CassaStorm – BOOK REVIEW

Hey bloggers! I’m trying to play a bit of catch up with my reviews, so today I’ll be reviewing CassaStorm by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Since I’m working the A-Z Challenge, there will be a few reviews set up in my queue through April. It’s a busy month for sure! Expect a couple more book reviews to pop up over the course of the month. 🙂

CassaStorm

 

Book:  CassaStorm

Author:  Alex J. Cavanaugh

Genre:  Space Opera

Hearts:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥   4.5/5.0

 

My Review:

I’m glad I was able to read all three books in the series. I enjoyed them immensely. If Mr. Cavanaugh’s books are indicative of the Space Opera genre, I’ll definitely be reading more of them.

Forty years earlier, Byron helped end the Vindicarn War and became a hero in the process. But it wasn’t without sacrifice and great personal loss. Twenty years after, he finds new friendship, a loving mate, and gets back in the pilot’s seat to prevent a catastrophe from eliminating the planet Tgren. I just summed up the first two books in two sentences.

Now Byron is twenty years older, married, and has a young, mixed-raced (half-Cassan/half-Tgren) son named Bassan. He no longer flies an explorer ship, and his days as a fighter pilot are over. As Commander of a Cassan base on Tgren, all he has to worry about are occasional stray attacks and appeasing the egos of the Tgren prefects and bureaucrats. Or so he thinks…

Bassan doesn’t have many friends because of his ‘half-breed’ status, so he is bullied often. Drent is his closest friend and mixed race, too. He is the son of Senior Science Officer Mevine, Byron’s close friend. Bassan doesn’t have an interest in flying like his parents do. He’s more interested in the scientific and technological aspect of things. He is excited beyond belief when his class takes a field trip to the alien ship where Officer Mevine works.

Parents can tell kids ‘Look, but don’t touch’, as much as they like, but…I guess they don’t listen in space either. Soon after the trip, Bassan starts having terrorizing nightmares; the alien ship on Tgren starts sending signals from a once dormant console. Soon the other planets in the system begin uncovering alien ships on their own planets too.

The uncomfortable truce between the Cassans and Vindicarn is gone and there is fighting again as other planets ally: some with the Cassans and some with the Vindicarns. It’s only a matter of time before an all out war galactic war takes place and it must be stopped. Byron figures out that Bassan is somehow connected to what is happening. I can’t say much more without giving away spoilers, but the ending DID NOT disappoint!

As always, Mr. Cavanaugh fleshed out his characters well and I was impressed with Bassan and how he handled his ‘growing pains’. I didn’t notice any grammatical or spelling errors in this final book of the trilogy.

What bothered me a little: Byron, Byron. I love him. I do. He’s come a long way since the first book; he still some issues he needs to work on. It may just be me, but I hoped personal connections would have been easier for him by now, particularly with Bassan. It was good watching their relationship evolve through the book, but having a closer relationship earlier would have been nice.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It can been read as a stand alone, but if you truly want to know who Byron is as a person, I would suggest starting from Book 1.

FINAL RATING:    Hearts:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥   4.5/5.0

ajc

About the author:

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design, graphics, and technical editing. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He’s the author of Amazon Best-Sellers CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.
P.S. #WhataretheKarGrandes

CassaStar – BOOK REVIEW

 

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all having a great day. I’m reviewing Book One of the Cassa Series (as promised), CassaStar, by Alex J. Cavanaugh. I mentioned in my earlier review of CassaFire that I’d inadvertently bought the second book by accident thinking it was the first. My bad! 🙂 Glad I picked it up!

Book Title:   CassaStar 
Author: Alex J. Cavanaugh
Genre:  Space Opera            

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ / ♥♥♥♥♥

CassaStar2

What a great read!

Byron is a young, arrogant, and troubled young Cassan man who has issues with authority. He is sent to Guaard for Cosbolt fighter pilot training with a young man named Tindel as his navigator.

It seems to Byron that nothing his team does is good enough for his Senior Officer Bassa, though he and Tindel score remarkably well on their training missions. Some of his maneuvers are seen as reckless, but he and his navigator always come away unscathed. His special ‘gift’ plays a part also, but must be kept secret per the Commander’s orders. Some of the other trainees dislike him and he is fine with that. He is not at Guaard to make friends.

Towards the end of training, Byron feels betrayed when Tindel reveals that he no longer wants to be a navigator on a fighter after performing an exercise that haunts him. Their relationship remains mostly strained for what’s left in training. Senior Officer Bassa informs Byron that if he passes, a suitable navigator would be found for him.

