Stephanie Harrington 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.
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.
I have had my eyes on this book for a while but never got around to read it. After having read A Call to Insurrection recently it resurrected my craving for the Honorverse though so I finally decided to sink my teeth into it.
This is a David Weber book so, as can be expected, it is a well written book. I did find out that it is really a young adult book. That can be a good thing or a bad thing. For this one it is something in between.
The book is very much a prequel to the Honor Harrington series chronologically. Actually, the story takes place way, way earlier than the Honor Harrington books and Sphinx is really a backwater planet in the early stages of being colonised.
What I liked about the book was the main protagonist, even though she is very young, that it has a solid story, that it is well written and the discovery/adventure type story.
As it is a young adult book sometimes the story felt a bit simple and even immature though. Still it is a good story. I liked how the story followed Stephanie on one side, the treecats on another side and how the two story lines gradually intermingled.
What I did not like so much was that instead of staying on the discovery/adventure path the authors had to drag in political machinations and the usual “big companies are bad” angle to it.
The bad parts will not stop me from reading the next book in the series though but the good and the bad kind of balanced everything out such that my rating of this book is only a decent average at three stars.