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SFF Author: Catherine Asaro

Catharine Asaro fantasy author(1955- )
Catherine Asaro earned a Ph.D. in chemical physics from Harvard University. She is best known for the Saga of the Skolian Empire, her nebula-award winning science fiction epic. She was president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America from 2003-2005. Her fantasy epics listed below are romantic fantasies published by Luna. Learn more about Dr. Asaro’s work at her website.



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Primary Inversion: I should have loved this

Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro

Dr. Catherine Asaro’s award-winning SKOLIAN EMPIRE series has long been on my TBR list because of its unusual blend of space opera, romance, quantum physics, relativity, genetic engineering, biomechanics, and computer science — all written by a Harvard-educated female physicist. That sounds like something I’d devour.

The saga is about the Skolian Empire and their long-time enemies, the Eubian (Trader) Empire. They are distant spacefaring civilizations that must have been seeded by humans from Earth many millennia ago, though we don’t yet know how that happened.


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Catch the Lightning: Romantic space opera

Catch the Lightning by Catherine Asaro

If we’re talking about publication order, Catch the Lightning is the second book in Catherine Asaro’s SKOLIAN EMPIRE series. It stands between Primary Inversion and that book’s direct sequel, The Radiant Seas. If you’re coming from reading Primary Inversion, I suggest you skip this one for now and read The Radiant Seas first… Actually, it’s not a bad idea to skip this one altogether…


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The Radiant Seas: Better than previous books

The Radiant Seas by Catherine Asaro

The Radiant Seas is the direct sequel to Primary Inversion, Catherine Asaro’s debut novel which introduces her Skolian Empire. Readers should note that the book Catch the Lightning was published between Primary Inversion and The Radiant Seas, its sequel. If you’ve just read Primary Inversion (which you need to read before picking up The Radiant Seas),


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The Last Hawk: I didn’t believe in the matriarchy

The Last Hawk by Catherine Asaro

The Last Hawk is the fourth of Catherine Asaro’s SKOLIAN EMPIRE saga, if we’re going in publication order, but it’s the first book about Kelric Valdoria, one of Sauscony Valdoria’s brothers. You don’t have to read the previous three books first (Primary Inversion, Catch the Lightning, The Radiant Seas), but you need to read The Last Hawk before you read Ascendant Sun,


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Ascendant Sun: A weird mix of hard SF and erotica

Ascendant Sun by Catherine Asaro

This review will contain spoilers for previous books.

I keep working through Catherine Asaro’s SKOLIAN EMPIRE series. I keep expecting to love the next book, but here I am on book five and it’s still not working for me.

Ascendant Sun is a sequel to The Radiant Seas and a direct sequel to The Last Hawk which, frankly, I didn’t like. The Last Hawk was about Kelric,


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The Quantum Rose: A Nebula? Really?

The Quantum Rose by Catherine Asaro

I have really really tried to give Catherine Asaro’s SKOLIAN EMPIRE series a fair chance. As I keep saying in my reviews, this should have been just my thing — space opera written by a female physicist. I should be loving this! Instead, to get straight to the point, so far these books have been mostly insipid insta-love romances with some quantum theory thrown in. As a woman who enjoys hard science fiction, and especially quantum theory, I was disappointed to find that these books do not appeal to me.


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The Charmed Sphere: Asaro’s SF is much better

The Charmed Sphere by Catherine Asaro

This is not going to be pretty, but then, neither was the reading experience.

I’m filled with dread right within the second paragraph, when Catherine Asaro for some reason feels the need to inform me that apple yellow is Chime’s favorite color. This dread is not soothed as the scene carries on, full of Chime’s rather juvenile observations. She sounds more like she’s five rather than almost eighteen, and I’m just not happy.

Neither am I pleased with her male opposite, a prince and heir to the throne of the realm,


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Undercity: An underground society with real-world social concerns

Undercity by Catherine Asaro

I’m a sucker for stories that take place underground, so when I saw the cover and title of Catherine Asaro’s new book, Undercity, I knew I had to break my commitment to not start a new series until I’d finished all the other ones first. (For the last seven months I’ve read only books that continue or finish a series I’ve previously started.)

When she was an orphaned child, Major Bhaajan used to live in the dark dirty tunnels under the city of Cries.


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The Bronze Skies: Another adventure in the undercity

The Bronze Skies by Catherine Asaro

The Bronze Skies (2017) is the second book in Catherine Asaro’s MAJOR BHAAJAN series. In the first book, Undercity, we met Bhaajan, a private investigator who recently retired from military service. When she is hired by the royal family to track down a runaway prince, she must descend into the grimy tunnels under the capital city of Cries. This is where the lowest cast of citizens live — in the city’s underbelly — and this is where Bhaajan grew up before escaping into the military.


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Thoughtful Thursday: Rename This Horrible Cover

It’s been nearly a year since we played “Rename This Horrible Cover.” Far too long!

Please help us rename this atrocious-looking science fiction novel by Catherine Asaro. Wow. It’s really bad… Well, at least the cover is… We haven’t worked up the nerve to actually read the book yet.

The creator of the title we like best wins a book from our stacks. (Sorry, we don’t have Diamond Star.)

Got a suggestion for a horrible cover that needs renaming? Please send it to Kat.


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Next SFF Author: Herbert Asbury
Previous SFF Author: Stephen Aryan

We have reviewed 8298 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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