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Catch the Lightning (Saga of the Skolian Empire #2)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,276 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
In the distant future, the Skolian empire rules one third of the human galaxy, and is the most powerful of all. For the ruling family has the power of telepathy, and through it, the ability to communicate faster than light across the interstellar space. but their most determined enemy, the traders, who thrive on human pain, need to interbreed with a Skolian to gain their p ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 15th 1997 by Tor Science Fiction (first published 1996)
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Jun 09, 2014 Richard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, scifi-epic
This is a simple review of a flawed book in a very, very ambitious series.

First, I noticed what others have as well — the first half of the book is much more engaging than the remainder. This appears to be related to the vast scope of the series.

The first book is set in a world far away from our Earth, and involves species that bear a strong resemblance to humans, but are quite distinct, with very different histories leading back to a long-disappeared ancient race.

The second book starts off, qui
Deb F
Dec 18, 2012 Deb F rated it it was ok
I was disappointed.
I read this (as an audiobook) after listening to 'Primary Inversion' and 'The Radiant Seas'. This is quite different.

For starters, the main character is a 17 year old empathic waitress on Earth in 1987, but in a different VERSION of Earth, one where the time streams may have been different, so it's behind by about 400 years. The reason for that delay was never properly explained.

The heroine, Tina, is living on her own in LA and has Mayan ancestry. That gave the opportunity to
Dec 26, 2010 Kelly rated it liked it
Having enjoyed the first volume of the Skolian Saga I started this book with high expectations. They were met - in part.

The beginning of this book is wonderful and the story of Tina and her friends helping Althor escape Earth is exciting. Where the novel failed for me was in the depth of mathmatical and scientific detail. Catheraine Asaro is no doubt brilliant and her excitement for her subject leaps from the page, but I would have been happy with less. I grasped her theories well enough to 'bel
Bark's Book Nonsense
Jan 11, 2010 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in Catherine Asaro's Skolian Empire Saga and is also another not-to-be missed read for hard-core scifi fans and romance readers looking for a well-written futuristic love story.

Ms. Asaro has created another extraordinary heroine and hero while maintaining a non-stop action filled read. I now know why these books appeal to so many different types of readers - there's adventure, romance, political intrigue and interesting future societies and theories that boggle the mind.
Oct 26, 2008 Skip rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Part of me wants to say I liked this a lot more than 3 stars, but parts of this book really annoyed the crap out of me.

Asaro brings the awesome-sciencey fun like she always does with the physics and explanations of physics terms and ideas that I am not terribly knowledgeable in. Her ability to bring complex physics theories and ideas into her books are why I like this series so much.

She didn't have as much political intrigue in this book, which is something else I really enjoy about the Skolian
Oct 28, 2010 Joy rated it really liked it
I rarely like the short summaries of the Skolian Empire books. I always enjoy the stories. What makes me like them so much is the characters. In CATCH THE LIGHTNING, a young Earth woman is plucked from her 1987 life of poverty by a Skolian prince. Her Mayan genetic heritage creates an attraction between Tina and Althor that they cannot deny. It also offers hope for the dying, inbred Skolian family, if Althor, Tina and their Jag ship can escape their many enemies and get home.

Michael Hirsch
Nov 11, 2014 Michael Hirsch rated it really liked it
I liked this book, as I think I've liked everything I've ever read by Asaro. As with most of her books, it is a mix of space opera and romance, but doesn't go overboard with the romance.

What I particularly enjoyed in this book was the dedication. It was dedicated to two teachers from my high school, one of whom (David Dansky) also had a big influence on my life. It was nice to see him recognized.
Oct 23, 2009 Jedishampoo rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2017 Mike rated it it was ok
Catch The Lightening is a book in two parts. The first part is set on Earth in an alternate 1980s. This I found rather boring and not my type of book. The second and, in my opinion, the better part (but not by a lot) was set off Earth.

