Publisher: Dancing Lemur Press
Pub Date: October 2010
Byron is a talented Cosbolt pilot, and he knows it. During his pilot training on Guaard, he is determined to prove his worth to everyone, including the hard-to-please lead instructor at Guaard, Bassa. Byron is forced to spend more time with the instructor when he discovers he has a special talent that needs developing. On his journey to complete his training and find a post, Byron faces war and loss, and something that scares him even more, friendship.
CassaStar is fast-paced and character driven. Its strength is not its explanations of high-tech gadgetry or world building (though I did enjoy the mental communication and the jumping techniques of the Cosbolts), but in the characters. Byron is withdrawn and cynical, yet somehow he is enjoyable to read about--perhaps because he seems so real. Bassa is older, wiser, and I found him more likeable than Byron at first. His persistence in befriending Byron is the heart of the story.
This is a good book to read if you want an introduction to science fiction. Sometimes, reading science fiction books, I find myself dragged down by the politics and the science jargon, but that wasn't the case here. If there wasn't some exciting Cosbolt flying or other action going on, there was interesting character development happening. Either way, it kept me reading straight to the end.
The only thing I found lacking was a female presence. I am not a huge feminist so I enjoyed it regardless, but I'm just saying, I would totally be a Cosbolt pilot if that was a career option for me! Why weren't there female pilots in this story? Perhaps this will be remedied in the next installment of the series.
This is a story about friendship, relationships, and fighting for what is right, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like science fiction and are drawn into a tale by the realistic characters, I recommend giving CassaStar a read.