Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Edi's Spotlight: CassaStorM by Alex J Cavanaugh

Dear Readers,

to be honest I thought days about how to write this specific review. There is a relation between the author and the reviewer. The two previous books raised the expectations for the third and final book.
Finally I found the conclusion. There is a book trilogy and there should be a review trilogy.

Don't miss the THREE QUESTIONS and the GIVEAWAY following the REVIEW.

On October 17th 2010, I presented my review of CassaStaR (October 19th,2010) [ISBN-13: 978-0981621067] by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

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 ...
 On December 21st 2011, I presented my review of CassaFirE (February 28th, 2012, pb, 240 p.) [ISBN-13: 978-0982713945] by Alex J. Cavanaugh.
 "For me CassaFirE is definitely the cherry I expected. [...]
 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."

Today is the publishing day of the third and final book in the Cassa trilogy.

And today I will answer the question  if

(September 17th, 2013
[Print ISBN-13: 978-1939844002] 
[E-book ISBN-13: 978-1939844019]

is the cream on the cherry on the cake or not.

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

All of you who have second thoughts to read the third book in a trilogy without knowing the two previous books should drop their doubts.

It is possible to read CassaStorM without knowing CassaStaR  and CassaFirE.
you will definitely miss a lot regarding character development and you will miss entertaining hours with two excellent books.

Leap in time
Twenty years after the events described in CassaFirE Byron is still on planet Tgren. He is now the Commander of the Cassan Base. Also his private life changed a lot. Byron and his beloved wife Athee are the proud parents of ten years old Bassan.
The whole story is told from the point of views from these characters. If you meet them for the first time, you should know that they use an additional form of communication: telepathy.

There are two wheels set into motion. The first one is the declaration of war between the ten known races of the galaxy whereas the Tegren try to be neutral at all cost. The second one is the signal sent by the alien ship on Tgren in the same direction as twenty years ago. People are afraid that the mysterious and powerful probe will return ......

Welcome back Byron. After twenty years you are still the character we know from CassaFirE. You are still the honest, stubborn, undiplomatic, trustworthy and loyal officer. Even it seems that the time with your beloved wife Athee softened you little bit. Your son Bassan is proud of you. Did you spend enough time with him?
No time to think about it because it comes thick and fast - not only for Byron, the linchpin of the trilogy.

There are many, many relationships within the story. The more I think about them the more I discover. I'm not sure if I discovered them all. For me these relationships are like invisible elastics who keep the story together.

There is the most obvious triangle Byron, Athee and Bassan. At first sight they are just a family. A father, a mother and a son. But at the same time Byron and Athee are lovers, parents, working team mates, example for the mix of races and more. Bassan is a half-breed, the son of the commander, mother's darling and more.

The events are mentally and physically exhausting for all three. The war demands Byron's full concentration and "rob" the time he needs for his son and his wife. Athee support Byron at work as liaison officer to calm down unreasonable politicians and at home as the "anchor" of the family. And Bassan does what most young boys do. Discover the world and touch things you should not touch .... As a half-breed he has to cope challenges which should have disappeared in future ...
The description of the impact of outer events on the inner events (actions and emotions) of the Byron family and vice versa is one of the highlights of CassaStorM. And it gets really intense due to the use of telepathy which means you follow the thoughts and communcation of the characters directly! A reader can't be more nearer to a character as in such moments.

The story of young Bassan is a kind a coming of age story within the story. But that does not mean it is separate, it is quite the contrary. 

The characters put a heavy stamp on the story. Nevertheless the author delivers more. With the mystery of the alien ship transmission a strong plot driven element is added to the story. At this point science plays an important role and readers of CassaFirE will meet again Mevine who is now the leading science officer.
By interweaving character driven and plot driven elements raise to a new height.

Let me assure you that there are more characters which play important roles in the events described in CassaStorM.

A final book in a trilogy should deliver the answers to the open questions from all books. I promise you that you will not leave CassaStorM with unanswered questions.
That leads me to one of the many highlights of the book: The final revelation

I admit that the final revelation has been a big surprise to me and is a more than worthy end of the book and the trilogy.

Cream or not
Now the time has come to answer the question from the beginning.
YES, for me CassaStorM is the cream on the cherry CassaFirE on the cake CassaStaR, which I hoped to get, the readers deserved to get.

Congratulations Alex J. Cavanaugh. You crossed the high like the Himalaya hurdle to deliver a worthy end of your trilogy and excelled yourself. 


