Book Review: Uncharted Stars by Andrea Norton (Three Stars)

Book Review: Uncharted Stars (The Zerto Stone #2) by Andrea Norton (Three Stars)

“When there is only one road left, that is the one you walk.”

Not Norton’s best work, but a fun, engaging young adult science fiction adventure. Slow start; she spends first ten pages recapping the previous story. Once again no female characters grace the pages of this story by once of the best female SF writers of her day until the last ten pages.

“My depressed spirits told me that I was already at the point where one surrendered hope and waited for the inevitable blow to fall.” “We could not be far now from the entrance, though I could hardly believe in such fortune.”

Her point of view character has plenty of angst and apparent failures, but his luck in landing in just the right place and the right time pushes credibility. (No one reads these books expecting complete realism, but the author should at least help maintain the reader’s willing suspension of unbelief.)

“Fitting the strip of reader tape in his clawed hands into a recorder.”

Published in 1969, Stars boasts all the technological gaffs one expects of what young readers may not grasp as the way it was versus bad writing.

“… set up his hold orbit to the north.” “The atmosphere was breathable without a helmet.” Ryzk turned to check the atmosphere dials. “Arth type, livable.”

Quibbles: It is impossible to orbit the north of a planet. A polar orbit transects the equator as well as the poles. Have you ever noticed how most SF worlds have breathable atmospheres? For most of its existence, even Earth didn’t have a breathable atmosphere.

“‘Agree! There is an excellent reason.’ And, in spite of myself, in spite of knowing that no excellent reason for such stupidity could exist, I found myself agreeing.”