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Catch The Lightning (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) Mass Market Paperback – October 15, 1997

3.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Alhough Asaro returns in her second novel to the far-future Skolian Empire of her first, Primary Inversion, she begins the story in 1987, on an alternate Earth. In Los Angeles, narrator Tina, 17, rescues Althor, a Skolian Jagernaut (elite space-pilot) whose ship has flung him back in time and into Tina's alternate universe. Before their adventures conclude, Tina and Althor return to Althor's own future and get married. Many of the novel's complications spring from the pair's common Mayan ancestry, which has bequeathed to both of them powerful telepathic and empathic faculties, from Althor's status as a cyborg who is in effect a royal prince and from the Skolian Empire's ability to generate all the bloody plots and counterplots one would expect of any self-respecting interstellar empire. Asaro, who's a physicist, offers an intelligent exploration of possible links between telepathy and quantum physics and informs many of the scenes between the lovers with power and tenderness. But her story is too often comprised of a jumble of elements derived from myriad commercial-fiction genres. Despite strong characters and many fine passages, it fails to cohere and to deliver the vibrant reading experience that her first novel offered.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Returning to the Skolian Empire she first created in Primary Inversion (LJ 2/15/95), Asaro introduces Tina, a contemporary Mestiza teenager living in California, who is transported to the future with a Skolian pilot named Althor. In this sensual tale of telepathy and love between Mayan descendants of different worlds and times, Asaro continues to develop the Skolian culture. Recommended for sf/fantasy collections.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Saga of the Skolian Empire (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; Rei Rep edition (October 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812551028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812551020
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #652,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Randall Miyashiro on December 1, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Catch the Lightning came as a suprise to me, since I read it immediately after completing Primary Inversion. I wanted a novel which continued the plot of Primary Inversion, which was written eventually. The novel contains more romance compared to her other novels, and the plot's focus drifts. Although the book gives us a glimpse of the greater Skolian timeline, it stands alone very well. I would recommend Primary Inversion over Catch the Lightning.
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Format: 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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By A Customer on September 16, 1997
Format: 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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Format: 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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Wonderful story that mixes romance, Maya history and a cyborg Jaggernaut with 1987 college students, quantum theory and, of course, a bad guy who betrays everybody. It's a little heavy on the hard sci-fi (mathmatics & esoteric theories) but overall a great novel. Highly recommended!
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