Really not for me.
Jun 01, 2017 Josephine rated it liked it
Not as exciting as the first book
I enjoyed the first half of this book while the action was on Earth. Once they got into space it became pretty boring and I gave up with about 100 pages left.
Oct 08, 2016 Jillian rated it it was ok
Shelves: meh, 2016, science-fiction
That got a bit... 50 Shades of Spaceship for me.
Jan 12, 2009 April rated it really liked it
Catch the Lightning, one of the older novels of the Skolian Empire saga, is Catherine Asaro in her true form. Slight spoilers ahead, but only if you haven't read any of the other Skolian novels.

First off let me say I am a huge fan of this series. It's hard sci fi for non-hard sci fi readers. She makes the physics and the genetics relatively easy to understand while weaving a story that is able to touch people emotionally. Since Asaro has worked on the last three novels, she seems to have been mo
John Loyd
Apr 07, 2015 John Loyd rated it it was amazing
Catch the Lightning (1995) 309 pages by Catherine Asaro.

In the Skolian universe some starfaring race took people from Earth several thousand years ago and settled them on Raylicon. The colonists discovered spaceflight and settled several planets before their genetics/inbreeding caused a fall back into a non technological age. Civilization made a comeback. Genetic experimentation cause the rise of the Aristos, splitting that into Skolian and Trader space. Meanwhile Earth discovered space travel a
Oct 25, 2011 Niall519 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A stellar (pun intended, of course) addition to Asaro's Skolian Empire series. Why have I not read these before? Anyway, on to the fourth in the series!

In a distant future, two races dominate the universe: The Skolians, and the Traders. The Traders had been genetically engineered generations ago to make empathy an easier curse to bear. Unfortunately, the experiment went horribly wrong and now the ruling class, called Aristos, are sadists. They are in perpetual conflict with the Skolians, a race
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
I thought I was strong but apparently not strong enough to complete this book. I want to be clear here. This book is not poorly written. My dislike is based on personal preference.
I decided to read this series because I am interested in SciFi written by women and with women as the protagonist. Asaro more than delivers in that regard. Asaro is an intelligent woman. I totally admire that. Totally.
This book has all of the elements I like, space travel , political intrigue, colonisation, tech. Asar
Dec 26, 2011 Ann rated it liked it
I "read" this one as an Overdrive audiobook checked out from my local library.

Asaro writes both fantasy and science fiction with strong romance elements. She's probably best known for her Skolian Empire books, an extensive series set in an interstellar empire that is beset by a power struggle between members of the Ruby Dynasty (the empathic and telepathic traditional rulers of the Skolian Empire) and the Eubian Traders (the sadistic anti-empaths).

Not all the books in the series focus on the sam
Jan 30, 2011 Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I decided to go ahead and give the second book in this series a try, and I would say, overall, it is better than the first...maybe 3.5 stars...although the series hasn't won me over yet.

This was an easier book to get into, probably because it was told from the POV of a waitress from 1987 who meets future pilot Althor when he accidentally finds himself in her time. As a result, information and explanations came far more gradually and naturally than in the first book. I also found the overall sto
Catch the Lightning is the second Skolian Empire book written by Catherine Asaro, but not the second chronologically. I listened to this by audio book, which is probably a good thing as there was a lot of technical talk in the book which I would have skipped over when reading. I am amazed at just how complex this world is, and can now understand why Asaro wrote the books with her background. Her more recent books have been less about techo-babble and more simply about political intrigue, so thes ...more
Apr 03, 2012 Cat rated it really liked it
Catch the Lightning is probably the most mis-placed book in the Skolian series, since it happens so much later than book 1 and later than the next several books. The shift from Soz to 'Tina and Althor was jarring, and I kept looking around for a way to remember which timeline I was in and which characters were related to whom.

And that's just unfair to this book, which is sweet all on its own. I re-read it twice in a row (because I was still waiting for my roomies to finish reading and returning
Jun 13, 2007 Meg rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction-sff
SF-romance, part of a large 'Saga' in which every possible member of the family is eventually paired off.

