Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Edi's Spotlight: CassaFirE by Alex J. Cavanaugh


Is there any better day/night to post a review of a book which delivers an essential turning point in the life of a person?
It ... oh dear! I'm sorry. that should be part of the cherry on the cake. I love cake but that is a completely different story. The cherry. I wanted to talk about the relation between a cherry and a book I reviewed on October 17th, 2010. I wrote in my review:
"Conclusion: For me CassaStaR* is a well executed, character driven, easy to follow debut novel about friendship, I mean real friendship, set in space including battles. I look forward to the next Alex J. Cavanaugh story - the groundwork is done and now I wait for the cherry ...."
(*= CassaStaR (October 19th,2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0981621067] by Alex J. Cavanaugh)

CHERRY is the catchword
Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh and Dancing Lemur Press for sending me an unproofed review copy of the possibly cherry CassaFirE (February 28th, 2012, pb, 240 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0982713945].

At the end of this early review you will know what to expect:
Cherry - Farrago - Lemon

I think it should be obvious by now that this is not a review which follows my standards. I think CassaFirE deserves something different which is in terms of the main protagonist Byron.

The Book
CassaFirE (February 28th, 2012, pb, 240 p.)
[ISBN-13: 978-0982713945]
Alex J. Cavanaugh

All of you, who would like to read the extensive, three parted description (the past - the setting - characters) please follow THIS LINK.

In case you are the more audio/visual type then spend a minute to watch the CassaFirE trailer.

I think all has been said with the conclusion I wrote for CassaStaR.
But that does not mean I expected a celestial novel. I want to see character development and a new part of the Cassa universe
If you do not know CassaStaR - it would be a great Christmas gift - let me tell you, that CassaStaR and CassaFirE have much more in common with Star Trek than with Starship Troopers.

This is a book of inner and outer journeys, of inner and outer adventures, mysteries and revelations. It is also a book of friendship, relationship and equality. And last but not least it could be easily part of Byron's biography because All is connected and related to Byron, the Cosbolt fighter hero of the Vindicarn war twenty years ago.

I admit that sounds a bit sophisticated. But Alex J. Cavanaugh delivers a lot which you may not discover at first sight.

It is amazing to follow the mirroring themes inside of Byron and the world around him. Let me give you an example. Any progress with the decipher of the alien language goes along with the revelation of an inner thought of Byron. And Alex J. Cavanaugh does it in a light footed manner.
You do not march through the book. You follow Byron and the other characters like a swallow which is the merit of the author's writing style.

The plot looks simple. Alien ruins on a distant planet inhabited by another civilization. An exploration vessel full of scientists who are keen to unlock every secret. But there are pirates and aliens and there are characters with their own agenda. Alex J. Cavanaugh combines these elements to a story with meaning and depth.

CassaFirE is a character story which mirrors in the outer events. Of course it is possible to read CassaFirE without knowing CassaStaR. BUT you will miss an important part of Byron's development.
There are no doubts that is a character driven book. Byron, Athee and Mevine are like a magic triangle. For most part of the book I was not really sure in which way the relationship between these three characters would develop. It was like the author was twinkling behind the words.
It is absolutely necessary to mention that women play an important part. CassaStaR showed a world without women. with the introduction of the talented Athee, a Tgren woman Alex J. Cavanaugh did somehing very clever. Because Athee is not only a member of another civilization. She is at the same time a mystery like the alien ruins detected on the planet and to top that she tend to be a thorn in the flesh of Cassan society. Athee is young, emotional, intelligent, thirsty for knowledge and on several levels a challenge for Byron.
Of course there are more characters either on the planet of Tgren and on board the exploration vessel Rennather. But to tell more about them would give away too much of the story.

For me CassaFirE is definitely the cherry I expected. Great characters who are far beyond to be over the top. A main character who develop in depth. The great idea with mirroring themes. the well dosed mixed of action and dialogue. Science which does not overstrain the reader. Mysterious aliens who deny to reveal their identity. A book in best Star Trek tradition.

CassaStaR is the cake. CassaFirE is the cherry. And CassaXxxX will be the cream on the cherry.
There is no way out for you Alex J. Cavanaugh. An author who pampers his readers with excellent books is doomed to write one more. The end of CassaFirE is a clear end. It is that clear that it screams for a third Cassa novel. I'm sure Athee and Mevine will agree.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, I want to read the book you just reviewed!!!
Edi... whoa. I am just so touched and honored by this review. I'd so worried CassaFire would be a sophomore effort at best. Thank you for seeing the story I wanted to convey.
Not getting out of a sequel, huh? Well, I am plotting another one right now. Perhaps it will be the CassaStorm to end all storms...

