Official Review: The Catarbie Conspiracy by Sabrina deSouza

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Official Review: The Catarbie Conspiracy by Sabrina deSouza

Post by LV2R » 06 Oct 2018, 23:06

[Following is an official review of "The Catarbie Conspiracy" by Sabrina deSouza.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Catarbie Conspiracy: Book One of the Houkura Series by Sabrina deSouza is a sci-fi adventure book that describes life on a fictional planet called Houkura. The story began with Danika, Finn, and Robb, who were all interested for different reasons in the Marjory House that had a fire years ago in a fictional town of Dartona, Australia. They suddenly found themselves on a beach in a different world. They did not know where they were or how they got there. The three young adults explored the new world, Houkura and met many of the Impex people there. They found themselves more and more involved in the lives of the people and learned of their strange illness, called Catarbie that made people become catatonic, violent, and eventually disappear. The threesome encountered mutant and dangerous plants and saw different kinds of animals. The author did not describe the Houkura people as alien looking, rather they looked like humans from Earth, but they had special ways to communicate and had different powers. Their houses were very unique, and it was like the three humans were in a foreign country, having to learn even how the toilets worked.

You will need to read the book to find out about some of the Impex people of Houkura: Zoltan, Krysta, and Tahreen, a family with special magical powers; Gredat, the boy who first helped the three from Earth; and Boltza, the strange man with dark powers. Read and find out what the “weesas”, “baracs”, and the “karachs” are and how they attack people and animals. There were many different characters included in the story, and I found that the glossary added at the end of the book helped me to keep clear about the main characters, animals, plants, and special terminology used.

I liked best the discovery of special powers that Danika and Robb had that were developed as needed, for protection and survival on the alien planet. Teamwork and cooperation among the people were necessary to survive attacks. I liked that even though the author used very descriptive and detailed language in writing of the environments of Houkura, with its mutant plants and strange creatures, there were colorful pictures in almost every chapter of the book. The author also has an image gallery of the main characters, mutant plants, creatures, and more on her website (www. I found it interesting that she also included her sketches of concepts that she sent to the illustrator with the end results.

If I had to state what I liked the least about the book, it would be that in the beginning, the author used repetitive phrases to describe Finn putting his hands on his hips as he was talking, and Danika’s overuse of “God” as an expression. Though these things may have been describing their character, it was too repetitive for me, and I didn’t see the need for it. I was glad to see these things lessened further into the book. There wasn’t anything else that I did not like.

The book was well edited, as I only detected one comma missing and one missing letter from a word in the whole book. The author used Australian English spellings, such as, “focussed”, “realised”, “rationalising”, and “chequered”. Some of the words used were different from American English, such as, “rucksack” for a backpack and “firies” for firefighters. However, these differences did not affect my understanding of the book, they simply increased my vocabulary.

Older children, teens, young and older adults would all like this book. People who like a mixture of fantasy, magic, mystery, science fiction, faith, suspense, and adventure will like The Catarbie Conspiracy the best. People who prefer reading non-fiction books would like this book the least. I rate The Catarbie Conspiracy 4 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed reading the well-written story, and I liked the adventure of Danika, Robb, and Finn on the planet Houkura, as I did not know what to expect next. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series, The Tcholla.

The Catarbie Conspiracy
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Post by melissy370 » 07 Oct 2018, 15:30

This is a fantasy book up my alley. The strange disease sounds mysterious and a set up for a great story. The repetitiveness would be annoying to me as well. Thanks for your review.

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Post by Redwoods99 » 07 Oct 2018, 18:54

This is my first reading of a review here. I am all kind is new. Thank you for giving me a great review as something to live up to in the near future. Your description was great as were the explanations. You made me want to read this. Thank you again.

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Post by Britty01 » 07 Oct 2018, 19:02

Interesting review. The book sounds like a good read for teens and adults who enjoy these kinds of stories. I think I might enjoy reading the adventures of Danika, Finn, and Robb in this strange world. As it is a mix of fantasy, sci-fi, mystery and adventure it should be an entertaining novel.

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Post by kandscreeley » 07 Oct 2018, 19:22

This sounds very intriguing. I want to hear more about this mysterious illness and different world. It's a genre I enjoy. Thanks for a great review.
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Post by jcoad » 07 Oct 2018, 20:41

Science Fiction stories always sound so crazy when they are summarized. The story sounds really cool and you did a great job describing the story and the flow of the book. This sounds like a Sci-fi book I may enjoy. Thanks for the great review!

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Post by Rick Swan » 07 Oct 2018, 22:08

Based in your review, this is going in my bookshelf.

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Post by joshfee77 » 08 Oct 2018, 00:58

Excellent, detailed review! This sounds like a well-developed fantasy novel for those who love adventures in strange lands with unusual creatures and characters.

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Post by Kibetious » 08 Oct 2018, 03:29

Thanks for the review. I like reading books that deal with living on other planets especially when it comes to a point where humans have to interact with aliens. I will have to consider reading this.
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Post by Debjani Ghosh » 09 Oct 2018, 09:26

This seems like a science fiction novel where the author has created a cohesive world of his own which completely immerses the reader. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Cotwani » 14 Oct 2018, 02:16

The book sounds enchanting and seems to have a lot going on. I wonder whether the 3 humans make it back to earth. Great review!
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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 15 Oct 2018, 05:21

Sounds as if the author did an excellent job with the world-building there, with it all coming to life so much that she had sketches to send to the artist. This must make for an immersive read. Names like "weesas" and "karachs" give this a feel of The Time Machine. Thanks for an interesting review.

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Post by Espie » 28 Oct 2018, 16:30

This seems to have the elements of a unique piece that could appeal to fans of the sci-fi genre, which is crucial especially if meant to pave the way for interest on the series' subsequent instalments. The fact that it's got the Aussie touches and that it reminds me of a fantastical story that my two sons would constantly talk about but wouldn't want to write also make this book quite close to home. Thank you for your insightful review.
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