CassaStorM  is the entertaining manifesto for trust, tolerance, respect, solidarity and love beyond space and time.
CassaStorM  is a magnificent end of the Cassa trilogy, fat free for the body but rich in mental calories for the brain. 
CassaStorM  is a touching and mesmerising space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery.
CassaStorM  is the incredible end of a most entertaining trilogy packed with action, emotion, politics, science and mystery which does not leave you with unanswered questions


Edi: On October 14th 2010 I wrote "Dear Alex J. Cavanaugh , I hope and wish all your effort will be crowned with success because I want to read more novels written by you." Three years later your third book is released today. So my wish has come true. Did you ever expect what happened within the past three years? 

Alex: ....... Not in my wildest dreams! I really thought I only had that one book in me. I didn’t even want to be an author, let alone the author of a trilogy. The past three years have been incredible though. Two Amazon Best Sellers – whoa! But more than that have been the friends I’ve made over the years. I never would’ve even started blogging had it not been for that first book. (And my publisher’s insistence that I get my butt online.) It’s all been worth it though. 

Edi: I remember that you wanted to write one book. Today your third book is available which is the conclusion of the Cassa series. Beyond all the joy and happiness there is one question running around my brain like car at the Daytona 500: Do you have more stories to tell and do you want to tell more stories? 

Alex:........ That is a loaded question. Do I have another story I could tell? Yes. Will I write it? I don’t know. Music has always been a part of my life and I strayed from it for so long – now that I am playing guitar and in a band, it seems so natural. It’s where I am supposed to be. Is there room for writing? That I don’t know. I hate to disappoint anyone, but I can’t give a clear answer right now. 

Edi: I can't imagine how much time you spent for CassaStorM and the preparation for the blog tour and, and, and. Do you still know how your wife looks like? I hope and wish you do something good for the both of you after the end of the blog tour. The Ninja Army will understand when you take a few days off ..... 

Alex: ........ My wife is beautiful – I will never forget what she looks like! The blog tour runs into November and then yes, we are taking a vacation. She deserves that and more. There had been a lot of time spent in front of my computer working on the tour, last minute revisions, etc. 

And I would like to thank you, Edi. You were one of those who encouraged me to continue this journey. I wrote CassaFire and CassaStorm for you. I’m glad you enjoyed the ride!

Alex, I feel deeply touched by your words. Instead of the thousand words circling in my brain, I just say THANK YOU!


This is the price. A digital copy of

By Alex J Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

"Cavanaugh makes world building on the galactic scale look easy. The stakes affect the entire known universe and yet Cavanaugh makes it intensely personal for our hero. The final installment of this series will break your heart and put it back together."- Charity Bradford, science fantasy author of The Magic Wakes

“With a talent for worldbuilding and a compelling cast of characters, Alex J. Cavanaugh combines high powered space battles and the challenges of family dynamics to provide readers a space opera with heart.” - Elizabeth S. Craig, author of the Southern Quilting and Myrtle Clover mysteries

“I thought the revelation was going to be one thing and I was completely wrong … CassaStorm pushes the limits…” - Tyson Mauermann, Speculative Reviews

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:
Amazon -

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.


The giveaway is opened worldwide. In order to take part just leave a comment in the comment section of this post and tell me if you would like to read more books by Alex J. Cavanaugh.
Leave your comment and an information how I can contact you in case you win until the end of 1st of October 2013.
The winner will be drawn on 2nd of October 2013 and an announcement will be posted on the same day.

Let me finish this post with the CassaStorM trailer.



ediFanoB said...

For whatever reason the automatic schedule did not work. SO I had to publish the post manually.
Fortunately I check the blog thios morning!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Edi, it's all good! Thanks, my friend, for sticking with the series - an me - and for highlighting it on release day.
You rock!

Zoltán Gecse said...

Great review and interview, Edi!

Maybe Alex should have write a space-rock-opera. ;)

Misha Gericke said...

I'd love love love to read more books by Alex. He's an amazing writer and I truly hope he does find the time and love for many more stories. ;-)

Siv Ottem said...

Wonderful interview and great start to Alex's book launch! I will always want to read another book by such a great author as Alex!

Carolyn Brown said...

Great interview and review! I am sure I will enjoy reading CassaStorm as much as I enjoyed the first two books. I do hope you decide to write another series Alex, I am sure you have it in you!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Zoltan, maybe I should!

Misha, if I can, I will.

Thank you, Siv.

Carolyn, I hope you really enjoy it.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I would love to read more books by Alex J. Cavanaugh! Having said that though, my copy of CassaStorm is already on it's way, so the book win needs to go to someone other than me. :)

Thanks for encouraging Alex's writing, Edi!

