Book: Cachalot

Author: Alan Dean Foster

Illustrator: Esteban Mato

Publisher: Del Rey, republished 1981

ISBN-13: I978-0345280664 Hardcover

ISBN-10: 0345280660 Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0345280664 Paperback

ISBN-10: 0345280660 Paperback

Language level: 3

(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)

Recommended reading level: Adults

Rating: ** 2 stars

(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

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Foster, Alan Dean.  Cachalot (Published in 1980 by Del Rey Books, an imprint of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House Inc.). Cachalot is a nearly landless ocean planet covered 99% by water.  Long ago, a guilt-ridden human race had tried to atone for centuries of slaughter by transporting Earth’s surviving cetaceans to Cachalot. Scattered humans live peacefully with the great sea-creatures which they had hunted near to extinction in floating townships and only a couple of land cities.  Then one day something rises from the deep destroying everythhing in its path, including all the humans that live on the floating cities.  Scientists Pucara Merced and Cora Xamantina, along with Cora’s daughter and assistant Rachael, join planet Commissioner Yu Hwoshien and peaceforce Captain Sam Mataroreva to find out the truth about what is attacking these cities and why.

Are the whales doing this?  Or is some off-world alien race perhaps behind it?  And is one of their own crew possibly involved?  If one likes talking whales, with a little romance and mother-daughter drama thrown in, the adventure is personal enough, with the crew’s interactions, to be interesting, and the banter between the scientists and the cetaceans, along with the deep sea peril, will keep the reader’s attention.  The “d” and “h” words are both used frequently, and there is some sexuality.  It is not pornographically descriptive but does contain clear references to people not married to each other committing fornication, with statements like they “made love under the stars, and “intimacy was easily attained.”  Definitely NOT for the kiddos!

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