Catch the Excitement
I've been imagining stories my entire life, for as long as I can remember. The stories matured as I grew older, layering on depth and complexity, until I had a large universe with many worlds, many generations of a starfaring dynasty, a history encompassing millennia, and Byzantine intrigues. The main focus of the Skolian Saga books is the Ruby Dynasty. Each family member has several stories., and most of them are stand-alone, including Catch the Lightning. The books have been called space adventure, hard science fiction, and romantic space epics.
Tor publishes the Skolian Empire books.
Catch the Lightning won the 1997 Sapphire Award and also the on-line UTC Award for best science fiction novel of 1997.
The time frame for Catch the Lightning is about seventy years after Primary Inversion. It isn't necessary to read Primary Inversion first however, or any of the other novels. The story of Primary Inversion continues in The Radiant Seas, and the tale of The Last Hawk continues in Ascendant Sun.
Nancy Kress, Nebula and Hugo award winner: "Catch the Lightning is space adventure for the twenty-first century. It has all the romantic excitement we loved as kids, made sophisticated with Asaro's fascinating knowledge of cutting-edge science. This book crackles with ideas."
William Barton, nominee for the Nebula, Hugo, and Philip K. Dick Awards: "Catch the Lightning combines hard-science speculation with striking, hard-edged characterization in a way that is seldom attempted, much less achieved, by genre writers."
Joe Mayhew, Absolute Magnitude Magazine: "Catherine Asaro keeps the wonders tumbling along at the level of sheer delight. She draws her readers into strange intimacies with hard sciences from speculative physics to developmental biology, while inserting genuinely feminine romance, color, and detail. Asaro writes from a womanÕs point of view, but in a way which will surely capture rugged action adventure lovers. "
Melinda Helfer, Romantic Times, December 1996: "The spectacular talent of Catherine Asaro blazes even more brilliantly in her new book, CATCH THE LIGHTNING (4 1/2). ... Ms. Asaro's Skolian Empire is a truly masterful accomplishment of world-building, an example of consummate craftsmanship and an impeccable feel for the technical and social possibilities that lie ahead of us. Hard science fiction fans can rejoice--the next superstar is here--while fans of great storytelling can rejoice in one of the best books of the year."
Gary K. Wolfe, Locus, December 1996: "Asaro's narrative begins with a compelling opening line: 'I last saw earth in 1987, when I was seventeen.' The narrator, Tina Pulivok, is an immigrant of Mayan descent living in the Hispanic community of Los Angeles in a curiously altered 1987 (instead of the U.S.A., for example, her country is called the 'Federated States of America'; we later realize this is a tale of alternate universes rather than time travel). She meets a golden-skinned stranger named Althor who claims to be a space pilot, and with whom she immediately feels a mysterious kinship--especially after he rescues her from a neighborhood thug. Asaro gets credit for launching unapologetically into the development of this unlikely relationship, and the growing romance between Tina and Althor--who turn out to share both ancestry and empathic psychic powers--is what gives the first half of this book its considerable charm (Althor's idea of romantic swooning consists of lines like 'Your influence has migrated to all of my processors.'). ... Asaro takes us along for the ride."
James Schellenberg, Challenging Destiny Reviews: "You'll have to read this book for yourself to find out why the blurb on the inside of the front cover is so funny. It says: "A young girl from Earth falls in love with a handsome stranger -- and becomes a pawn in an interstellar war." That's like saying Gone With the Wind is just another "boy meets girl, boy loses girl" story or 2001 is about an unbalanced computer. In Catch the Lightning, there is indeed a handsome stranger, and there is in fact an interstellar war going on, but Asaro uses these elements to soar far beyond such a reductionist description. This book is highly recommended, and will bring you a few solid hours of delight if you've had a rough day. ... Creating a book that is so highly readable is not as easy as it sounds, by any means. I'm looking forward to following along wherever Asaro goes next. "
Larry Woods, Bookpage, January 1997, "Space adventure in the twenty-first century is a noble although hazardous enterprise in Catch the Lightning, the second hard science/science fiction novel by physicist Catherine Asaro.... this is a universe of intriguing characters. Avoiding the usual problems common to many hard science fiction novels, author Asaro succeeds in developing the reader's empathy for her characters and their future."