read online CassaStar By Alex J. Cavanaugh –

To Pilot The Fleet S Finest Ship Few Options Remain For Byron A Talented But Stubborn Young Man With A Troubled Past And Rebellious Attitude, His Cockpit Skills Are His Only Hope Slated To Train As A Cosbolt Fighter Pilot, Byron Is Determined To Prove His Worth And Begin A New Life As He Sets Off For The Moon Base Of Guaard Much To Byron S Chagrin The Toughest Instructor In The Fleet Takes Notice Of The Young Pilot Haunted By A Past Tragedy, Bassa Eventually Sees Through Byron S Tough Exterior And Insolence When A Secret Talent Is Revealed During Training, Bassa Feels Compelled To Help Byron Achieve His Full Potential As War Brews On The Edge Of Space, Time Is Running Short Byron Requires A Navigator Of Exceptional Quality To Survive, And Bassa Must Make A Decision That Could Well Decide The Fate Of Both Men Will Their Skills Be Enough As They Embark On A Mission That May Stretch Their Abilities To The Limit

10 thoughts on “CassaStar

  1. says:

    I saw that this book was pretty well reviewed on here so I decided to check it out, since I m always on the lookout for some new sci fi.I read almost exactly halfway through before I decided I didn t want to continue, so bear that in mind when reading this review.If I had to describe the novel in a single word I would go with hollow It felt like reading an outline than a fully flushed out story The characters were one dimensional, boring, and completely unrelatable For instance, Byron, the main character, supposedly had a rough childhood and therefore was introverted and antisocial, while at the same time being some sort of cocky troublemaker But without describing any real instances of Byron s past suffering, it s hard to sympathize with him when he constantly avoids interacting with others Also, the extent of Byron s troublemaker trait seemed to be him thinking about doing something bad but not doing it, or getting silently angry at someone, both of which seemed like completely normal things for anyone to do and hardly worthy of being called troublemaker traits Really for the majority of the time the characters are just mouthpieces for extremely generic, wooden dialogue My biggest qualm with the story was the lack of any real conflict to keep me turning the pages Everything just fell neatly into place without any real suffering or sacrifice on the part of the characters For example, another pilot is particularly antagonistic towards Byron Will he try to sabotage Byron somehow during a mission Will he gather a group of friends to beat Byron up and smash his joystick hand Will he train hard to match Byron in skill and be an interesting rival Nope, he ll hurl a few juvenile insults before failing from the academy a few chapters later, never to be seen again Or, as another example, the trainees are presented some new challenging scenario Will Byron fail this scenario Will he ever be in danger of failing this scenario No, Byron always does everything perfectly and the author never really gives the reader the doubt that it could be otherwise There was also an absurd lack of detail It s fine to leave some things to the reader s imagination, but give me something to work with than the color of a character s hair Characters either looked normal or weathered , and for some reason everyone cocked a single eyebrow a lot, which was about the extent of their facial expressions Maybe it s a Cassan thing The lack of detail extends to than just description, the reader really has no sense of the Cassan universe, Cassan culture, or if there s even a war going on Around the time I stopped reading, which I think was around page 120, was when there was finally a few alien races mentioned, before which I really had no idea of what the pilot trainees were preparing themselves to face The final thing I want to touch on is the fact that the entire cast is male, save for Byron s sister who appears for a few pages at the beginning If it weren t for Byron s sister I would ve assumed Cassans were an exclusively male race, as women are never even mentioned for the rest of the book It s fine to have a story with no love interest, but it just seems unrealistic to exclude females from the story entirely, especially for something like piloting spaceships, which theoretically women would be able to do as well as men If the author at least mentioned that the military was male only I would ve been understanding, but we don t even get that, so we re just left to continually wonder why Byron never comes across a single woman I realize that this review is rather scathing, but I m not under any illusion that my opinion is the correct one It s just an opinion I m sure many people love this book, as evidenced by the multiple positive reviews on this site, but it just wasn t for me I will say, though, that the price tag is obscene.

  2. says:

    I m really glad Alex J Cavanaugh contacted me to review his book, CassaStar.This was a fun tale of friendship and overcoming the odds that I flew through pretty fast With this in mind, it wasn t a perfect book and that s why this review will be divided into The Good and The Bad Very creative I know.The GoodAt first I was really annoyed with the main character, Byron and he, in turn, is annoyed at almost everyone he meets Byron gives off a surly attitude mixed with a cockiness, which quickly becomes understandable to my satisfaction and even relatable as you come to learn about his motives and past.Byron and all characters in CassaStar are from Cassa and Cassans have an innate ability for telepathy Each person can not only read each others thoughts, but their emotions as well Except that Byron has become adept at closing himself off, or putting up his shields, to others.I couldn t help thinking how much this could help our own society if we could only read people s true intentions instead of being quick to get offended all the time, especially when offense is not intended Benefit of the doubt anyone I m not always the best at that Although that s perfectly fine on the internet The story itself is straightforward, which is a nice change of pace, and becomes a pleasant tale of friendship and even poignant towards the latter half of the book I guess I was in a contemplative mood while reading this because I found myself wondering how closed off I am towards people when all they could use is a friend I feel bad that it s not always the case that I reach out a hand to those in need and overcome my own comfort zones.The BadWhile I enjoyed the story, there are a couple gripes I had that I just couldn t get over.The main thing I had a problem with in CassaStar was the motivations for not only Byron, but the whole fleet against the alien race, the Vindicarns Byron becomes a fighter pilot because he has nothing left, but that leaves the story a little stale What does it matter if he doesn t move on to become a pilot in the fleet It didn t seem like was than Byron would be disappointed and have to do something else To engage my emotions, I needed this to be life and death if not xenocide.When the fleet starts fighting the Vindicarns, I again found motivation lacking What had this race done to the Cassans It really wasn t anything than they were attacking their ships and I needed than this Did they blow up your home planet Did they kiss your girlfriend behind your back The last thing was the cookie cutter ending Things just fit nicely into a box and it was perfect for our protagonist to step in Too perfect.When Should You Read CassaStar CassaStar was a fun romp in space with fighting spaceships and aliens It s straight forward and easy to follow, which is a good thing to read when you re, for instance, in law school and all you do is read analyze technical cases.3 out of 5 Stars

  3. says:

    This is a book about friendship set in science fiction world including space battles It contains some unexpected turns and is well done for a debut novel.UPDATE 2011 11 10 Full review including pics and links is available over at Edi s Book Lighthouse.And this is the text only version Today I have the pleasure to present you the review of a science fiction debut novel CassaStaR October 19th,2010 ISBN 13 978 0981621067 by Alex J Cavanaugh Thanks to Dancing Lemur Press for sending me an unproofed review copy The review is based on this review Click here in case you want to read the official blurb.Somewhere and sometime in a future galaxy The planet Cassa is inhabited by the human like Cassans One of them is young Byron who wants to be a Cosbolt two seat fighter pilot Together with his comrade Trindel who is a navigator he takes part in the training in the facility located on the dark moon Guaard Former fighter ship navigator Bassa is the lead instructor on Guaard.An interstellar war is going on and an adequate supply with fully trained Cosbolt crews is mandatory for an successful end of the war.CassaStaR is the story of Byron, Trindel, Bassa and a lot unknown men It is the story of their inner wars and their role in the outer war and how these wars influence their lives.Let me start with some facts It is a debut novel It is a stand alone novel It stands for 242 pages in this case the unproofed review copy 242 pages is quite short compared to the books I read normally Of course the number of pages does not tell anything about the content But it is a limit.I m a member of Goodreads and I m used to add a short impression in the review section for every book I read.And that is what I wrote about CassaStaR This is a book about friendship set in science fiction world including space battles It contains some unexpected turns and is well done for a debut novel Source CassaStaR is definitely a character driven story Therefore you need strong characters Meet the talented young Byron As good as he is with machines as bad is his interaction with other people He acts and appears like someone you would like instantly throw out of the window I took some time to look behind his off putting behaviour And I think it would have been worse without his comrade Trindel who is an talented navigator Don t underestimate the role of Trindel The obvious counterpart to Byron is the experienced navigator and lead instructor Bassa He is a trustworthy officer who still fights with events from his past.The writing style is clear without any ornateness which fits perfectly to the straight forward storytelling The pace varies and is always adapted to the situation.The whole story is told from mainly Bassa s and Byron s PoV and partially from Trindel s PoV Step by step Alex J Cvanaugh unveils the past of Bassa and Byron which has an impact of thei nowadays life Embedded in the daily training the relationship between Byron and Bassa changes First part of the story ends with a for me unexpected event An event which influence the rest of the story a lot One can say without this event the story would have continued in a completely other direction Until the end there are two important events the time between the events is filled at first with simulated battles and later on with real battles which are intervowen with the character development The end of the story delivers a not unexpected conclusion which gives enough room for further development I hope I don t tell you a secret that the author is thinking about a sequel.I found it mentionable that there are nearly no women in CassaStaR Maybe they would have disturbed the relationship between the main characters.As I told before, for me CassaStaR is a story about friendship in a science fiction world And of course we have to talk about the world building I would compare the world building with a stage In a theatre you can see the whole stage but due to illumination not every detail volitional or not It is the same with the world of CassaStaR One could say it is sparse You get a minimum of information like a spotlight in the dark Of course I would have appreciated to get to know information about Cassa, Guaard and other planets, about the spaceships and especially about the enemy an alien race called Vindicarns.Butwhen I look at the real heart of CassaStaR the friendship between two really different people then I must admit it is not absolutely necessary.Butit would have been the cherry on the cake.Conclusion For me CassaStaR is a well executed, character driven, easy to follow debut novel about friendship, I mean real friendship, set in space including battles.I look forward to the next Alex J Cavanaugh story the groundwork is done and now I wait for the cherry.From October 19th 2010 on you can purchase your copy of CassaStaR at .de, .uk, bookdepository, , Barnes Noble, Books a Million, and Powell s The book is also available as an ebook for Kindle, IBookstore, Nook and others.And there is only one thing which is worth to end this post The awesome CassaStaR book trailer

