CassaDark – the fourth in Ninja Captain’s Alex’s series set in space, and out this month. Thanks very much to his publishers for a review copy. It almost made the full house of my reading challenges, since it qualifies for four out of the five of them. It’s just not really non-fiction! Most importantly, it’s the first of my #SpaceTimeReads for the year.



by Alex J Cavanaugh

Bassan’s father is stepping down from command. His best friend almost dies when Bassan freezes. Now, he’s being sent across the galaxy to speak at an important conference. Despite saving the eleven races years ago, he’s paralyzed by doubt. Could things get any worse?

Once there, new acquaintance Zendar convinces Bassan to visit his planet for a humanitarian mission. Bassan’s special connection to ancient technology is the key to saving Zendar’s people. One problem though—it’s a prison planet.

On Ugar, he discovers things aren’t so straightforward. As each truth reveals itself, the situation grows more desperate. If he can’t find the right answers, he might die along with Zendar’s people. Can Bassan summon the courage to be a hero again?(goodreads)

My Review

This is the fourth in the Cassa series, and I read the first some time ago. The series is not really important to this book, though, since the story stands on its own merit, and the complex societal arrangements sort themselves out enough during the adventure. Maybe the first part places it most firmly in the series, which is why I was less than enthusiastic about the insecurities of the young man (why I don’t read much YA, really). But once Bassan reaches the conference, things pick up rapidly.

And this is where Alex J Cavanaugh’s superb world-building comes into its own–not only with the planets, but also the tech inventions and experiencing Cassan technology. I did find it somewhat confusing to have the Cassan world and Bassan the person, but I got hold of my brain and made it work. There are desert-like chases, assaults on the peace-loving Ugar stronghold, and some very tense moments of whether they’ll succeed or not. Bassan’s point of view when dealing with the tech was particularly well shown. The secondary characters are very strong, although Bassan’s father (military) seems incredibly stilted until he retires. Maybe I’m just not right for military models.

I really enjoyed it (after a lukewarm start) and got close to not wanting to put it down! Sure to please the Cassa fans, and many others who enjoy a good space crisis!

Book Review | CassaDark by Alex J Cavanaugh 'superb world-building…not only with the planets, but also the tech inventions and experiencing Cassan technology' @alexjcavanaugh #CassaDark #YA #scifi Share on X

Book Review | CassaDark by Alex J Cavanaugh
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7 thoughts on “Book Review | CassaDark by Alex J Cavanaugh

  • 19 February, 2022 at 12:45 pm

    Wow, thanks! I didn’t know you were reading it. Glad you enjoyed it. I grew up a military brat, so trust me, Byron is the typical military father.

    • 19 February, 2022 at 2:27 pm

      Ah, well that explains it… you should read my dad’s comments on military personnel he had to deal with in the war–it’s obviously in the genes 🙂

  • 19 February, 2022 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Jemima – I must say I enjoyed Alex’ first book a great deal – his Cassa series has a lot of happy fans here on earth … so good luck to Alex for this release. Cheers Hilary

  • 26 February, 2022 at 4:07 am

    I never have picked up any of the Cassa series–obviously I should!

    • 26 February, 2022 at 11:45 am

      I think it’s worth starting at the beginning… I must get up to speed with books 2 & 3 🙂 But you could jump in with this book as a standalone.

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