Way too much "I didn't know it at the time, but" and "I was later to discover", as well as an awful lot of science-y exposition. Most frustrating for me is that she sets up an essentially matriarchal culture, and then re-invents the status quo for the main characters.

Good points: if you like the science-y stuff, I understand the author actually does know what she's talking about; it's more
Apr 13, 2011 Penny rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2010 Bruce rated it really liked it
Tina Pulivok, a seventeen-year-old chicana of Maya Indian ancestry, meets the love of her life on a street corner in Los Angeles in 1987. He’s tall, dark, handsome, and projects a sense warmth and affection. He thinks she’s beautiful. He’s just out of this world. He does speak with a very strange accent, whether he’s speaking Spanish or English. And when she asks him, he claims to have been on his way to a diplomatic reception in Washington, when he got lost. And why would he be going to a recep ...more
Mary Mcqueen
May 07, 2011 Mary Mcqueen rated it it was amazing
Wow, great hard sci-fi AND romance. I can see young adults relating to the main character in this book. She seems just a young Latina woman (Tina) at the beginning of the book, but evolves into more as the story progresses. Drawn to a strange-looking man as she heads home from work, we see her good character come through as she wonders who he is. He has a strange box - what is it? Gang elements threaten her and he saves her. They begin a relationship eventually and his story is amazing.
Asaro ha
Fantasy Literature
Oct 18, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it it was ok
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...

Catch the Lightning is about a gorgeous teenager named Tina who lives in an alternate Los Angeles where the Ma
Aug 19, 2008 Juliana rated it it was ok
Shelves: sff, spaceopera, hard-sf, poc
Better than the first book in this series, though it still suffers from occasional bouts of tl;dr explanation. It takes a real gift to make that kind of detail in hard SF interesting to me-- the only author who's managed to do it is Scott Westerfeld in the Risen Empire books. Asaro's science is intriguing, but her explanations feel a bit clunky to me. Your mileage may vary, of course. In any case, the characterization in this book seemed improved, and the Mayan cultural elements she brought in ...more
Jan 17, 2011 Debby rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Read for Sci Fi genre study.

Asaro has a doctorate in chemical physics from Harvard and this is evident in her books. 17 year old Tina, a Mayan, in living alone in 1987 LA when Althor appears in her life. Althor is a JAG spaceship commander and has somehow ended up in LA instead of a futuristic D.C. The two establish a strangely intimate relationship in a very short time and it gets more complicated and scientific from there. For non-science geeks, there's a good story inbetween the technical spe
Dec 21, 2011 Shara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-longer-own
So I was pretty happy with this book. Sure, it’s more of a rags-to-riches story in a science fictional setting, but I am a sucker for that kind of thing. I still like Primary Inversion the best (I still think it's the strongest book), but if you haven’t read any of these novels, you could easily start with Catch the Lightning just as much as you could start with Primary Inversion. I still think I’m going to tackle the rest of these chronologically for my own peace of mind, though. :)[return][ret ...more
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The author of more than twenty-five books, Catherine Asaro is acclaimed for her Ruby Dynasty series, which combines adventure, science, romance and fast-paced action. Her novel The Quantum Rose won the Nebula® Award, as did her novella “The Spacetime Pool.” Among her many other distinctions, she is a multiple winner of the AnLab from Analog magazine
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Other Books in the Series

Saga of the Skolian Empire (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Primary Inversion (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #1)
  • The Last Hawk (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #3)
  • The Radiant Seas (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #4)
  • Ascendant Sun (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #5)
  • The Quantum Rose (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #6)
  • Spherical Harmonic (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #7)
  • The Moon's Shadow (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #8)
  • Skyfall (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #9)
  • Schism (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #10; The Triad, #1)
  • The Final Key (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #11; The Triad, #2)

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