Stephanie Harrington absolutely hates being confined inside her family's compound on the pioneer planet of Sphinx, a frontier wilderness world populated by dangerous native animals that could easily tear a human to bits and pieces. Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries—and the biggest discovery of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species.
Treecats are creatures that resemble a cross between a bobcat and a lemur (but with six legs and much more deadly claws). Not only are they fully sentient, they are also telepathic, and able to bond with certain gifted humans such as the genetically-enhanced Stephanie. But Stephanie's find, and her first-of-its-kind bond with a treecat, brings on a new torrent of danger. An assortment of highly placed enemies with galactic-sized wealth at stake is determined to make sure that the planet of Sphinx remains entirely in human hands—even if this means the extermination of another thinking species.
The first entry in a new teen series and the origin saga for the incredibly popular, multiple New York Times and USA Today bestselling Honor Harrington adult science fiction adventures. Young Stephanie Harrington is none other than the founder of a pioneering family dynasty that is destined to lead the fight for humanity's freedom in a dangerous galaxy.
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Lexile Score: 1140
Weber, the bestselling creator of the Honor Harrington books, digs into prequel territory with this series launch starring Stephanie Harrington, Honor's ancestress. While Weber's adult fanbase will find much to enjoy, teenage readers may find the expository writing and adult politics off-putting. An only child and a prodigy, Stephanie is 11 when the story begins, isolated and bored on the newly colonized planet Sphinx. The colonists are unaware they are under surveillance by a race of sentient, six-legged felines until someone notices small thefts. Stephanie decides to catch the thief, but instead establishes a strange, empathic link with the marauding "treecat," Climbs Quickly. Stephanie deals with interstellar politics and local bigotry as she develops her connection with Climbs Quickly. There's a strong whiff of 1950s Heinlein to this story, especially in the roles allotted to women: though Stephanie gets older, she does not mature, nor does she apparently experience puberty, and her increasing self-control is largely attributed to Climbs Quickly's influence. Nevertheless, the profound connection between Stephanie and her treecat will likely maintain readers' interests through the more challenging aspects of Weber's world-building. Ages 12 up.