  4. says:

    As usual, let s look at the technicals first This is easily one of the best edited small or independently published books I ve seen In the top 3, for sure I wouldn t know specifically than that without going through those three books and actually counting up the errors, and I m not going to spend the time doing that Although there are a few toward the end than in the beginning, except for one consistent misspelling of a word by substituting in a homophone for it, all of the mistakes were just things that got missed, like as instead of a or things like that There are no consistent punctuation errors at all Without the rather routine editing issues I ve come to expect from independently published works, this became a rather enjoyable read for that alone I d give it an A on technicals.Without getting into the actual plot of the book, I d say it s a fairly routine space romp Think Top Gun meets A New Hope with a dash of Battlestar Galactica thrown in for good measure Of course, Alex does add in his own bits, too, such as the telepathic abilities of the Cassans and possibly other, rare, mental abilities that we don t encounter during this first book well, we do encounter one other, but that would be telling , and those abilities play a role in what unfolds with the plot, so they re not just icing on the cake, so to speak.At any rate, the plot is not very complicated or unpredictable, so, if you re looking for some big twist ending or endless convolutions in your plot, you should look somewhere else Plot wise, you re going to get a fairly straightforward story The only real issue with this is that Alex waits to reveal the conflict, or that there is any conflict, until well after the first third of the book It left me feeling somewhat adrift during Byron s training because it was impossible to tell that anything else was going on other than boot camp.Of course, the plot is not the point of the story Cassastar isn t about an interstellar war, it s about the characters, and Mr Cavanaugh does a very realistic job of drawing his characters and fleshing them out In fact, there is real character growth in the book, which is not something that s all that common in these days of flashy, all out action all the time Byron is not the same character at the end of the book as he starts out being Neither is Bassa The book is about friendship and how iron sharpens iron the plot is only there to facilitate that journey In this respect, the book often reminded me of the relationship between Frodo and Samwise in The Lord of the Rings It s all very British feeling.It s a solid job of story telling Good characters Good action A nice, entertaining read There s enough to it to make it above average, and, coupled with the lack of grammar issues, I d give it a nice, solid B It s not great or earth shattering, but it is good entertainment with some insight into humanity thrown in to make it worth the time.

  5. says:

    I was a little intimidated by this book, mostly because I don t read sci fi Like ever But I d heard many good things about it, even from readers like me who don t know the genre, so I thought I d give it a try, knowing full well that I put down far books than I keep reading I was wary though, made so by a couple other reviews I guess I went in expecting, maybe even looking for those flaws, for lack of a better word But what I found was something completely different from what I expected CassaStar is not purely science fiction I suppose if it had been, I would have put it down I d been warned that it wasn t heavy on world building or technology as so many other books in this genre typically are Well, that s a good thing I just can t get into that sort of stuff I suppose that s due to the woman in me rather than the purist reader I want a story that has heart and soul, and CassaStar has both, in spades.You see, this isn t simply a story about a cocky young star fighter looking to prove his mettle CassaStar is about taking risks and making personal sacrifices it s about insecurity, loneliness and abandonment, about love and companionship, friendship and acceptance And than anything else, CassaStar is about trust I ve had my problems with all these issues, so it kind of felt like the author was writing to me, for me, and about me And although Byron wasn t always the most likeable fellow, I did understand him, where he was coming from, and what he was searching for Even when the scene was neck deep in battle, laser fire, and cunning starship maneuvers, the undertone was always about trust and friendship.I so rarely stick with a book, yet CassaStar immediately pulled me in and kept me there I enjoyed the characters and the voice, the pace and the plot Is it a perfect novel No, but then most books rarely are, especially debut attempts What it is, is a solid story of human companionship and how even the most hardened among us can and will benefit from the love and support of another human being To imply the message and theme of CassaStar is anything other than that is a testament to the reviewers own hang ups and insecurities I believe we could all learn a thing or two from CassaStar.Five big Ninja throwing stars, Mr Cavanaugh Well done

  6. says:

