on 17 June 2006
For practical purposes, this picks up where STAR KA'AT left off. Jim and Elly Mae were adopted by Tiro and Mer, respectively, and rescued from the threat of atomic war on Earth along with refugee cats (descended from Ka'ats who were stranded on Earth thousands of years ago). These two children show potential for learning the abilities of Ka'ats - Elly Mae in particular has a greater talent for mind-send than humans have shown for hundreds of generations.
After being taken to Zimmorrah, the Ka'at homeworld, in suspended animation, they are processed much like the rest of the newcomers. They're decontaminated, given their own quarters, and sent to school. Here the curriculum is centered around learning to use psychic talent, something even Ka'ats have to be taught, and important facts about dangerous animals and the like on Zimmorrah - for instance, the abandoned city of the Hsi, another intelligent species that once shared the planet. Cause of death - xenophobia, which flared up at the discovery that Ka'ats were an intelligent species. All Ka'at technology was originally derived from Hsi technology (any questions about how Ka'ats manage a spacefaring civilization without hands are covered by this volume).
As it turns out, though, the machines that the Ka'ats now operate by thought will not work for the children. They are dependent on the older Ka'ats even for the food they eat. Then Jim has the idea of running away to explore the old Hsi city...
The children's rash decision to try to enter the old city can be explained (considering that they're only about 10 years old), and they quickly discover that it was *not* a good idea. There are other points that can't be explained away quite so easily, though. The senior Ka'ats explained very carefully to Mer and Tiro in STAR KA'AT that they would be held responsible for the children's actions, so the conclusion of this book seems too painless, even if you accept how easily some really dangerous situations were resolved. Also (nitpicking, now) why did the ship land, let the kids out, *then* call them back inside and move to the landing facility? Why not just go through decontamination in the first place?
All in all, this is an OK sequel to STAR KA'AT (which is the best book in the series to date).