The Bottom Line: A hilarious, wildly imaginative sci-fi caper that never lets up until the very last page.
It’s the year 2050 in Dennis Meredith’s The Cerulean’s Secret, and the wonders of genomic technology have produced some truly incredible – and frightening – new specimens. Unicorns, dragons and Big Nasties – 300-pound animal assassins – to name just a few. Such exotic creatures come at a high price.
And then there’s the Cerulean Cat, an animal with iridescent blue fur estimated to be worth billions. After the cat is stolen, the thief and cat catch a ride with New York cab driver Timothy Boatright. The finger of suspicion soon lands squarely on him, and after a dizzying succession of events, Timothy realizes the cat’s genes may hold a transformative secret that he must unlock.
For help, he turns to cat lover-turned spy Callie Lawrence, and her pleasantly fragrant daughter, Lulu. The mother/daughter combo is a hilarious pair who are are always engaged in tenacious conversation. At times, Timothy feels like a third wheel behind his friends, but his painful longing for Lulu’s affection also makes him lovable. Their banter – and Lulu’s preference for contemporary items like paper books – injects a healthy dose of humanity into a story filled with a steady parade of holograms and futuristic fauna.
Tonally, The Cerulean’s Secret is a distant cousin to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and that serves this wild adventure well. It’s that easy humor, as well as solid pacing, that makes the book so enjoyable.