Seventy years ago, the interstellar supercarrier Ark Royal was the pride of the Royal Navy. But now, her weapons are outdated and her solid-state armour nothing more than a burden on her colossal hull. She floats in permanent orbit near Earth, a dumping ground for the officers and crew the Royal Navy wishes to keep out of the public eye. But when a deadly alien threat appears, the modern starships built by humanity are no match for the powerful alien weapons. Stephanie Harrington had always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore.
It should have been the perfect new home - a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie's explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!
Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries, and the biggest one of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species. The forest-dwelling treecats are small, cute, smart, and have a pronounced taste for celery. And they are also very, very deadly when they or their friends are threatened - as Stephanie discovers when she comes face-to-face with Sphinx's most lethal predator after a hang-gliding accident.
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But her discoveries are only beginning, for the treecats are also telepathic and able to bond with certain humans, and Stephanie's find - and her first-of-its kind bond with the treecat Climbs Quickly - land both of them in a fresh torrent of danger. Galactic-sized wealth is at stake, and Stephanie and the treecats are squarely in the path of highly placed enemies determined to make sure the planet Sphinx remains entirely in human hands, even if that means the extermination of another thinking species.
Unfortunately for those enemies, the treecats have saved Stephanie Harrington's life. She owes them - and Stephanie is a young woman who stands by her friends. Which means things are about to get very interesting on Sphinx. Playback seemed to glitch in several spots, not sure how much is missed each time. I love strong female characters, and I've been in and out of the Honor Harrington books for ages. They are good, but I've always been left a bit ho-hum. Something drew me towards this one, as I've always been interested in the back story of the tree-cats joining with the humans outlined in honor harrington, but without exposition.
This tale is as powerful and as emotive as, "The Host," by Stephenie Merry. Another story that shook me to my roots. The beauty of the relationship between the tree-cat and the two leg, balanced against the risks of surviving on such a dangerous fantasy science-fiction world is a thrilling, wonderful ride. I listen a lot when I'm walking for exercise, one day I was so engrossed I did two extra 1 mile laps: Khristine Hvam doesn't get in the way of the narrative, and just tells the story.
As a result, the listener is focused on the drama, not the voice. In my book, that's a perfect reading.
Nice Job. I really love this book, I cannot wait till book two is released in late I originally purchased a hard back copy of this for my 11 year old daughter I purchased it on audio so once she was done reading it she could listen to it--she enjoys re playing books-- I usually pre read or read books along with her so I know what she is reading and we talk about characters--I was not prepared to enjoy this book on the scale that I do Highly recommended for kids and mom's too thinking dad's might like it as well I think it only fair to share the one negative--there are some awkward pauses in the recording editing I believe that are long enough that I checked to make sure I had not drained my battery An excellent book to read in an afternoon.
I'd highly recommend it. I've always enjoyed Weber's novels and he hasn't disappointed me this time.
The reader is fabulous. My only complaint is when is the next in this series coming out. A definite read! This story was great. It was fun and fast paced enough to keep my attention. Weber created characters that are about as realistic as possible given the sci-fi universe in which they dwell. They are internally consistent, well developed, and multidimensional. No flawless goody-two-shoes in the Star Kingdom … and that includes the tree cats! Having already read the Honor Harrington books I have wanted to know more about these endearing creatures. It is possible that someone reading this before any of the Honor series might have some difficulty understanding this universe, but I doubt it.
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I am glad I read the Honor books first, but I suspect starting with this book would be just as satisfying. All in all, this is a very entertaining book. The narrator was very good. She gave different voices to the characters without the accents being too intrusive. I really liked the way she portrayed the tree cats. I can't wait for the next book in this series. This is a very good book. Unlike the Safehold series there is almost no action, however even an action fan liek me enjoyed this book.
The character development is astounding, even in the treecat's view. My only issue is that it is relatively shorter than the Safehold series, but I would still put it very high on my top 10 list. The choice for a narrator is also great, she was also able to pull of the male voices with enough definition that if the next spoken line was also a guy you could tell it was different person. I believe this series will be very close to Safehold in my favorite series list, and that alone is complement enough.
If you liked the Honnor Harrington series, you will love this new series. The stars have different names but this is Honor as a teenager when she first met the tree cats.
Many of the names are different, but the crossover's are along the same story line. For example: she calls her cat "Stinker". If you haven't herd the Honnor Harrington series I believe most will still enjoy this very much as it is a stand alone series. I am looking forward to and am sure I will purchase the rest of the series as they come out.
Review: Weber’s Star Kingdom Series | Will Duquette
If you are not familiar with David Weber's work or Honnervers, this is a great place to start. I have to warn you, once your hooked you will be hook by the great writing and the wonderful plot lines of Honnervers and the story lines. I recently listened to Fuzzy Nation by Scalzi. The subject matter is much the same--first contact with a lovable, sapient species faced with the potential predations of the sleazier elements in humankind. Scalzi managed to overcome my initial, strong resistance to the Ewok syndrome.
He was scupulously careful about not violating his own descriptions of the problem of communicating with the new species. His dialogue was witty, entertaining, and believable. And even his villains had a certain amount of human ambiguity built into them. This book, on the other hand, had none of these strengths. Add to that the fact that a great deal of it is devoted to the very predictable and unimaginative preteen angst of a gifted, pristinely "good" year old girl, and I was ready for the end long before the end. I have read one of the Honor Harrington books and found it much better than this effort.
This book might be great for a preteen girl though I think either of my daughters would have been nearly as bored as I was , but unless you are adicted to cute or to re-examining the struggles of pre-adolescence, I would advise you to look elsewhere. Obviously I am in a distinct minority here, so you should probably take my opinion with a grain of salt.
I would say that it ranks on the upper tier of my favorites. Who was your favorite character and why? Who else? She did an impressive job of imitating a young girl. Did you have an extreme reaction to this book?
Did it make you laugh or cry? No, not cry, but occasionally it made me laugh or listen intently to a specific part. One interesting thing about audiobooks- there's no stopping them. So when a moving part comes along, you just have to listen carefully.
A Beautiful Friendship
Any additional comments? Definitely worth it, since I wanted to get a start in the Honorverse where it all began, and this book fulfilled that. David Webber does it again. Easy to listen to, takes you away to a good place. A Beautiful Friendship.
A Beautiful Friendship (novel)
Book 1. Stephanie Harrington absolutely hates being confined inside her family's compound on the pioneer planet of Sphinx, a frontier wilderness world populated by dangerous native animals that could easily tear a human to bits and pieces. Treecats are creatures that resemble a cross between a bobcat and a lemur but with six legs and much more deadly claws. Not only are they fully sentient, they are also telepathic, and able to bond with certain gifted humans such as the genetically-enhanced Stephanie. But Stephanie's find, and her first-of-its-kind bond with a treecat, brings on a new torrent of danger.
Lexile Score: Fire Season. Book 2. Second entry in a new young adult series by New York Times best seller David Weber, and the prequel to the hugely popular Honor Harrington adult science fiction saga. Unfortunately, this is one cry no human can hear. Stephanie Harrington, precocious fourteen-year-old Provisional Forest Ranger on the planet Sphinx, knows something is wrong from the uneasy emotion that is flooding into her from her treecat friend, Climbs Quickly.
But though Stephanie's alien comrade shares a tight bond with his two legs, he cannot communicate directly to her the anguished call from one of his people. Still, their strong and direct bond of feeling may be enough. Stephanie and fellow ranger Karl Zivonik respond to Climbs Quickly's rising waves of distress. Fire season on the pioneer world of Sphinx has begun.