Alex J. Cavanaugh's long awaited sequel is out today. CassaFire.
Byron is the main character (again -- it is a sequal after all) and he's been sent to do menial labor, flying scientists to and from the exploration ship to the planet of Tgren. All is not what it appears to be, and when he finds one of the new Tgren pilots he has to train is not only a woman, but has mind reading capabilities, well, that just spins Byron out of his rigid and lonely existance.
When something goes awry in one of the caves on the planet (I'm not giving spoilers, you'll just have to read it yourself) Byron finds he must make some hard choices he never wanted to make, and one involves just what exactly makes a friendship.
Cavanaugh's writing is crisp and clear. You know where you are and what is going on at all times. Because it is science fiction, I had a little trouble keeping up with the names of the characters (I mean, they're not Mike, or Joe, or John) but, after awhile, I figured out who everyone was. The tension level is quietly kept at medium high, not only with the main plot, but also between Byron and Athee (the woman pilot), which pulled me along to the end. And the ending was soooo satisfying, I even ended up crying. Well, maybe because I'm a romance writer and I like a happily-ever-after.
If you're looking for something fun and light, this is the book to read. It's not a bang'em up-shoot'em up, with blood and guts but a good sturdy story, capable of keeping even the most discernable reader entertained.