Byron does pass his training and when he checks for his assignment, shock overwhelms him when he discovers he will be on the Cassan’s flagship, The Sorenthia. Only high-ranking officers and senior staff are given assignments on this ship. Needless to say, he wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms.

Byron is annoyed and flabbergasted the following day when he learns that is new navigator is none other than his former Senior Officer Bassa. He grudgingly accepts his ‘fate’, but soon realizes how well they work together as a team. After years of self-doubt and loneliness, Byron is finally able to make some connections, as well as a friendship or two.

Unfortunately, there is war in the air. Vindicarn fighters have infiltrated Cassan airspace and are getting bolder. The Cosbolt fighters mission train daily. After several skirmishes with the Vindicarn fighters, a large one ensues when it is discovered that the Vindicarn’s main ship has a weapon in its core that can take out the entire ship. In the end, only Byron can save the day.

I can’t give away much more without giving away a ton of spoilers. The story was interesting and the writing tight. I like how the characters were fleshed out and had their own distinct personalities. I prefer lighter science fiction reads rather than the hard-core, technically and physics based ones. That being said, there was still a good amount of action to propel the story forward. I also liked the emotional and social aspects of the story, too.

The only negative I found was that it took Byron so long to appreciate his friendships and the kindnesses of others. I guess that would be expected from someone who’s never had it and had to learn, I suppose. I’d recommend this book if you’d like to try something out of your normal genre.

Until next post…

 

 

 ajc ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He is the author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

PS:  #whatarethekargrandes

 

 

 

 

 

 

CassaFire – Alex J. Cavanaugh – BOOK REVIEW

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all having a wonderful day today. Remember way back (early 2013) 😀 when I first started blogging , I said I was going to expand my horizons by reading all genres of fiction? Well, I’m keeping true to my word! Today I’ll be reviewing CassaFire, a space opera by Alex J. Cavanaugh. I’ve never read a space opera before, so I wasn’t sure what I’d be getting when I downloaded it – ‘All my Children’, sci-fi style, maybe? Ha, Ha. Get it? Space Opera = Soap Opera?. . . Whatever, *rolling my eyes because nobody gets my joke.*

CassaFireTitle:  CassaFire
Author:  Alex J. Cavanaugh           Genre:  Space Opera

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥/♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥   4/5 hearts

Anyway, I was impressed. Mr. Cavanaugh’s writing is impeccable, his characters fleshed out nicely, and the storyline moves along well. I noticed no typographical or grammatical errors in the text.

Byron, the MC (main character), is a Cassan and former Cosbolt fighter pilot and Vindicarn War hero.  Now, twenty years later, he transfers passengers/cargo via shuttle from an Explorer ship called the Rennather. He is emotionally distant, content to do his job and keep to himself. He struggles internally with demons that haunt him from the past.

A crew is sent on a mission, including Byron and Mevine, a young scientist who idolizes him, to the planet Tgren to investigate the remains of an alien space craft that was detected.  They meet ace pilot, a Tgren named Athee. She is curious, confident, intriguing, and possesses skills that could be of great value to her people, her planet, and the Cassans.

While exploring the vessel in the cave, the equipment mysteriously activates and the threat of attack by an unknown enemy appears imminent. Byron, Mevine, and Athee must figure out a way to stop the attack on Tgren, before Athee’s planet is lost.

I’ll admit I wasn’t too fond of Athee in the beginning; she struck me as a little too arrogant and full of herself, more like a spoiled rich kid. As the story moved along, I came to respect her for the strong woman she truly was, caring more for others than for herself. Mevine was a character I just wanted to take under my wing from the beginning. I don’t want to give too much away, but I found myself wanting to scream, “You are so utterly amazing! Don’t sell yourself short!”.

Throughout the story, Byron evolved from the brooding, self-contained man in the beginning to a more open-hearted and loving person by story’s end. I downloaded this book thinking it was the first in the Cassa series, but it’s actually the second. It can definitely be read as a stand alone; I definitely plan on reading the first in the series CassaStar, so I can get a better understanding of why Byron became the way he did in this book (there are mentions, but I won’t give them away-sorry folks).

I would definitely recommend you give this book a try if you would like to read a little something different.

ajcABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He is the author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar, CassaFire, and CassaStorm.

PS:  #whatarethekargrandes