Title ~ Freedom's Choice
Series ~ Catteni, #2
Author ~ Anne McCaffrey
Publisher ~ Putnam Books
Published ~ 1 January 1997
Genre ~ Sci-Fi
*Book source ~ My home library.
My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble out of 5
In Freedom’s Landing after Kris Bjornson, Zainal, Chuck Mitford and hundreds of others had been dropped on a distant planet to colonize it for the Catteni they discovered it was inhabited by automated machines farming the land. Taking apart the machines to create usable items for themselves they’ve made a pretty good life for themselves.
However, they want more and need to get out from under the Catteni’s thumb. With Zainal’s help they intend to strike back at the Catteni and in doing so strike at the Eosi who have controlled the Catteni for two thousand years. With some strategic planning and a lot of luck they intend to free the Catteni and Earth from Eosi domination.
This story picks up where Freedom’s Landing left off. A probe has been sent to the whoever farms Botany and Zainal has made it plain to the Emassi who came to retrieve him that he was dropped and he will stay. Since he has refused to return and face his duty, his brother must take his place and be subsumed by an Eosi Mentat. The towering hatred Lenvec feels for Zainal intrigues the Eosi named Ix and soon Ix is consumed with the curiosity about the planet Botany and finding Zainal. Since it is quite unusual for an Eosi Mentat to become obsessed this behave starts to draw the attention of other Eosi.
In the meantime, the Botanists are setting up a three stage plan to free themselves from the Eosi and the Farmers of the planet help protect them from attack by encasing the planet in a protective Bubble after they have acquired a scout ship and a cargo ship. The Botantists are allowed to go in and out of the Bubble, but nothing else is allowed in. Since the Farmers live according to the ‘Do no harm.’ rule, the Bubble is the extent of their help.
There is so much going on in this book that it’s hard to know where to start. Zainal’s refusal to leave, Lenvec’s subsumption by Ix, exploring Botany, a visit by the Farmers, several more slave drops on Botany by the Catteni increasing their population by thousands, a raid on Barevi, building homes, having children, adding one more ship to the fleet and planning how to stop the Eosi make for a jam-packed book. Even with everything going on the story flows along smoothly and at a good clip. I love watching it all come together and look forward to the next book to see how it’s all going to play out.