Dreamfall (Cat)

Dreamfall (Cat)

Vinge, Joan D.

Language: English

Publisher: Tor Books

Published: May 2, 2004

Words: 171292
Pages: 713


Cat, the halfbreed telepath hero of *Catspaw *and *Psion*, joins a research team on Refuge, homeworld of his mother's people, the Hydrans. Immediately, he finds trouble when he helps a Hydran woman escape human pursuers. The decimated Hydran population of Refuge is confined to a bleak "homeland," by a huge corporate state, Tau Biotech. Tau also controls Refuge's one unique natural resource, "Dreamfall." The tangible residue of cast-off thoughts from beautiful, enigmatic "cloud whales," dreamfall forms vast reefs, sacred to the Hydrans, but mere exploitable data to Tau. Caught between Tau and desperate Hydrans who fight to reclaim their world, Cat must somehow forge the ruins of the past into a means to defeat Tau's brutality to save his people--and himself. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied. ** ### From Publishers Weekly Half human, half Hydran, Vinge's young protagonist, Cat, has always been an outcast in the world of the mid-21st century. In this richly detailed and suspenseful sequel to Catspaw (1989), Cat travels to the planet Refuge, home to the only surviving enclave of Hydrans, a once-powerful race of psions, or telepaths, whose nonviolent culture left them at the mercy of aggressive human expansion. As part of a research team sent to study the cloud-whales, aerial creatures whose lifecycle may hold the key to advances in nanotechnology, Cat also hopes to learn more about his alien heritage. When he inadvertently helps a young Hydran woman kidnap a human child, however, he is swept into a deadly conflict between the two races. Vinge deftly twists together multilayered plot strands as misguided loyalties and fanaticism, both human and Hydran, propel events toward inevitable disaster. Although the story loses momentum near the end, it deftly explores themes of family and loyalty. And, as always, Cat proves a sensitive and engagingly stubborn narrator. Author tour. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. ### From Kirkus Reviews Another yarn featuring the half-human, half-Hydran, sometimes telepathic, always abused Cat (Catspaw, 1988, etc.). This time, on planet Refuge, Cat's employed by Tau Biotech to help plumb the secrets of the cloud-reefs, huge landforms composed of the solidified thoughts of the vast, enigmatic, floating, telepathic cloud-whales. But here, as everywhere, the psi-powered Hydrans are feared, hated, repressed, marginalized, and exploited. So when a human child is kidnapped by Hydran terrorists and held for ransom, Cat--he inadvertently helped the kidnapper--is immediately blamed by Tau's brutal police. Even when his innocence has been established, he's forced to act as a go-between--and the Hydrans mistrust Cat because his telepathy is blocked. Then Cat meets the kidnapper, the lovely Miya, and the two realize at once that they're destined soulmates. Unfortunately, Miya's sister Naoh, the chief terrorist, feels divinely inspired and intends to raise a planetary revolt. She's crazy, of course, and her plan would bring ruin to the Hydrans. Can Cat prevent a planetary disaster and hang on to Miya? The cloud-reef backdrop is spectacular but makes no sense. And despite Cat's streetwise upbringing, constantly alluded to, he hasn't learned anything useful, so his chronic suffering soon becomes tiresome. An overlong and mediocre addition to the series. (Author tour) -- *Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.*