...not only interesting those of us intrigued by futuristic societies, space travel, technology, etc...but those interested in adventure, mystery, and good old fashion romance. I give Catherine an ecstatic two thumbs up and on a scale of 1-10, a 10+! p.s. I was just as thrilled by Primary Inversion as well! :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars William in California, Sept. 16 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Catch The Lightning (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is a gem. Exciting and imaginative. I couldn't put it down. It was at first a surprise to be reading a story told first person by a woman, but the character, Tina, compelled my interest. She is a far cry from the plastic dolls that fill in as love objects in some fiction. Her husband, Althor, is believable too, a hero in the real sense of the word, a man who faces problems in his life and overcomes them. Although this is a hard science fiction book, the style of the writing sometimes feels like that of Latin American writers who do magic realism.

I wasn't surprised to read in the cover blurbs that Asaro is a scientist; that comes through, most of all in the physics and genetics. Some chapters take place in space habitats, which are done with realism. The scenes describing the approach to the habitats make you want to go there. The world building also piqued my interest. The detail is enormous and if anything Asaro tries to do too much. She has enough to fill many books.

Another reason to read this book is the love story. Asaro isn't afraid to show genuine love between her characters. The scenes are tasteful, but also sensual, a refreshingly mature treatment. The combination of hard science and love story caught me by surprise, but it works. I hope Asaro continues in this vein, as there is no one else who seems to do it, except Ursula Le Guin.
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Catch The Lightning
Catch The Lightning by Catherine Asaro (Mass Market Paperback - Oct. 15 1997)
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