A fast-moving suspense tale, full of unusual detail and unexpected turns. Several highlights make the book really shine: the sunset gorp hunt on the reefs of an oily sea; a raid on an asteroid's emergency station; and a landing in the Big Burn, resulting in an encounter with the mutant life-forms that reside there...
That question was answered almost as it flashed into Dane's mind. But no Salariki lordling came through the door. Dane's self-control kept him in his place, even after he caught the meaning of the insignia emblazoned across the newcomer's tunic. Trader--and not only a Trader but a Company man! But why--and how? The Companies only went after big game--this was a planet thrown open to Free Traders, the independents of the star lanes. By law and right no Company man had any place here. Unless--behind a face Dane strove to keep as impassive as Van's his thoughts raced. Traxt Cam as a Free Trader had bid for the right to exploit Sargol when its sole exportable product was deemed to be perfume--a small, unimportant trade as far as the Companies were concerned. And then the Koros stones had been found and the importance of Sargol must have boomed as far as the big boys could see. They probably knew of Traxt Cam's death as soon as the Patrol report on Limbo had been sent to Headquarters. The Companies
I liked it. Can i go for 3,5 out of 5?
'Plague Ship' is definitely a product of its time, and as such would not likely see publication in today's tough SF market. The plot is pretty basic and the characters rather typical of this sort of story. The tale lacks the intricacies and well-rounded characterizations of the best SF of today, but if all you're looking for is an easy, uncomplicated tale, then this may be your cup of tea.
Read some of the other Norton books from this period and you'll find them all remarkably similar in tone. In fact, if you read the work of other authors from around the same time you'll find that they were producing material that doesn't vary all that much from this.
An okay read, but it's no 'Dune'.
Lindsay Brambles (author of In Darkness Bound)
Lindsay Brambles" review is probably about right, but you have to remember that Norton's books were aimed at younger readers, and they (and Heinlein's juveniles) were what hooked a lot of kids of my generation on science fiction. Also, if a lot of other SF of the period is similar to Norton's, it's because they were copying her! That said, "Plague Ship" is not as good as the novel to which it is a sequel: "Sargasso of Space," which I guess must not have fallen into public domain. Too bad. "Star Born" is also much inferior to "The Stars are Ours." I guess what I'm trying to say is that you have to put yourself in the mindset of a smart teenager from the 50s or 60s to really appreciate this kind of stuff, but they do bring back memories! Thanks.
i dont say it is extraordinary, but worth reading
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