Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Cat Star Chronicles: Slave by Cheryl Brooks

Jacinth "Jack" Rutland is a space trader who is searching for her sister, stolen away from her seven years ago by an alien race called the Nedwuts, who look like a cross between lions and pigs. She has been tracking her sister since soon after her sister was stolen, and has found out she is on the planet Statzeel, a planet where all women are slaves, chained to the man who owns them and used for sexual pleasures whenever the man wishes.

Jacinth cannot even land on the planet without becoming a slave, so she needs to find a man she can trust to be her "master". In search of just such a man, she has come to the slave markets of Orpheseus, hoping to buy a slave of her own and free him so that he can pretend to be her master long enough to steal her sister away from Statzeel.

In the market, she sees a cat-man and thinks he could possibly be the one, but is confused when she finds herself wanting him for more than a role. His master won't sell the slave to Jacinth early, but insists on waiting for the slave auction. She is irritated, but waits, and at the auction, since no one else bids on the cat-man, wins him for an absurdly low amount of money. The alien she buys him from is irritated, and stalks off as soon as she pays him.

Her new slave doesn't believe her when she says she will free him after the job is done, so she simply gives him his freedom right there and then, along with about ten times what she paid for him, and walks off and leaves him. Later, the slave owner comes back and claims she stole the slave and he wants more money. He refuses to believe that she no longer has the cat-man and tries attacking her. The cat-man shows up and attacks his former master, and she is forced to kill the alien and flee with the cat-man, who she learns is named Carkdackund Tshevnoe, though she calls him "Cat".

She and Cat come to an understanding as she lets him use the shower and deals with his numerous wounds. He reveals that he was a soldier, and that his planet was destroyed as an act of war by the Nedwuts, though he cannot imagine why. Now free and clean, Cat is even more attractive to Jacinth, and he lives up to his nickname by being sensual and licking her as he naps on her bed. Jacinth is immensely attracted to him, and realizes she is already thinking of him as "her" Cat. But since her sister was abducted she hasn't trusted men, as well as for the fact that she loses all control when she beds a man. None of the men she has been with has been worthy of her trust.

Once on Statzeel, Jacinth and Cat set themselves up as traders. Cat finds himself attracting much female interest on the planet, and Jacinth as well, with men being attracted by the fact that she is human, and also for her huge (to them) nose, which they find incredibly arousing, so much so that at a restaurant, men ask permission to rub their members across it, which makes them ejaculate. By the time she leaves, her nose and cheeks are sore, but they also make contact with an alien who knows where Jacinth's sister Ranata is living.

The alien sells the location of Ranata, and also links Jacinth and Cat together, using some kind of secretions from his own body. Jacinth finds this incredibly repulsive, and ends up puking aquamarine slime all over herself. Cat brings her back to the ship and cleans her off, and promises to wait until she feels comfortable taking him as a lover.

The next day, they take off for where Ranata is living, but are attacked by a raiding party of Nedwuts on the way. Cat is able to kill two of them when they decide to attack and take the two prisoner, selling them as slaves, and the rest run away. They take the two Nedwuts' horses for their own and continue on to the village where Ranata is living. Along the way, they become lovers, and Jacinth discovers Cat's secret... that his bodily secretions have the ability to cause endless orgasms in a woman, which delights and amazes her to no end. Her usual inclination to lose all control when she makes love to a man is heightened by this ability, and soon all she wants to do is make love to her Cat, but knowledge of her sister's fate pushes them on.

Ranata and Jacinth have a happy reunion, marred by the fact that Ranata doesn't want to leave. Although she looks like a wreck, Ranata tells Jacinth that she would have wanted to leave before she was purchased by her current owner, Dantonio, but that he rescued her and is looking after her. She is also pregnant with his child and won't leave him. Jacinth is surprised, and wonders why her sister would want to stay on a planet where she is a slave, until Renata and one of the older native women share the secret of Statzeel with Jacinth, which they tell her cannot be shared with any male, native or otherwise.

And then her Cat is kidnapped by more Nedwuts, and she must go find him and rescue him once again, before they can sell the man she loves into slavery once more.

I liked this book, but it is very clearly a first book on the part of the author. The writing style seemed a little raw and unfinished, as though the author wasn't yet comfortable with writing, but the story is enjoyable and still manages to turn a situation the reader thinks he or she understands into one that is wildly different and completely enjoyable. I actually found myself laughing out loud when the truth of Statzeel's society and social structure was revealed, and you probably will, too, as it is so completely unexpected.

I do recommend this book and will want to see further stories from this writer as I am interested in seeing how her personal writing style develops.

No comments: