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on 1 May 2017
Needed to be read cos id read the previous 3 books but I got a bit tired of Zainal always being successful in everything he did and there being no real sense of jeopardy. In the dragon books I enjoyed the minutiae of the world of pern. In the catteni series I enjoy the detail of life on botany but there's too much hopping in ones spaceship and taking a few weeks to get somewhere and the detail is gone. I enjoyed it for sure but felt aspects of the writing rushed.
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on 9 June 2014
I have read this authors over a number of years, pern/tower and hive and have always enjoy them
if the other books in this series are this standard i wiil be satisfied.
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on 5 April 2017
A terrible book. As if written by a poorly paid ghost writer.
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on 9 April 2017
It was fine
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on 8 February 2003
Whe I saw that there was a fourth Botany book available I was dubious - the Eosi had been defeated, Kris and Zainal were happy with their children, Botany had medics, electricity and space shuttles - what more could there be to say!?
Well it turned out that there was plenty to say, and this book continues the tale of the residents of Botany as they continue to build their world - no longer as captives, but as a free planet, realising that they are actually in a better position that Earth itself, which has suffered from the years of Catteni domination and destruction.
This book follows Kris, Zainal and all the characters from the previous books as they return to Barevi to bargain for the goods that Earth desperately needs, that have been looted by the Catteni - goods that are useless to the Catteni, but vital to the revival of Earth.
There's a lot more in this book too, new characters and interesting twists to the existing ones, but I wouldn't want to spoil things for you by telling all the secrets!
I have to admit to being a bit of a McCaffrey fan, and, having read the first three books I was always going to read this one! However, this is a really good continuance of the story, it brings in new themes and situations and is anything but a retelling of what has gone before.
I would heartily recommend this book if you have enjoyed the previous three in the series, if you haven't read any of them yet I would say read them in order - this is definitly a story that builds on what has gone before!
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on 9 May 2002
The Catteni are free of the Eosi at last, but are not keeping their agreement with the Botanists. Zainal and Kris go on another voyage together with their friends to liberate various items stolen from Earth.
This book is definately leading on to another as the story is not resolved. There is still no sign of the Farmers and they will have to be in the next release. It was a good book and you get to know Zainal's sons a lot better. There are a lot of things that happen when they go back to Earth. Definately a good one for fans of the Catteni sequence.
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on 9 November 2002
After reading the reviews already here i was in 2 minds as to buy the book or not, having fallen in love with botany and its characters i didn't want to lose all that. I took the plunge and bought it anyway to see for myself. Although the book is not as gripping as the first 3 it does follow the natural progression of the storyline, obviously after freeing Earth they are going to start pulling back together what has been stolen, if this story had not progressed this way i would have been highly disapointed. I say buy it and make up your own mind its definatly a good read!
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VINE VOICEon 27 April 2003
I really enjoyed the first the three books of the Catteni sequence and was looking forward to this one, but was disappointed.
For much of the book it seemed that I was reading about a completely different set of characters as everyone seemed to have had their personality sucked out. The pioneering ethic was not necessary any longer I suppose, but that spirit had defined the characters for me and I felt they were pretty thin (and unsympathetic) without it. I also found the shift to multiple inner monologues, especially Zainal's, didn't work; a key element of his character is that he is inscructable and unfathomable, because he's an alien!
The involvement of the Diplomatic Corps from the last book seemed completely bizzare; and the apparent complete success of the 'tough love' approach to giving them a bit of discipline was clunkingly unconvincing.
The depiction of Earth was vaugely diverting, but not particularly engaging - the post-apocolpytic thing has been done hundreds of times before, with a lot more success. And I did wonder if the whole book was sponsored by Starbucks and the International Union of Dentists!
But the farcial crown jewels bit really put the tin lid on the whole thing!
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on 17 June 2011
Not actually bad. Just boring, tedious, monotonous, and a complete waste of space. Book 1 was excellent, 2 and 3 were good, 4 was, at best, ok. Finish at book 3 if I were you. This one is like an afterthought, a 200 odd page afterward that really only needed a few paragraphs.
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on 21 January 2011
Now I read and and enjoyed it because AM's writing style is always engaging, but for me this is the weakest of the Freedom books by far. I have read reviews which says it ties up all lose ends - it doesn't. There is obviously a fifth book in the series that never got written.

At the same time, it doesn't quite fit with the final page of the third book, so it is something of an add on. It also lacks the surprises and developments of the earlier series. If you have read the others than it makes sense to find a cheap second hand copy and read it, but don't expect to be excited or to feel it is a masterwork. It isn't.
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