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Fire Season (Star Kingdom (Weber)) Paperback – August 6, 2013
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About the Author
With over seven million copies of his books in print and seventeen titles on the New York Times bestseller list, David Weber is the science fiction publishing phenomenon of the new millennium. In the hugely popular Honor Harrington series, the spirit of C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander lives on—into the galactic future. Books in the Honor Harrington and Honoverse series have appeared on fourteen best seller lists, including those of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. While Weber is best known for his spirited, modern-minded space operas, he is also the creator of the Oath of Swords fantasy series and the Dahak saga. Weber has also written highly popular collaborations, including his Starfire Series with Steve White, which produced the New York Times bestseller The Shiva Option among others. Weber’s collaboration with alternate history master Eric Flint led to the bestselling 1634: The Baltic War, and his planetary adventure novels with military science fiction ace and multiple national best-seller John Ringo includes the blockbusters March to the Stars and We Few. Finally, Weber’s teaming with Linda Evans produced the bestselling Multiverse series. David Weber makes his home in South Carolina with his wife and children.
Jane Lindskold is the award-winning, bestselling author of over twenty novels, including the incredibly popular Firekeeper series (Through Wolf’s Eyes though Wolf’s Blood), as well as over sixty shorter works of science fiction and fantasy. Several of her novels have been chosen by VOYA for their Best SF, Fantasy and Horror list. Lindskold's work has been repeatedly praised for its sensitive depiction of worlds and cultures different from our own -- especially those that aren't in the least human. Her works have been praised as "intricate, beautifully written" (Voya), "attention-grabber" (School Library Journal), "engrossing" (Miami Herald), "Thrilling" (Publisher's Weekly), "ripping good fantasy" (Kliatt). Reviewer Charles deLint called Lindskold "one of those hidden treasures of Amerian letters." She has been a frequent contributor to the Honorverse, where her tales of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Michael have a loyal and enthusiastic following.
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Top customer reviews
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This is the second novel about Stephanie Harrington and her treecat companion, Lionheart, set on the fascinating treecat home world. I hadn't read the award winning first book, A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber, and came to this novel as I'm a fan of author Jane Lindskold's short fiction and her novels (Through Wolf's Eyes, Thirteen Orphans). You don't need to read the first book in this series, A Beautiful Friendship, to understand this one, as I was never lost, but I'm sure it would be good to start at the beginning.
If you're a reader of David Weber's Honor Harrington novels, I think you'll enjoy this prequel novel series. Fire Season is set a few hundred years before Honor was born, and this is not a space opera with lots of the big battles Mr. Weber is famous for. It's a coming of age novel, mostly written to appeal to teenaged readers (12 and older), about a brilliant young woman growing up on an alien planet, who just happens to be the first person to ever bond with a treecat. The telepathic, empathic, six-legged (hexapedal) catlike creatures with long tails--two of their six legs have actual hands on them--are the stars of the book.
I found the most fascinating aspect of Fire Season to be the relationship between fifteen-year-old Stephanie and the treecat who adopted her. Lionheart is what Stephanie calls him, but his true name among the People (the treecats think of themselves as The People), is Climbs Quickly.
The treecats are telepathic with each other and empathic with humans, so communicating with humans is quite difficult for them, though they can read human emotions very easily and affect them in some minor ways. The treecats think that humans make all sorts of funny mouth sounds, use hand gestures, and isn't it sad they can't speak to each other with their minds and have to rely on such poor communication methods?
It was hilarious and awesome when two treecats were communicating telepathically with each other and one treecat noted how well the human (Stephanie Harrington) had been trained by Climbs Quickly. The big question in this book is if the treecats are intelligent enough to be considered sentient by the human scientists.
Climbs Quickly can read Stephanie's emotions and enjoys her "mind-glow" very much. I loved reading the chapters from Climb's Quickly's point of view, and it was fascinating how the human scientists are trying to determine if the treecats are a sentient race, while the treecats are trying to understand if they should avoid the humans who have come to their world, or if they should interact with them more.
The book has the feel of an un-contacted tribe of native Americans first coming into contact with a highly civilized group of Europeans. That would be Europeans who are not trying to enslave or destroy them. What a concept. There are a lot of great messages in this book that will get younger and older readers thinking.
Fire Season is naturally set during the dry season when forest fires often rage across the mostly tree-covered world. Stephanie Harrington, and her big brother friend Karl, are provisional rangers with the forestry service, and they participate in watching out for fires and sometimes fighting them, and of course rescuing animals caught in the path of the flames.
Much of the book is dedicated to Stephanie becoming an adult. She has to learn to interact with kids her own age, a very difficult thing for a genius introvert, and of course deal with her well-meaning but socially clumsy parents. I think teens will easily connect with Stephanie, as she's a very well drawn character.
I highly recommend this book to teen animal lovers--especially young women--and to fans of the Honor Harrington series who want to see where the treecats came from. This is a good starting point for younger readers, and I think this would be a great gift to a friend or relative that you wanted to expose to science fiction. It kept my interest throughout, had a good conclusion that wrapped up nicely, and I'm excited to read the sequel, Treecat Wars.
Highly Recommended, 4.5 out of 5 Stars
This book is more about teen aged angst. No we really do not care about the brat in the hang gliding club. But David and Janet deal well with that situation. They have given the teens "real" situations to deal with, bullying, drugs, OMG he's so cute and teen love. They deal with it well. Stephanie is a mature child for her age...I really liked how she pouted in this book. Hormones are a pain! They write the adults in as background in this book. But they write them well and not the blah blah blah from the cartoons.
I would highly recommend this book for any YA into scifi. I would recommend this book to any adult who enjoys the Honor Harrington series and wants the back story of the tree cats. So, no, I do not think this book is too YA.
I will definitely buy the next book in the series.
You have to read the book to get the Feel of the book. Loved it !
and foretell some of the future of her descendants.
Stephanie is also concerned about getting her provisional air-car license and her role as a junior ranger in the Sphinx Forest Service. Her parents are concerned about her lack of friends her own age but Stephanie is slowly learning that all the kids her age are not "blackholes." She has always been friends with fellow junior SFS ranger Karl Zivonik but now she is getting to know some other kids - Toby, Jessica, Christine and Chet.
When the expedition including Anders goes missing (because of the arrogance of his father Dr. Whittaker), Stephanie is very concerned about locating them. The concern gets even higher when lightning-strike fires occur. Stephanie and Karl and their friends have to rescue a clan of treecats that are in the way of the fires and stumble on and rescue the scientists at the same time.
The story was entertainingly told both from Stephanie's and Climbs Quickly's points of view. We could see Climbs Quickly's frustration that the two-legs just didn't understand what the treecats were trying to tell them. He also had to try to understand the volatile emotions of Stephanie as she grows from child to woman.
I recommend this book and the first book in the series - A Beautiful Friendship - to all young science fiction fans.