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Catherine Asaro

Catharine Asaro fantasy author(1955- )
Catherine Asaro earned a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard University. She is best known for the Saga of the Skolian Empire, her nebula-award winning science fiction epic. She was president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America from 2003-2005. Her fantasy epics listed below are romantic fantasies published by Luna. Learn more about Dr. Asaro’s work at her website.

Skolian Empire

Skolian Empire — (1995-2017) Science Fiction. Publisher: A rivalry between the Skolian and Trader empires escalates into all-out war that threatens to bring every Skolian citizen into slavery or result in the destruction of both sides.

Catherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby DiceCatherine Asaro Skolian Empire science fiction book review 1. Primary Inversion 2. Catch the Lightning 3. The Radiant Seas 4. The Last Hawk 5. Ascendant Sun 6. The Quantum Rose 7. Spherical Harmonic 8. The Moon's Shadow 9. Skyfall 10. Schism 11. The Final Key 12. The Ruby Dicefantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsAurora in Four Voicesfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Bronze Skies (Skolian Empire Series Book 8) Kindle Edition by Catherine Asaro  (Author)

Primary Inversion: I should have loved this

Readers’ average rating:

Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro

Dr. Catherine Asaro’s award-winning SKOLIAN EMPIRE series has long been on my TBR list because of its unusual blend of space opera, romance, quantum physics, relativity, genetic engineering, biomechanics, and computer science — all written by a Harvard-educated female physicist. That sounds like something I’d devour.

The saga is about the Skolian Empire and their long-time enemies, the Eubian (Trader) Empire. They are distant spacefaring civilizations that must have been seeded by humans from Earth many millennia ago, though we don’t yet know how that happened. The Skolian Empire used to be run by a monarchy called The Ruby Dynasty that has the psionic powers of empathy and telepathy. At this point the monarchy is mainly a figurehead while politicians run the empire, but the descendants of the Ruby Dynasty are still needed bec... Read More

Catch the Lightning: Romantic space opera

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Catch the Lightning by Catherine Asaro

If we’re talking about publication order, Catch the Lightning is the second book in Catherine Asaro’s SKOLIAN EMPIRE series. It stands between Primary Inversion and that book’s direct sequel, The Radiant Seas. If you’re coming from reading Primary Inversion, I suggest you skip this one for now and read The Radiant Seas first... Actually, it’s not a bad idea to skip this one altogether...

Catch the Lightning is about a gorgeous teenager named Tina who lives in an alternate Los Angeles where the Mayan civilization didn’t die out yet. All of Tina’s family members are dead and she works as a waitress in an impoverished crime-ridden community. She wishes she could go to ... Read More

The Radiant Seas: Better than previous books

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The Radiant Seas by Catherine Asaro

The Radiant Seas is the direct sequel to Primary Inversion, Catherine Asaro’s debut novel which introduces her Skolian Empire. Readers should note that the book Catch the Lightning was published between Primary Inversion and The Radiant Seas, its sequel. If you’ve just read Primary Inversion (which you need to read before picking up The Radiant Seas), I advise skipping Catch the Lightning for now (or forever). This review will contain spoilers for Primary Inversion.

The Radiant Seas begins a short time before Read More

The Last Hawk: I didn’t believe in the matriarchy

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The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro

The Last Hawk is the fourth of Catherine Asaro’s SKOLIAN EMPIRE saga, if we’re going in publication order, but it’s the first book about Kelric Valdoria, one of Sauscony Valdoria’s brothers. You don’t have to read the previous three books first (Primary Inversion, Catch the Lightning, The Radiant Seas), but you need to read The Last Hawk before you read Ascendant Sun, its successor.

Kelric, a Jaggernaut with psi powers, crash-lands on the planet Coba and wakes up in one of their medical facilities. Coba, which used to belong to the Ruby Empire, has been forgotten and has managed to stay off the current Skolian Empire’s radar. The planet is a matriarchy with essentially no m... Read More

Ascendant Sun: A weird mix of hard SF and erotica

Readers’ average rating:

Ascendant Sun by Catherine Asaro

This review will contain spoilers for previous books.