Jemi Fraser said...

I was excited about CassaFire before! Now I just can't wait!!! Awesome review! :)

welcome to my world of poetry said...

It's a wonderful book , I bought it and read it although it isn't really my taste in books. I really enjoyed reading it and I know his next book CassaFire will be equally as good.


RaveAir said...

I think I'm won't be the lucky one who wins Alex contest then I'll have to buy CassaStar first and then the CassaFire. ;)

ediFanoB said...

I just tried to write a honest and fair review. So CassaFirE got what it deserved.

your comment means a lot to me. Thank you.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who would like to read a third and final Cassa book.

Anyway I liked to read that you work on another story. I know plotting sounds like an early stadium.

Butfor the next months CassaFire will be the star.

I hope it will be a big success.

ediFanoB said...

@Jemi Fraser,

glad you liked my review. Hope you will have as much pleasure as I had when you will read CassaFirE.

ediFanoB said...


we can't love all books. I hope I could express in my review that CassaFirE is more than hardcore science fiction.

Thanks for stopping by.

ediFanoB said...


good luck for the contest. I think there will be more opportunities to win during the blog tour.

CassaStaR is available in the Amazon Kindle store. offers the electronic copy for 2,99 EUR

RaveAir said...


Oh, it's just $2,99 at the But I can wait some weeks.

Angela M. said...

I was lucky enough to review an ARC of CassaStar before it came out. Alex is fantastic at building his characters. Byron is someone you definitely want to read more about, and I'm excited CassaFire will be available soon. Thank you for such a detailed review.

PS-I highly recommend everyone read CassaStar while awaiting the sequel!

ediFanoB said...

@Angela M.

thank you for your kind words.

I fully agree with you. Let's hope a lot of people will enjoy CassaStaR and CassaFire.

ediFanoB said...


that means is cheaper than

Nic said...

nice review Edi. Think I have to put this series on my wish & buy list.

Btw "Merry Christmas".

Have Fun


ediFanoB said...

Thank you Nic.

Wish you and your dear and near ones a Merry Christmas.

Laura Eno said...

Great review, Edi! I loved CassaStar and can't wait for CassaFire to come out.

Alex - CassaStorm, huh? :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Angela.

Nic, thank you!

Laura, it's a possibility...

Mary Aalgaard, Play off the Page said...

Awesome review. One of my sons read CassaStar, got it for Christmas last year, and he wants to read the next installment!

GigglesandGuns said...

Excellent review. You certainly nailed it.


ediFanoB said...

@Laura Eno,

I'm sure you will like CassaFirE.
Thanks for stopping by.

ediFanoB said...

@Mary Aalgard,

great to read that your son like CassaStaR. I'm sure he will like CassaFirE too.

Thank you for the kind words.

ediFanoB said...


thank you. You know about the importance of feedback. Your comment showed me that my review is a good one.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm excited for CassaFirE. I got CassaStaR for my hubby for Christmas and we've been reading it together. Alex is awesome.

Kimberly said...

Fantastic review. I bought CassaStar but I haven't read it yet. I need to get to it so I can read CassaFire after this review!

ediFanoB said...

@Donna K. Weaver,

I do not read often that a couple read the same books. My wife enjoyed together the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.

I'm sure you will like CassaFirE a lot.
And I agree with you 100% that Alex is awesome.

ediFanoB said...


thank you for your kind words. Like me you now have a new follower.

I hope you will find time to enjoy CassaStaR and CassaFirE.

Arlee Bird said...

Nice review! You covered it all well. I'll have my own review up week after next.

Wrote By Rote

~Sia McKye~ said...

Edi, I like your analysis of this book. I agree, more Star Trek than Star Troopers.

I'm looking forward to reading CassaFire.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks again, Edi!

ediFanoB said...


thank you. I look forward to read your review.

ediFanoB said...

@Sia McKye,

I hope you will enjoy CassaFirE as much as I did.

ediFanoB said...

Hey Alex,

you're always welcome.
I like to read how many people liked my review and I hope they all will read CassaFirE and spread word about it.

Ella said...

I can't wait, sounds all I want and more~ ;D
Great review, leaving us with a mysterious sequel! Congrats to Alex~

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