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Finders Seekers: the Ghatti's Tale 1 (Daw science fiction) [Mass Market Paperback]

Gayle Greeno
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Reissue edition (27 Aug 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886775507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886775506
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,163,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Stranded on the world of Methuen for more than two hundred years, a colonizing expedition from Earth depends for their continued survival on the healing powers of the Eumedicos and the Seekers Veritas.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thought I wasn't going to like this book after reading the first chapter, it was confusing and waffly but now I've read further and I can't put it down. It has definitely got a good female perspective and the description are lovely but the action is well written too, very exciting, unusal for women writers in my experience. I can't wait to get hold of the rest in the series!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  43 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder, mystery, & "meow" on a lost colony 4 Jan 2004
By Chrijeff - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having been a cat-lover all my life, I'm always on the lookout for books that feature felines. I'm not sure why I passed up this series (begun in 1993) till just last year, but I'm glad that I finally broke down and bought it. Greeno images a lost Terran colony (probably settled by back-to-the-land pagans, since it has regressed to a pre-technological level in only 200 years and its people worship a goddess they call "the Lady"), where a major lifeform is the ghatti (a single male is a ghatt, a female a ghatta, and an immature of either sex a ghatten)--creatures which, whether through parallel evolution, genetic manipulation, or crossbreeding with Terran cats, look and behave very much like outsized versions of the latter, but are apparently sentient and boast a limited telepathic ability: they can "mindspeak" to each other and to selected humans, and can scan people's thoughts for lies and deception. They're also as loyal and loving as dogs: a ghatti bonds to a single human (it has long been thought that it *can't* bond to a second one, even if it loses the first, but in the course of the book we learn that this isn't true) in kitten- (or rather ghatten-) hood, and thereafter, following a period of training, the two become Seekers Veritas, circuit judges of a kind, one of two professions (the other is the "eumedicos," or doctors) that hold the society of Methuen together. The tabby ghatta Khar'pern (Khar for short) is Bondmate to Doyce, a woman who has already lived almost as many lives as a Terran cat: daughter to a weaver and shadowed sister of a cripple, eumedico-in-training, wife to Varon, stepmother to his son Vesey and mother to his daughter Briony, widow by fire, and unexpectedly, at the age of 27, Seeker. In the decade since the two have ridden their circuit faithfully and Doyce has slowly begun to heal from her loss, taking the Seeker Oriel as an intermittent lover (unaware that another of the male Seekers, Jenret, five years her junior, harbors feelings for her too), only suffering vivid nightmares which Khar shares through their link and tries to ease. Suddenly Oriel and his ghatt are found murdered and mutilated, and Doyce soon discovers that the crimes are part of a pattern: someone is apparently conducting clandestine medical studies of Seekers, their Bonds, and ordinary humans and Terran cats, trying to learn what makes the Bond relationship possible. Accompanied by Jenret and his black ghatt-friend Rawn, the mind-crippled ghatt Saam whose human Bond was one of the victims, and later by her former eumedico mentor Mahafny, the ex-priest Harrap, and the ghatt Parm who bonded with him after his first Seeker began to "change" mentally in frightening ways, Doyce sets out to follow Oriel's old circuit and try to learn what is going on. As the book proceeds, we learn that Doyce is in fact the key to the entire mystery. This is the first volume of (so far) four thick paperbacks, and you'll want to read them all, if only because Greeno leaves us, at the end, with a good old-fashioned cliffhanger.
Though readers may be distracted by mention of typical Terran wild animals (elk, mountain sheep, wolves, bears, foxes, owls, squirrels) in the woods of Methuen, the society of the colonists is well drawn, and of course the central pivot, the Seeker/ghatti relationship, is especially well done. Greeno obviously knows cats and has studied them closely: her ghatti behave just as we might expect a thinking, telepathic cat to behave. Among the most charming scenes is that on p. 244-7, where Parm tries to comfort the confused Harrap, who never expected to Bond with a ghatti: "I would wear a Lady's Medal for you, if you wanted me to," he says; "...I would do anything you wanted of me!"
This series is a perfect choice for the lover of both cats and sf/fantasy (I'll probably be buying a set for my girlfriend, who is both).
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent fantasy -- this is as good as it gets! 20 May 2002
By D. M. Degraf - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've been devouring "fantasy" books at a high rate for 23 years, completed a Bachelor's in Fantasy (English) Lit at UC Berkeley, and I have to say that "Ghatti's Tale" is quite possibly the best one I've encountered. Unlike many other fantasy tales, it has a completely logical, realistic world in which people act of free will, rather than as mere pawns for the plot or the gods. None are unrealistically blinded by lust/love, though they all have close friendships that could evolve into more in another tale. The Ghatti-cats are similarly portrayed as intelligent creatures with distinct feline personalities, rather than as furry humans or dumb beasts. (I've been rescuing cats for 15 years, so I know their mentality quite well. :^)
I have only two complaints. One was that it is ridiculous to assume that "the seeds of evil" in a feline mind are any more inborn than they are in a human -- vicious behavior in animals is almost always the result of abuse. The other was that despite having strong female characters in abundance, Greeno failed to have any that weren't interested in giving up their active life to become mothers. Not every woman is interested in childbirth or parenthood... :^P
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for animal/scifi/fantasy lovers!! 24 Dec 1998
By K. Tucker - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I originally bought this book because of the cat on the cover. (I had just finished reading "Tailchaser's Song", "The Wild Road", and "Book of Night With Moon" and needed another cat-related fantasy book, and quick!) I am SO happy I found this book. I read the trilogy within a matter of weeks and was ecstatic to find "Sunderlies Seeking" on the shelf soon thereafter. I strongly recommend this series to anyone who loves fantasy fiction, especially if they are an animal lover as well. The characters, both human and Ghatti alike are all knowable and memorable. The series is full of suspense, adventure, laughter, sadness and I am sure most readers, like myself, didn't want them to end. Greeno really weaves the reader into the world of Methuen and it is hard to leave. I am anxiously awaiting Book Two of Ghatten's Gambit!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have GOT to get this series!! 4 April 2002
By Blonde Goddess - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I hadn't read epic fantasy for years, and had gotten stuck in a morbid rut of True Crime when I picked up this first book of the series. I was originally drawn by the picture of what appeared to be a cat on the cover, then dove in. Bear in mind, I had lost my 32nd friend to AIDS and nothing was able to let me "escape". I stayed up all night and read. If you love cats, you will love ghattas. They are much larger, bond telepathically to the individual they choose (and nip) as a ghatten, and then that pair becomes a "Seeker Veritas" - literally a circuit-riding judge pair. The fact that the ghattas can read the "litigants'" minds helps the human to make accurate decisions. Gayle Greeno is the finest author on this planet. She paints "word pictures" that literally take you "away". You can see and hear and feel what she wants you to feel. You will find yourself transported to that world, you will be amazed at her ability to weave several "strands" at the same time, you will learn to love the characters, and her command of the English language is like painting a "masterpiece". I used to think H.P. Lovecraft was the most complex and intense author that ever lived - I was wrong. If you buy this first one, you might as well buy the rest of the series at the same time, because "buyer's remorse" will hit you BIG TIME if you don't. Whether you like cats or not, this series is fantastic!!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It sounds twee... but this is great SF/F 12 Jan 2007
By Esther Schindler - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just indulged myself and re-read this entire first trilogy by Gayle Greeno. I loved the books when I read them a decade ago, and I loved them again today.

