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14 March 2015

Trade-paperback, published Baen, August 2014.
Just a very quick review on this one. I’ve always liked the Honor Harrington series, and this is the third book of a trilogy that harks back to Honor’s ancestor, Stephanie Harrington and telling of how she first met a treecat in her planet’s wilderness and how they became inseparable friends. Anyone who loves cats will like this trio beginning with A Beautiful Friendship, going on to Fire Season, and culminating in TreeCat Wars. The three books are classified as YA, presumably as a marketing tool to sell more to school libraries and parents, and to the YA sections of public libraries and possibly because the main character is a teenager. But be aware that the YA is something of a misnomer. They are thoroughly readable by adults so if you don’t mind that the main character is a teenage girl, you’ll enjoy the trio.
In fact it irks me that some publishers are now insisting that any genre book using younger characters must be YA, and sold as that, with the suggestion that there is something wrong with either adults reading YA, or children reading more adult books. Some years ago I wrote a book whose main character started at nine and ended as a grandmother. It was rejected by a publisher on those grounds. That it had to be YA because the main character was nine, but it was also inappropriate (they said) for YA because the character was in her sixties when the book ended. Luckily circumstances changed, I offered it where I had originally intended, it was accepted, and has been selling ever since. There seems to be an increasingly narrow classification of books for various age groups by publishers, and I feel it’s wrong. I often enjoy a good YA, despite being a lot older than that classification. Just as when from about twelve, I was reading adult books by authors such as Agatha Christie and Gerald Durrell. It isn’t about a fixed age, it’s about comprehension and enjoyment. And I don’t feel that readers, old or young, should be arbitrarily thrust into a narrower categorization and stranded there.

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