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Showing 1-4 of 4 reviews(1 star). See all 19 reviews
on June 24, 2004
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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on September 30, 2003
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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on April 28, 2003
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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on September 11, 1997
Girl meets weird, otherworldly guy on the street in the middle of the Los Angeles slums well after midnight. Within minutes, they're in each other's arms. Some 24 hours later, they're in bed. Chapter 2 is devoted largely to a detailed description of that first night's sexual encounter.


Give me a break. Sane, mature people just don't behave that way. I don't think the heroine's telepathic powers and instincts about people are a good excuse for setting up such a poor role model.

I picked up this book primarily because I was curious tto see how the author would integrate romance with hard science fiction. Now I'm reminded of why I have so little respect for romance fiction in general.
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