Customer Reviews for

A Beautiful Friendship (Star Kingdom Series #1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted October 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This fascinating look at ancestors of Honor Harrington is an enjoyable young adult science fiction thriller

    Xeno-veterinarian Richard Harrington, his botanist wife Marjorie and their twelve years old daughter Stephanie move from planet Meyerdahl to Sphinx. The adults are ecstatic with relocating but their tweener offspring is upset having to leave behind friends and the big city of Hollister to reside in boring rustic Two Forks where harsh winters never end. Stephanie finds herself as an outsider with kids her age as her interests in xeno forests is shared by none of them

    Native to Sphinx are the sentient treecats. They are cautious about revealing themselves to the two-legged outsiders. Thus Climbs Quickly is tasked with observing those residing on the Harrington farm.

    Stephanie is fascinated with someone stealing celery from her mom's greenhouse and those of others. The locals set traps, but she sees how inane their attempts are. Instead she sets her own gizmo to try to capture the thief. She sees a six-legged treecat climbing out a window and takes a picture. Using a glider, she searches and meets Climbs Quickly as a storm threatens both of them followed by a stalking beast.

    This fascinating look at ancestors of Honor Harrington is an enjoyable young adult science fiction thriller that focuses on the first bonding between a treecat and a human. The story line is character driven by the humans and the treecats as two cultures collide not always smoothly. Although background between how well the two species, especially their respective families, cope with the unique bonding is ignored for action, readers will appreciate A Star Kingdom's tale of the beginning of A Beautiful Friendship.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Good start to the Harrington series.

    The front part is an expanded version the the short story.
    It continues with new continuation to the story of the first time the treecats contact with humans.
    I could not put it down.....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Great Book

    Wonderful book. Young readers, teens, adults.... great read.

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  • Posted June 27, 2012

    This is as close to a Robert Heinlein Boys' Life story as this g

    This is as close to a Robert Heinlein Boys' Life story as this generation will get. No PC crud, no "we're all gonna die" gloom. If you've got a preteen girl, get it for her. Read it yourself, too! "I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children's story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children's story. The good ones last" (Of Other Worlds, p. 24)

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  • Posted March 1, 2012

    Recommended for all--especially feline fanciers!

    David Weber is an exceptionally well-known writer among those who read science fiction, most particularly for his military science fiction series featuring Honor Harrington. The series spans Honor’s career in the Royal Manticoran Navy from midshipman to Grand Duchess and Admiral. And wherever Honor went, she was accompanied by her treecat, Nimitz, usually riding on her specially-padded shoulder.

    Honor was born on Sphinx, a planet in the Star Kingdom of Manticore–a world settled by colonists from Earth. Treecats were the native sentient species on Sphinx, six-legged, telepathic, and looking something like domestic cats with very long prehensile tails. Treecats and humans sometimes formed an empathic lifelong bond.

    A Beautiful Friendship is the story of Stephanie Harrington, one of Honor’s ancestors, and the colonist who made first contact with the treecats. This is a coming-of-age story, showing interactions between human and treecat even as Stephanie is growing up and trying to figure out what to do with herself and her future. It’s a colonization story, set on a pioneer planet that still holds many dangers, with people exploring and learning about their new home. And it’s also a classic “first-contact” story, handling the complicated twists and turns that occur when the colonists realize that they share the planet with another sentient species–and that species was there first!

    Most of the story is told from Stephanie’s point of view–this is her story, make no mistake. Occasional scenes and chapters fill in gaps using some of the adults as viewpoint characters where absolutely necessary to the plot. The other main viewpoint character is Lionheart, Stephanie’s treecat, or as he is referred to by his clan, Climbs Quickly. The chapters from his point of view, explaining treecat society and motivations is a real treat. The treecats find “two-legs” very confusing. For those familiar with Carole Nelson Douglas’s Midnight Louie mysteries, these chapters are a similar read to those from Louie’s viewpoint (a Las Vegas private eye with four black paws–see the TICA Trend vol.32, no.6 for a review of Midnight Louie’s latest).

    While Stephanie is an exceptionally bright girl, she is also quick-to-anger, and fiercely protective of those she loves. When she is in trouble, she looks for a logical solution to the problem, and really tries to think outside the box. But sometimes there isn’t an easy or quick solution, and she ended up frustrated, but that made the book a more satisfying read as she worked her way through more complex and layered problems.

    I particularly enjoyed the insight into treecat society and their description of human activities–“Why should they need a nest place so large?” I also enjoyed the brief forays into the economics of colonization, and the concept of aided immigration: paying for your passage to the colony and earning the right to vote sooner versus having the government cover your passage and then paying taxes for several years before you voted in planetary elections.

    While clearly aimed at and marketed as a young adult book, A Beautiful Friendship is suitable for people of all ages, most especially those who have shared a special relationship with a feline at some point in their lives.

    A Beautiful Friendship is based on a short story of the same title, which appeared in the anthologies More Than Honor and Worlds of Weber.

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    Honor Harrington, David Weber, nuf said.

    Have not read book yet but soooooo want to. It's David Weber and Honor Harrington. Nuf said.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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