Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 2, 2023 by Crystal Uys


I’m not a huge fan of reading Fantasy, nor do I generally read middle grade novels, so Chermpf* by William S. Russell III was a bit of a stretch for me, and I’ll be honest, the only reason I even picked it up was because the pitch email from the author’s wife was so lovely, I had to at least give it a try. And I have to say, I’m glad I did.

From the publisher:

Everyone should have a name; with that thought Gracie Fisher steps into her backyard on a moonlit summer night. Leaving her sleeping parents behind, following her nervous cat Roscoe and a kitten harboring an ancient secret, she embarks on an adventure leading far beyond her father’s vegetable garden, to a domed forest-city tethered to the Moon. There, she faces a terrible danger from the prehistoric past and a grave threat to all humanity.

It may sound a bit odd, but the best way to describe the effect this book had on me is that it was almost like it put a spell on me. This first in the Cats of Nova Series is so beautifully written, the writing is almost lyrical at times. The multi-layered story contains valuable lessons for children, but there is so much depth to the book that I found some of the lessons ageless. I’m not sure whether the author intended this, but it made me enjoy the book even more, and perhaps that’s why I felt a sense of magic as I kept turning the pages despite thinking “this really isn’t my kind of book.”

The cat characters are wonderful, from Roscoe, who is always afraid of getting into trouble to Mimyat, a high-energy tuxedo cat who “sounds” like she’s on speed when she’s talking. The fact that I could actually hear Mimyat is yet another testament to the author’s descriptive writing style. In a lot of ways, this book reminded me of Philip Pullman’s masterful fantasy adventure The Golden Compass*. Both books are aimed at children but contain a whole different layer that is most definitely better appreciated by adults. Fans of Erin Hunter’s Warriors series will enjoy this book as well.

If you’re looking for something a little different, give Chermpf a try. You may look at your cats in a whole new light, wondering whether perhaps they know more about the workings of the universe than you’d think.

*FTC Disclosures: This post contains Amazon Associate links This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.  

I received a copy of this book from the author. Receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

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1 Comment on Review: Chermpf (The Cats of Nova Book 1)

  1. Part of the wonder of books like these, “children’s books” are their ability to travel through the life with us. For me, the books by Madeleine L’Engle, especially “A Wrinkle in Time” were discovered while I was still in single digits and will still have something for me if I’m lucky enough to reach single digits. I look forward to exploring Chermpf and sharing it with a younger generation that doesn’t get exposed to the written word as much as I was at their age. Thank you for taking the chance on an unknown and then sharing it with those of us who also love cats and books.

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