I keep working through Catherine Asaro’s SKOLIAN EMPIRE series. I keep expecting to love the next book, but here I am on book five and it’s still not working for me.

Ascendant Sun is a sequel to The Radiant Seas and a direct sequel to The Last Hawk which, frankly, I didn’t like. The Last Hawk was about Kelric, a prince of the Skolian Empire, who crash-landed and was held prisoner for 18 years on a planet with a matriarchal society. I didn’t believe in the society and I didn’t believe in Kelric’s reaction to it. Ascendant Sun, which picks up where Read More

The Quantum Rose: A Nebula? Really?

Readers’ average rating:

The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro

I have really really tried to give Catherine Asaro’s SKOLIAN EMPIRE series a fair chance. As I keep saying in my reviews, this should have been just my thing — space opera written by a female physicist. I should be loving this! Instead, to get straight to the point, so far these books have been mostly insipid insta-love romances with some quantum theory thrown in. As a woman who enjoys hard science fiction, and especially quantum theory, I was disappointed to find that these books do not appeal to me. It’s hard to imagine that they appeal much to romance readers, either, because the romances are so dull. A couple of the books (those featuring Kelric) might better be labeled erotica rather than romance.

The Quantum Rose is the sixth SKOLIAN EMPIRE book (going in publication order), but it... Read More

Undercity: An underground society with real-world social concerns

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Undercity by Catherine Asaro

I’m a sucker for stories that take place underground, so when I saw the cover and title of Catherine Asaro’s new book, Undercity, I knew I had to break my commitment to not start a new series until I’d finished all the other ones first. (For the last seven months I’ve read only books that continue or finish a series I’ve previously started.)

When she was an orphaned child, Major Bhaajan used to live in the dark dirty tunnels under the city of Cries. She was one of the dust rats — the kids who run in packs through the tunnels. They live in poverty, are malnourished, don’t go to school, and have few opportunities. Bhaajan was hard-working and motivated, though. She left the Undercity when she joined the military, and she hoped n... Read More

Misted Cliffs

Misted Cliffs — (2004-2008) The Fire Opal and The Night Bird make up the LOST CONTINENT collection. Publisher: What was the use of being a powerful mage if you couldn’t learn the spells? Once Chime had been the most promising mage in the land, feted and celebrated for her potential and future role in the kingdom. The Iris, he young competitor, made a stunning leap in skill and turned Chime’s world upside down. Now no longer the most powerful, no longer promised to a prince — and still unable to harness her magic properly — Chime was set adrift. As was the new king’s cousin — and former heir — Lord Muller. Yet when the neighboring kingdom threatened war, Muller and Chime were tasked with uncovering the plot. Both were flawed, yet unwilling to accept a lesser destiny than they had once known. Could this quest be the opportunity for redemption — or would it lead them to their deaths?

Misted Cliffs, The Charmed Sphere, The Dawn Star, Catherine AsaroMisted Cliffs, The Charmed Sphere, The Dawn Star, Catherine AsaroMisted Cliffs, The Charmed Sphere, The Dawn Star, Catherine AsaroCatharine Asaro Lost Continent: 1. The Fire Opal 2. The Night BirdCatharine Asaro Lost Continent: 1. The Fire Opal 2. The Night Bird

The Charmed Sphere: Asaro’s SF is much better

Readers’ average rating:

The Charmed Sphere by Catherine Asaro

This is not going to be pretty, but then, neither was the reading experience.

I'm filled with dread right within the second paragraph, when Catherine Asaro for some reason feels the need to inform me that apple yellow is Chime's favorite color. This dread is not soothed as the scene carries on, full of Chime's rather juvenile observations. She sounds more like she's five rather than almost eighteen, and I'm just not happy.

