Review: Kitty Cat Kill Sat – Argus

Review: Kitty Cat Kill Sat – ArgusKitty Cat Kill Sat
by Argus
Publisher: Podium Publishing
Publication Date: June 13, 2023
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 474
Source: BookSprout

I received this book for free from BookSprout in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

In this inventive and heartfelt take on a dystopian space opera, humanity’s last hope comes complete with a space station, an attitude, and . . . whiskers?

Civilization has fallen. The solar system is blanketed with the automated weapons of ancient wars, engineered plagues, hazardous waste, rogue AI, monsters from outside our dimension, artificial disasters, and nuclear climate change. Every moment of life on Earth is a brutal fight for survival. The people of Sol carry on, but hope is at a premium. They need something more. Someone with a plan, a savior, a hero .

What they get is Lily. Owner of the last functional battle station for the last four hundred years by right of being the last living soul on it, Lily ad-Alice has spent all that time struggling to save lives, fend off loneliness, and operate human-made weapons controls with paws and meows. Four centuries of establishing protocols, figuring out how to utilize an irresponsibly large arsenal of orbital weaponry, and scraping by with what life support still functions.

Lily doesn’t have a plan. She can’t even tell how haunted her home is. Every day is an endless stream of alarms and crises—it’s a lot for a lone desperate housecat to handle herself. But being the proprietor of the last piece of working orbital infrastructure in existence is a responsibility and duty she’s accepted anyway.

Now things are changing again. Something big is looming, and everything Lily has scrambled for hundreds of years to achieve is at risk. But if she’s quick, maybe she can do some good. If she’s cunning, maybe she can adapt. If she’s smart, maybe she can build something that lasts this time. And if she’s very, very lucky, maybe she won’t have to do it alone.

The hit science-fiction tale—with more than a million views on Royal Road—now available on Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and Audible!


4 stars icon scifi icon

Look, how could I not have taken a look at a book with that title? And then when I found out it was about a cat that runs a space station? Of course I had to read it!

“Hello! I’m Lily ad-Alice! Nice to meet you! How screwed are we?”

It makes a lot of sense that this book started out serialized as a good chunk of it is sort of episode-of-the-week style. It’s told from the first person POV of Lily, an Uplifted cat who’s spent the past 400 or so years running a space station (which may or may not be haunted) by herself. For the most part, each chapter starts out with Lily in the middle of a new and possibly deadly situation. By the end of the chapter, Lily has complained about how the station is not designed for cats, the issue is resolved, and then it’s time to move on to the next chapter and the next problem. Eventually, the chapters begin to build on each other as Lily forms new relationships, all the while learning more about the station and herself.

“I am very smart, and that is why I own a space station.”

Lily is, strangely enough, exactly what I think an Uplifted (ie enhanced intelligence) cat would sound like. She goes off on frequent tangents, waxes episodic about napping on couches in the sunlight (such as it is), and she’s entirely sure she is the most glorious cat to have ever existed. If you can’t tell, the author isn’t afraid to have fun with the whole “cat running a space station” deal, meaning there’s plenty of silliness and humor to balance out the action aspects of the book. That’s not to say there aren’t other emotions involved, either.

At the end of all things, all of us, together, against the darkness.”

The heart of the book are the gorgeous relationships. Lily starts out the book lonely and worn-down. Maybe it’s her loneliness or maybe it’s her years of watching the countless planetary wars, but Lily sees to the heart of a person. So what if Lily’s new pet has saw-blade tentacles? To Lily, he’s still a dog (and a very good boy) and she’s frankly confused when anyone tries to point out his differences. All those dramas about killer AIs? Speciesist propaganda. Not that Lily’s perfect, as is proven time and time again in the book, but she learns and grows and accepts. It’s hard not to like and admire her (and wish you could give her some very nice ear scritches).

As for cons, it felt like it took a very long time to read this book. Since each chapter was basically a self-contained episode, it was easy for me to put the book down and stop reading. It can get a bit heavy-handed when communicating Lily’s frustration with the rest of the universe (”for every hydroponics bed I find up here—and not even the ones that work—I run across a hundred laser cannons, railguns, nuclear options, and missile stockpiles?”) but it mostly manages to avoid that by vastly exaggerating those things to the point where they can’t help but be humorous. The various historical governments were some of my favorites.

“Well. You know what they say about cats and curiosity.
It’s a clear path to immortality, if you’re smug enough.”

In the end, though, this is pretty much everything I want from a space opera. It’s imaginative, emotional and at its core deeply hopeful. And it has cats in space. What more could a person want?

Content notes: View Spoiler »

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