Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Cat Master

The Cat Master
by Bonnie Pemberton
Marshall Cavendish, 2007
review copy courtesy of publisher

Remember my former student who is the Warriors series expert? She's the one who read and reported on the new (then) Warriors graphic novel last spring.

When the box of books came from Marshall Cavendish and I came across The Cat Master, I knew Warriors Girl was the one who should read and review it. Here is a loosely reconstructed transcript of our discussion of The Cat Master over ice cream at Graeters:

Me: So tell me a little about the book.

Warriors Girl: Well, it's the author's first book, and it took about 10 years for her to write. I know this because I googled her and read her website.

The two main characters in the book are Buddy and Jett, cats who are brothers. Jett is greedy and ambitious. When the Cat Master dies -- he's their father, but they don't know it -- Buddy is chosen to be the next Cat Master, but he doesn't know it because Jett intercepts the message. Jett wants to kill Buddy before Buddy becomes the master.

Me: Is this book at all like the Warriors books?

WG: It's like Warriors in that there are indoor and outdoor cats, but they are named differently (feral/indoor). It's different because there are other animals besides cats in the story (dogs, a possum, a lizard). Both have good and evil characters. The Cat Master feels really different than Warriors -- the chapters alternate between characters.

Me: Which series do you like better?

WG: It's too soon to tell, but I will definitely read more books by this author if she writes more. It seems like she will. You can kind of tell that the next book will be about Soot, Buddy's son, becoming Cat Master.

She dedicated the book "In Memory of Buddy" and in the acknowledgments she says Buddy was "a stray cat who changed my life forever." She has lots of cats and she really gets cat behavior. She even has a business that sells anti-scratching stuff that keeps cats from scratching on furniture.

Me: Anything else?

WG: I think I'm going to start reading prologues. If you skip them, you miss out on some pretty important information. I've always read epilogues; they give a summary and some good hints.

Me (in my mind): It's good to know that she's still growing as a reader! It's never too late to learn that prologues are pretty important!

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