Neither am I pleased with her male opposite, a prince and heir to the throne of the realm, who is named (brace yourself for this one, folks) Muller Startower Heptacorn Dawnfield. Pair that alongside names like Della No-Cozen and Anvil the Forged, and Catherine Asaro is making me miss Janine Cross. But I digress. Here's a snip... Read More

More speculative fiction from Catherine Asaro

Sunrise Alley — (2004-2006) Publisher: She was running from a ruthless criminal accompanied by someone more than human…When the shipwrecked stranger washed up, nearly drowned, on the beach near research scientist Samantha Brytons home, she was unaware that he was something more than human: an experiment conducted by Charon, a notorious criminal and practitioner of illegal robotics and android research. The man said his name was Turner Pascalbut Pascal was dead, killed in a car wreck. Then she found that Charon was experimenting with copying the minds of humans into android brains, implanted in human bodies to escape detection, planning to make his own army of slaves that will follow his orders without question. Samantha and Turner quickly found themselves on the run across the country, pursued by the most ruthless criminal of the twenty-first century. In desperation, Samantha decided to seek help from Sunrise Alley, an underground organization of AIs that had gone rogue. But these cybernetic outlaws were rumored to have their own hidden agenda, not necessarily congruent with humanitys welfare, and Samantha feared that her only hope would prove forlorn…

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fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Veiled Web — (1999) Publisher: Winner of the Homer Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Ballerina Lucia del Mar has two great passions: dance, which consumes most of her waking hours, and the World Wide Web, which brings the outside world into her tightly regimented life. Lucia’s two passions collide when a White House performance and reception leads to an encounter with handsome Moroccan businessman Rashid al-Jazari, creator of a brilliant technology that has set the Internet rumor mill afire. A second, seemingly chance meeting with Rashid will plunge Lucia into a deadly world of desire and intrigue. For although his work has implications she cannot foresee, there are those who do understand and would turn its great power to their own destructive purposes. As she is drawn deeper and deeper into Rashid’s life and work, cut off from the outside world, she finds herself becoming more attracted to him. But is her seclusion within Rashid’s well-guarded Moroccan home intended to ensure her safety… or her silence? And is it already too late to stop the terrible consequences his new technology could unleash?


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Phoenix Code — (2000) Publisher: Deadly awakening. When robotics expert Megan O’Flannery is offered the chance to direct MindSim’s cutting-edge program to develop a self-aware android, it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. But the project is trouble plagued — the third prototype “killed” itself, and the RS-4 is unstable. Megan will descend into MindSim’s underground research lab in the Nevada desert, where she will be the sole human in contact with the RS-4, dubbed Aris. Programmed as part of a top-secret defense project, the awakening Aris quickly proves to be deviously resourceful and basically uncontrollable. When Megan enlists the help of Raj Sundaram, the quirky, internationally renowned robotics genius, the android develops a jealous hostility toward Raj — and a fixation on Megan. But soon she comes to realize that Raj may be an even greater danger — and that her life may depend on the choice she makes between the man she wants to trust and the android she created.


fantasy and science fiction book reviewsThe Spacetime Pool — (2012) Publisher: Three works from Catherine Asaro, author of the Skolian Empire series. Includes Nebula award-winning novella “The Spacetime Pool”, novelette “Light and Shadow”, and an essay: “A Poetry of Angles and Dreams”.

 

 


Thoughtful Thursday: Rename This Horrible Cover

It's been nearly a year since we played "Rename This Horrible Cover." Far too long!

Please help us rename this atrocious-looking science fiction novel by Catherine Asaro. Wow. It's really bad... Well, at least the cover is... We haven't worked up the nerve to actually read the book yet.

The creator of the title we like best wins a book from our stacks. (Sorry, we don't have Diamond Star.)

Got a suggestion for a horrible cover that needs renaming? Please send it to Kat.

We love this game!

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