    No Spoilers Part space opera, part adventure, and applicable to both young adult and adult readers, CassaStar is the thrilling debut novel by Alex J Cavanaugh, science fiction writer and blogger.Alex has a simple writing style with good flow I found myself quickly caught up in his prose CassaStar is written in multiple PoV, limited to the two main characters of Byron and Bassa Byron is an arrogant, insecure fighter pilot trainee, and Bassa is an experienced instructor with a stern disposition I loved Bassa, and found Byron off putting at first though he does redeem himself Particularly impressive was Alex s use of the telepathic abilities of Cassans in multiple point of view At times it was omniscient, but very well done.The world building in CassaStar is sparse, but intriguing, giving the reader a sense of the setting without inundating us with details The pages turn quickly and I never found myself growing bored CassaStar showcases character development in a science fiction atmosphere It has many exciting moments of space combat, lasers, and explosions, but the core of CassaStar is the progression of Byron and Bassa How they change and grow.This is one of the best science fiction debuts I have read in a long time My largest complaint was a lack of female characters Byron s sister makes an appearance, but it s short and lacks any reader empathy What do these Cassan women do Outside of that, CassaStar was a wonderful read that I would recommend to anyone interested in character driven science fiction If you re a big softy like me, you may cry a bit, so you ve been warned CassaStar sucked me in and held me rapt I cannot wait to read Alex s next novel and watch his craft steadily improve 4 Stars

  7. says:

    Alex J Cavanaugh s CASSASTAR is a moving portrayal of sacrifice and friendship set in outer space.Bassa, a senior officer on Guaard, waited for a chance to train a pilot like Byron, an arrogant but highly skilled pilot from the planet Cassa While Bassa keeps an eye on Byron s safety, Byron does everything he can to prove he s the best damn pilot in the fleet With war on the horizon, both men know they have to do their best But when Byron s secret leads Bassa and him to a new ship, they must find a way to work together before all of Cassa falls to the enemy.CASSASTAR starts with a surprising prologue that drew me in Bassa and Byron s characters hooked me The struggles within their quest for friendship were touching This novel isn t all about spaceships and fighting, but the relationships around us from colleagues to enemies to friends The glimpses of the world building kept up the fast paced read without bogging the reader down with too much description The writing style isn t perfect and uses too much repetition, but the story won me over I often forgot I was reading as I was flipping through the pages to see what happened next Cavanaugh truly excelled in creating an intense and well paced novel.CASSSTAR by Alex J Cavanaugh engaged me as a reader with a spectacular storyline featuring friendship at its core I look forward to reading the next in the series CASSAFIRE.

  8. says:

    I don t read much science fiction I read memoir, romance, commercial women s fiction, mystery, thrillers, suspense, the list could go on, but, well, not much sci fi Not my thing, whatever a thing is But I really liked CassaStar.Cavanaugh creates a fully developed world with believable characters You take our world and plop it down in the midst of a war where fighter pilots and their navigators go up against the baddest Star Trek soldiers and you got CassaStar But it s not all fighting Bryon, the main character, is dealing with the loss of his former navigator and not particularly happy about having to work with someone new at a new station But war is war and he s one of the best pilots and one of only a very few Cosbolt pilots who can teleport.Of course, CassaStar is not all war and fighting There are down times where we get to see the world outside of the war And there, too, Cavanaugh creates believable, although other worldly, scenes.I give CassaStar by Alex J Cavanaugh a rating of Hel of a Story

  9. says:

    I liked this story, the characters, the world, the technology, the ships pretty much everything At some points, I felt the motivation behind Byron s and Cassa s actions was not shown adequately, or was not really adequate However, it is possible that a longer story would have been able to show the motivation better.My main issue with this book was that, at the beginning at least, the writing seemed stilted A few times I felt the author explained instead of illustrated Byron s feelings, his arrogance, his uncertainty, his wildness, his simultaneous control and lack of control of his mind and emotions, would have benefited from less exposition.For example, this paragraph, and others similar to it bothered me Holding his breath, Byron flew at Vitar s ship He sensed Trindel s rising concern of a close encounter Byron assured his navigator of their success, though I noticed less of this as the story became action oriented Also, I have the utmost respect for anyone who completes writing a book.

  10. says:

    My Thoughts It wasn t what I expected Not that it was bad In fact, I loved it.Here s what I expected Dune Here s what I got Star Wars And I love Star Wars I haven t read Dune so maybe it s Dune like as well.Why do I like Star Wars Not for the Klingonsoh wait, I mean Wookies, but because of the relationships I wanted Luke Skywalker to get his training from funny speaking Yoda I wanted Leah and Hans Solo to get together Kiss Kiss Kiss And, I think those little Ewoks are so cute Well, CassaStar provided what I liked best in my Sci fi reading relationships It didn t describe a lot of different planets or aliens but Byron the main character got his training And Byron formed one of the best relationships ever true friendship Maybe next time Alex can put in a few Ewoks and maybe a funny talking Yoda or two Powerful writer you have become, Alex The famous author I sense in you Yoda