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FICTION : SOLO'S JOURNEY by Joy Aiken Smith (G. P. Putnam's Sons: $17.95; 253 pp.). : FICTION

November 01, 1987|Sue Martin

While you don't have to love rabbits to enjoy "Watership Down," its unlikely that anyone but a bona fide cat fancier will take to "Solo's Journey." This is a heroic cat tale about an unusual feline named Solo who is the stuff of legend and leads his quorum of cats from what appears to be a vacant field near a housing tract to the mystical, safe environs of Morgalian's Mountain. Solo is much akin to Luke Skywalker of "Star Wars" fame, small-town fellow makes good and saves the "world," in this case, his quorum of cats from land developers and other cats locked away in experimental labs. Solo even has his Obi Wan Kenobi who appears as a Voice that spurs him on to right action. But the tale is a bit too pat, and the dangers are gone through perfunctorily with little suspense or tension. The tendency author Joy Aiken Smith has to give the cats' natural functions names only cats would use-- raksha, siltaa, graille --is awkward when the some of the cats themselves have quite human names like Tanner, Speaker, Justin and Kitty-Kitty and refer to things in otherwise "human" terms.

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