And Alex, you rock! And yes, you and your wife deserve a vacation. Have fun!

Sherry Ellis said...

What a wonderful interview! I like your reasons for why one must read Alex's new book!

LuAnn Braley said...

Engaging interview, Edi and Alex! Thank you, Edi, for encouraging (demanding? *lol*) that Alex continue writing after his first book. I am a new subscriber to your blog. And Alex? If you have more books in you, I have no doubt they will come out at the right time; to everything there is a season, right?

Pat Hatt said...

Great interview and a vacation at the end sounds like a good plane

Tina said...

What a neat friendship story between you two! Didn't read the review because I like to read the book before the detailed reviews, but it does appear she liked it ;-)
Tina @ Life is Good

Tina said...

What a neat friendship story! Great interview, too.
Tina @ Life is Good

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tyrean, thanks for purchasing a copy!

LuAnn, exactly - in the right season.

Tina, Edi is a good friend.

S.K. Anthony said...

What a fantastic review!!!
Edi, you certainly took care of whatever doubt anyone might feel (crazy people), I loved it.

Aww Alex, I'm still smiling at your comment about your wife. So sweet. I hope you two have a wonderful vacation when the time comes around ;)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Not only am I more excited about reading the third book now, but I'm kind of hungry for desert. I usually don't eat ice cream but I might indulge now.


Must admit I skipped the review.
loved the interview.
Now people will ask to be you roadie!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

SK, we will!

Susan, now I want ice cream.

David, I'll accept any offers. My equipment is heavy!

Jen Chandler said...

Edi, I found your blog thanks to Alex and I'm so glad I did! Your questions and insightful reviews/comments have been wonderful!

Nice to "meet" you and, again, big congrats to Alex!!


Cate Masters said...

Congrats again, Alex!
I like Zoltan's idea. :)

ediFanoB said...

Good evening,

it is nearly 22:30 in Germany and finally I found time time to say hello and thank you to all visitors so far.

It is an honor and a pleasure to have Alex here on the publishing date of CassaStorM.

Within the next hour I will answer each of you individually.

ediFanoB said...

Hi Zoltán,
thanks for stopping by and your kind words.

A space-rock-opera is a fantastic idea.
So Alex could bring together writing and music.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Misha,

nice to meet you. I can't agree more on what you said.

So fingers crossed ....

ediFanoB said...

Hello Siv,

nice to meet you and thank you for your kind words.

Alex knows to write excellent stories.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Carolyn,

thank you for stopping by and your kind words. You will have some extraordinary hours with CassStorM which is a worthy end to the Cassa series.

ediFanoB said...

Dear Alex,

you are incredible!!! Thank you so much to answer the comments while I was not able to do that.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Tyrean,

thanks a lot for stopping by. Asit is your wish I will exclude you from the giveaway.

Be prepared for some amazing hours with CassaStorM.

ediFanoB said...

Nice to meet you Sherry
and thank you for your kind words.

Sometimes it is much better to ask just a few questions.

ediFanoB said...

Hello LuAnn,

thank you for stopping by and to be a new follower and of course for your kind words.

You are so right. there is definitely a season to everything.

ediFanoB said...

Nice to meet you Pat and thank you for your kind words.

To be honest I can't imagine how many hours Alex spent for preparation of his blog tour and he and his wife really deserve a wonderful and relaxing vacation.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Tina,
thank you for stopping by. I fully understand why you do not want to read the review BEFORE you read the book.
Most of the time I do the same.

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

ediFanoB said...

Hello S.K. Anthony,

thank you for your kind words.

Sometimes it is difficult to express emotion in another language. My first language is German and it seems I found the right words. I blushed a bit while reading your comment ....

ediFanoB said...

Hello Susan,

nice to meet you. I hope I won't guilty if you gain weight.

Fortunately books a fat and sugar free.

Wish you amazing hours with CassaStorM

ediFanoB said...

Hello DAVID,

thanks for stopping by. No problem that you skipped the review. At least you found something you liked.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Jen,

nice to meet you. Thank you for your kind words. Glad you liked what I did.

Seems I found the right words to praise Alex and CassaStorM.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Cate,

thank you for stopping by and indeed Zoltan has a point ....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jen, you'll be glad you found Edi's blog!

Cate, you want a rock opera as well, huh? I'll see what I can do.

Edi, thanks for the great launch day event!

Al Diaz said...

Of course I would want to read more books from Alex. I have this hunch this won't be the last one. He has done many things he didn't think he could do, and he has surprised himself many times. I know this much. So why not surprise himself writing once more? That wouldn't surprise the dragon at all. ;)

Shell Flower said...