The premise sounds a little bit like it'll appeal only to 14-year-old girls. Telepathic cats? Give me a break. What's next, horses with eyelashes? (Oh. Right. That one's been done.) But truly, Greeno takes a lightweight sounding concept and does an outstanding job with it. Ghatti, 30-40 pound cats (or rather catlike aliens, but you'll recognize them as cats) can bond with humans and thereafter share their thoughts. Ghatti have a useful and reliable attribute: they can recognize when someone is lying. That makes them awfully useful as part of a judging team, so Bonds travel around the countryside trying cases.

What makes this series work is that Greeno does an excellent job of world building. Humans settled the planet a few hundred years ago, but the scientific devices interacted badly with the native earth; that is, they blew up, and took a lot of colonists with 'em. Some escaped in the remaining starships, but the story starts with the population of the survivors. Who, 187 years ago, were discovered by the ghatti.

The tale telling is excellent, the characterization is believeable, and the ghatti are a marvelous mishmash of "what you KNEW your cat was thinking" and wise observation (with a fondness for smoked fish).

The "aww, telepathic cats" aspect might make you think this is a book series suitable for young adults. It deals with adult subjects, though, so I wouldn't give it to someone under the age of 12, maybe 14.

Instead, keep it to yourself. It's really a wonderful trilogy.
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