I’ve needed a serious break lately so I read Treecat Wars (Young Adult Science Fiction 366 pages) by David Weber and Jane Lindskold last night.
This is the third novel in the Star Kingdom Series and I’ve absolutely enjoyed every book so far. I didn’t even know there was a third book until I was doing research a few days ago. As soon as I found out there was a third book, I immediately went to the bookstore, picked up the book, and read it cover to cover in a matter of hours.
I think there are probably a lot of reasons why this series is so appealing to me and why I can get through the entire book in one sitting. I think the first of those is that the whole series is a mix of technology and outdoor adventuring. It’s kind of the way I see the colonizing of space to go in the future and if I could live in any fantasy world, I would probably happily live in this universe. You have space travel, other planets, other cultures, sentient alien species, and also entire planets of unchartered wilderness.
I’m interested in the political ramifications of the Adair Foundation and how everything that happens with them might be able to be related to the current Honor Harrington series. It’s not something I put too much of my extra thoughts and interests into, but it is something that I’ll be keeping in the back of my mind as more of the books in this series are published. Something along the lines of a broad-spectrum conspiracy that will have lasting, inter-stellar ramifications.
There are a couple of things that I continue to really enjoy about this series. The first, and most important for me, is the character development. I am positively thrilled to be reading a young adult series that has very little in regards to teen romance. The story here is focused mainly on the treecats, Stephanie Harrington, Anders Whitaker, and Jessica Pheriss. While there are romantic undercurrents, those undercurrents have very little to zero impact on the actual story. I thought when I first started this story that the romantic undercurrents were going to become annoying and obvious because of how torn Stephanie was when her and Anders had to be on different planets for any length of time, but that part of the story was handled at the exact level it should be – it affected the characters and their emotions, but the story easily could have moved forward without those elements. It’s actually those small romantic undercurrents throughout the story that bring this story even closer to reality. People are going to have feelings and emotional responses to other people and this story has those elements, but they don’t take over the story.
I continue to like and appreciate the way the treecats continue to evolve in this series. I remember when I first read On Basilisk Station several years ago and how fascinating Nimitz was to me then. I think that this series is really doing a great job of building the treecat society and creating a believable world that is a happy mix between where the Honor Harrington series is right now and creating more subtle nuances in the current development of the treecat history. It’s a fascinating bridge. But, really, this series just keeps making me want to meet a treecat and make friends with them in real life, which is the mark of a good series when the readers wish that the reality expressed in the novels they read were their actual reality.
Right near the end of the book, there were a lot of really well-done relationships bits. Stephanie is talking to Karl about Anders and Jessica and Karl says, “They don’t really belong just to you, you know. And you don’t belong to just them. No matter what words you use, Jess and Anders have lives beyond how they relate to you … And you wouldn’t have gotten involved with them if you hadn’t thought both of them were pretty great people, right?” (page 352). I guess in some ways, this was pretty close to some of the things that have happened in my own life and some of it was so similar to my own relationships. You can never control how you feel or your emotional reactions to things. You can control how you allow those feelings to affect your interactions with your world, but you can’t control the feelings themselves. Nor can you control how other people feel or what they choose to do about their feelings in their lives. This story was about as real as situations get and it was refreshing to have things turn out in way that was not the standard relationship solution.
Overall, I would say this book rates an easy four on my rating scale. I am glad that I own this book and I’m positive that I will wind up rereading this book in the future, potentially multiple times.