This is such a sweet tribute and really makes me want to read CassaStorm. I'm glad to hear Alex and his wife are going on vacation after all this. She must be a saint to share her husband with us all!

Christine Rains said...

I can't wait to read the third book! Terrific review and interview. Alex rocks!

D.G. Hudson said...

You did an excellent job of keeping the Capt'n writing. We all thank you!
AND, you did an excellent job of promoting his trilogy.

It's great to see such support.

Rhonda Albom said...

Fantastic review and interview. I want to read more books by Alex, because I never liked Sci Fi before CassaStar.

Rosalie Skinner said...

Great interview and review.
Congratulations Alex, three wonderful novels and sounds as though a space-rock-opera is in demand too. At least you already have a roadie lining up!
Supportive family are vital to a writer. You are lucky and a vacation sounds like a good idea.
CassaStorm is certain to be a fitting conclusion to the trilogy. Congratulations again. Another best seller on the way.
Edi, so glad you encouraged Alex to keep writing. :)

ediFanoB said...

Hello Al,
thanks for stopping by. We will see what will happen when he and his wife return from vacation...

ediFanoB said...

Hello Shell Flower,

thank you for your kind words. I think Alex should show your comment to his wife. What a compliment!

Hope you will enjoy your time with CassaStorM.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Christine,

thank you for stopping by. Alex delivered something great with CassaStorM.
If you liked the two previous books you will love CassaStorM.

ediFanoB said...

Nice to meet you D.G. Hudson.

Alex is a great guy and author. It would have been so sad when had stopped writing after the first book.
I'm just one voice in the big Ninja Army but I tried to express my love for Alex' books.

ediFanoB said...

Nice to meet you Rhonda.

Thank you for your kind words. I'm totally convinced that it is Alex' merit to open the world of Sci Fi for many new readers.
You are the proof for that.

ediFanoB said...

Dear Rosalie,

you are kind as always. Alex did a really fantastic job to get a community like the Ninja Army. It is the wonderful gift of give and take.

I think the time has come to do something for you this autumn. Let me think about it during my days off next week ...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Al, you have such faith!

Shell, she'll be more saintly after that vacation.

Rosalie, he did encourage me!

Edi, thanks again!!

Ella said...

Nicely done Edi! Yes, it is a great book launch and Alex deserves the best~

Edi, nice to meet you~

Empty Nest Insider said...

Excellent interview and review! I'm so glad that Alex sent me over Edi! Now I'm even more excited about CassaStorm!


Shah Wharton said...

Maybe the next project could be playlist albums for the trilogy? A lot of authors are doing this now, but they don't have the benefit of being musicians as well as writers. Excellent post Edi, and great interview Alex. And I love that you're always so lovely to your wife. As a wife, that pleases me :D X

ediFanoB said...

Hello Ella,

nice to meet you too. Thanks for stopping by. Alex is a great guy and I hope you enjoy his books as much as I do.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Empty Nest Insider,

thank you for stopping by and thank you for your kind words.
CassaStorM is a pleasure to read.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Shah Wharton,

nice to meet you. I think everything goes better with a partner.
In May 2013 my wife and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary.

What a great idea! I'm sure Alex will think about your playlist albums idea.

Donna Hole said...

Loved all the reviews Edi. Thanks for sharing them, and asking such intriguing questions of Alex.

Have a great weekend.


ediFanoB said...

Hello Donna,

thanky you for stopping by and for your kind words.
It was an honor to be the tour stop on the CassaStorM publishing day.
It seems I found the right words for the book and the author.

Have agreat weekend too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ella and Julie, thanks!

Shah, that is an idea.

Donna, his reviews are beyond awesome!

Eternal Curse Series said...

This is one of the most original and entertaining interview/reviews I've ever seen. I've discovered a new blog to visit and as always am impressed with Alex. It's hard not to be.

ediFanoB said...

Hello Eternal Curse Series,

welcome and thanks for stopping by.
Of course I like to read that you like what I did.
Seems you admire Alex as much as I do which he deserve.

Sherry Ellis said...

Great interview and review! Now we have to wait for a movie deal for Alex's books!

ediFanoB said...

Hello Sherry,

thanks for stopping by. A movie deal would be great!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Eternal, thanks!

Sherry, a movie or two would be awesome.

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

There is definitely a lot to learn about this complex dude called Alex! Thanks for providing more info. And I'm putting my good vibes out there to be a winner of his book. :) Writer’s Mark

ediFanoB said...

Hello Nancy,

thanks for stopping by. The good thing is that Alex is a most kind and honest person and one can learn about AND from him.

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