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Catalyst Audiobook

Catalyst: A Tale of the Barque Cats, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

From the team of Anne McCaffrey (author of the Dragonriders of Pern series) and Nebula Award-winning author Elizabeth Ann Scarborough comes a thrilling new science-fiction tale featuring telepathic cats that are invaluable to the spacefarers who own them.

Thomas's Duchess - or Chessie, to those who love and depend on her services - is no ordinary cat. She's a purebred Barque Cat, trained to patrol the ship on which she serves, sniffing out oxygen leaks and spotting other problems. But when a corrupt government announces it has found an epidemic that requires the impounding and possible destruction of animals across the galaxy - Barque Cats included - two young people, a kitten, and a mysterious, powerful cat with a hidden agenda, are all that stand between the galaxy's animals and total destruction.

©2010 Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough; (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (30 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (8)
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3.8 (15 )
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Story
4.1 (15 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Eleanor Elsdon, Northumberland, United Kingdom 16/04/2011
    Eleanor Elsdon, Northumberland, United Kingdom 16/04/2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    4
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    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    I simply couldn't finish this one - I listened to over half before admitting defeat. The reader is simply boring. I've always loved McCaffrey's books so it has to be either this story or this narrator. Or maybe the fact of it being co-authored? Anyway, I can't give this more stars because I can't find any good in it. The writing is laboured, patronising and slow, and the audio aspect hasn't enhanced it. Sorry, for me it's a failure.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peri 25/07/2015
    Peri 25/07/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    Story
    "Not quite what I expected"

    Being English I struggled with the narrator initially, but overall found her okay andengagingtowards the end.

    Story -in some ways I much prefer the 'no one told the cat', as I was a little confused with timelines.

    The barque cats featured in this story are in other stories by Anne mccaffrey(most noticeably the tower ( and the hive) sequence.

    But it is one I will listen again too

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa Cooper 26/04/2015
    Teresa Cooper 26/04/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    84
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    171
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    Story
    "Oh dear."

    Not what I really expected or looked forward to. I'm a fan of Anne McCaffrey but this book seamed, at least to me, very unlike a McCaffrey book. But at least I tried the book and you never know what something unless you try it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhona Alexandria, United Kingdom 06/03/2013
    Rhona Alexandria, United Kingdom 06/03/2013 Member Since 2015

    castlecrafts

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    69
    3
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    "Disappointed"

    Found the cat affectation of the narrator to be more than a little irritating - haven't read the book so can't comment on the difference between the two experiences, but I understood Barque cats to be much more intelligent and the books aimed at an older audience than this reading would suggest. Other collaborations between these authors have been much more engaging. I don't think I would rate this as value for money.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evie 05/06/2012
    Evie 05/06/2012 Member Since 2010

    E reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "Catalyst"

    I love it. Relaxing and engaging. At first I was not enthusiastic about the narrator's voice, but I got accustomed. McCaffrey and Scarborough think like cats (or at least their picture of how cats think fits with mine!) When will the next one in the series be available on Audible?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • John
    Sunbury, OH, USA
    26/02/10
    Overall
    "disappointing"

    I am a longtime Anne McCaffrey fan, but this is not her best effort. The narrator uses almost a 'baby talk' tone for the thoughts of the cats--and the book is long on cat thoughts; short on plot. If you're tempted, read it yourself and skip the irritating narrator!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Scraps
    21/11/10
    Overall
    "Wait till the rest are available."

    This is a wonderful book BUT it ends mid story. I wish I had waited till the whole series was available.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Marie
    Raymond, NH, United States
    19/03/10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "catalyst"

    This book was very enjoyable. These authors never let a reader/ listener down. A must read for those who love cats.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • AJ
    Alexandria, VA, United States
    21/03/11
    Overall
    "Who's impersonating McCaffrey?"

    Very bad. The narrator sounds like an 8 year old reading a story to her baby sibling and the content/dialogue is about that level as well. This book might be great for kids who exchange pictures and anecdotes of their cats' cutesy antics AND dress them up in baby clothes with a little bonnet. Nauseating. It can't be McCaffrey unless she's been body-snatched by a prepubescent alien with a troubling cat fetish. Wholly agree that the thing was long on cat-thoughts (and not particularly intelligent ones, mind) and short on everything else.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Randy R Ballard
    Wichita, KS United States
    13/08/10
    Overall
    "Couldn't wait for it to end..."

    This seemed to be more of a children's book to me. The narrator's voice was so childish at time's I had to just fast forward. I love Anne McCaffrey, but this book was a disappointment to me.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Robin
    Cincinnati, OH, United States
    30/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is really half of a book"
    Would you try another book from Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough and/or the narrator?

    Yes, but mostly because I have read and loved other works by Anne McCaffrey.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    What ending? The book stopped in the middle of the story. It really annoys me when when it's obvious that a story is not complete and it's broken up into two books like this, as it seems to me that the only reason for it is to sell more books. Either finish the story, or label it as a multi-book story like trilogies do so that the reader is at least expecting it.


    Did the narrator do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The narrator seems to think that using a nasal, high pitched voice is sufficient to differentiate the characters. It did not work very well for me.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It would depend on whether the entire story was going to be told. I might consider it, but not if it was just going to end in the middle.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was entertaining, although not up to the usual standard I expect from Anne McCaffrey. I have just purchased the next book, and I am very much hoping that this one at least will have an actual ending.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jamie
    Grand Forks, ND, United States
    27/09/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A sad surprise"

    I was expecting the usual quality of writing and characters found in books by these authors, but I was disappointed. Where I was expecting the Cats to have a rich personality, it was flat. I did finish the book and its companion hoping to develop a true connection with the cats, but I found that they were written with the assumed characteristics of cat personality, people who do not like cats assign to them.. aloofness(better description would be Self-Centered) The Can opener neurotic cat we have all known was the norm where food was concerned. I guess I just could not bond the cats in these books (Yes I am a cat person, my family consists of 2 cats, 3 St. Poodles & 3 humans) nor really to the humans. To bad as Anne McCaffrey is one of my favorite writers so I had very high hopes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gabe
    22/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "it was pretty good. compare to warriors."

    it was pretty good. compare to warriors. cant wait to read catacombs. the authors style is complimentory to the plot, and also showa imense knowlege of cat behavior! took me to a new world! i was actually listening to this while hunting deer believe it or not!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • debra conner
    20/04/16
    Overall
    "McCaffery and Scarborough together again"

    I am pleased that the beautiful Barque cats are getting their story told. I remember the first time I heard them mentioned in Anne McCaffrey's "The Rowan", and was intrigued. As expected, the story is well written, and leaves you anxious and hopefull for a series. While written for young adults, older folk (especially those owned by a cat or two) should enjoy "Catalyst" as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    palisade, CO, United States
    18/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bad copyCAT of Mercedes Lackey's "Skitty""

    Written 10 years after Lackey's canon establishing amazing short story SKITTY, this seems to be a rather disappointing continuation of the idea......the psychic ShipsCat......valued members of every spacefaring crew.....

    Since Mccaffrey and Lackey have co authored before, I was hoping this would be a continuation of the story......alas it is not.....

    After hearing this series, PLEASE go get and read (sadly it's NOT available on audio) a copy of Werehunter, the collection of short stories that introduces the ORIGINAL shipscat, SKITTY.....guarantee you'll love it.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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