When I first saw this book, I knew I had to read it. A cat. Scifi. Romance. Jody Wallace. One click.
Sulari Abfall is a one-legged junk picker (with a bionic leg) and a business owner who turns junk into all sorts of containers in her box factory. Everybody needs containers, so Su has created a very successful niche market. To start the story, Su picks a container that happens to have cryosleeping man in it. As soon as she opens the box, a naked Will Tango tumbles out of the box and a talking cat name Pumpkin appears. And so, the adventure begins. The fateful meeting of Will and Su leads to a chase, a romance, a partnership and a family reunion. With a talking cat offering commentary and ‘assistance’ all along.
Pumpkin is really quite remarkable. He can pop in and out of a place at any time. Just when you think you may never see him again, he appears, seemingly out of nowhere. I believe his odd talent may be based on the habits of some non-fictional cats. If you have a cat you might understand. If you have a cat and you read this book, you might understand even better! I do wish the story would have had room to offer more about Pumpkin and his background, even though it was not needed to tell the tale. The story ending does hint that there may be more story to come. Or maybe it ends here. I hope for more Jody Wallace. 🙂
Will Tango is one of the most unusual main characters I have run across in scifi romance. A former dancer and dance instructor turned gambler. He also happens to have a following of dance loving garbage collectors. You think you know somebody and, all of a sudden, they want a dance lesson.
Will is being chased by casino goons (who really want Pumpkin) when he ends up on the Trash Planet. Goons become the bad guys. Garbage collectors, including Su, become the good guys. I’ve never seen that in a scifi romance either.
I like the setting very much. It is perfect for this story. Catalyst takes place on a garbage planet. Yes, trash, refuse, debris, rubbish, junk. If it has been tossed out, it can be found on Trash Planet. On this world, people collect trash from the dumps and find ways to repurpose them. They are organized into unions for policing, protection and regulation. It is a system that seems to work well on a planet with no formal law enforcement.
I also liked the dancer falling for the one-legged garbage collector, the cat learning a lesson, and the box factory. I know box factory sounds a bit humdrum, but read the book. You’ll get it.
Catalyst is a standalone novel in the Obsidian Rim series. This is the first book I have read in the series and did not feel I needed to have read any others, so feel free to jump in with Catalyst if you are a cat loving, scifi romance reader with a wacky sense of humor.
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