Lieutenant Nova Whiteside, on an apparently routine assignment aboard an interstellar transport, finds herself the target of an assassination attempt. Her escape leaves her with no option but to rely on Seth, a former lover, for help.
Unfortunately, she realizes that they are now on opposite sides of an escalating war between the Commonwealth Union of Planets and an increasingly dangerous rebel organization.
In trying to find who is threatening her life, they discover a plot to destroy a distant planet - a world inhabited by creatures that are the key to Nova's survival - and a conspiracy that threatens the stability of the Union Commonwealth.
"A really enjoyable space opera with a female protagonist. It's been too long since I found science fiction that kept me wanting to read through the night. I'll definitely be seeking out some more from this author."
"The story moves along fast, but there are times when it slows and we get to enjoy and appreciate the fascinating world and its people Reher has created."
"The writing is good and so seemlessly appropriate that you never once notice it. Instead your are instantly immersed into an adventure ride that encompasses aliens, spaceships and FTL and yet feels very 'real'."
"I think I've discovered a new addition to my list of good authors to watch for new releases."
In this Nova Whiteside adventure, Nova is drawn into a scheme of corruption and malfeasance that forces her to rethink her idea of who the good guys really are.
The Catalyst is a whirlwind tour of some of the key planets within the Trans-Targon sector, some of which appear in later stories. Trans-Targon is a densely populated galactic sector discovered and organized into a Commonwealth by the industrious Centauri who are not even indigenous to the region. Their sometimes heavy-handed, if usually benevolent, rule of the sector has given rise to a number of rebel factions, some merely voices of protest, others dangerousy militant.
The story also hints at some mystery behind the possibly shared origin of the major species inhabiting Trans-Targon. Are they really separate species or did something happen, long ago, that seeded life among these planets as well as the very distant Terra-Centauri systems?
I have to admit that I've inserted a something a little cheeky into The Catalyst. Upon hearing that I write science fiction someone said "What, stories with space beams and things with tentacles?" I think it's because of that individual that I made the Naiads like cephalopods. Only prettier.