Star Born: One of Norton’s more exciting adventures

Star Born by Andre Norton

Andre Norton’s Star Born was originally published in 1957. In 2013 it was combined with the related prequel The Stars are Ours and released as Baen’s Star Flight omnibus. Now Tantor Media has published Star Flight in audio format with excellent narration by Ryan Burke. You don’t need to read The Stars are Ours before reading Star Born, but it adds some nice context and, if you purchase the cost-effective omnibus edition (I recommend the audio version!), it kind of makes sense to do so.

In the prequel ... Read More

The Naked Sun: Entertaining murder mystery

The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov

The Naked Sun is the second of Isaac Asimov’s books about police detective Elijah Baley and the humanoid robot R. Daneel Olivaw. Asimov wrote the first book, Caves of Steel (reviewed by Steven), as the answer to John W. Campbell’s challenge to create a science fiction murder mystery. Asimov succeeded, of course, and chose to give us another installment. You don’t absolutely need to read Caves of Steel before reading The Naked Sun, but it’d probably be a little easier if you did. The Naked Sun takes place a couple of years after the events of Caves of Steel, in some far-future Earth after humans have created and evolved separate cultures by settling other planets.

Elijah... Read More

Treasure of Green Knowe: Superior to its predecessor

Treasure of Green Knowe by Lucy Boston

Tolly has returned to Green Knowe and his Grandmother full of excitement at being there once more, but an unhappy surprise lies in wait for him: the portrait of the children Toby, Alexander and Linnet is missing from the wall. It would seem a small loss but for the fact that its absence means that the children's spirits are also not present in the house.

Grandmother Oldknow explains the painting's loss due to poor finances, though soon sparks hope in Tolly for its return due to the tale of the missing treasure of Green Knowe (which he vows to find), and stories of another family ancestor: Susan Oldknow. Born to a vain mother, a kind but absent father, a spoilt older brother Sefton, and an overly pious grandmother, Susan knows her blindness is a terrible blow to the family's pride: "I can't take her into society, she'll never be married, and I'll have her always!" h... Read More

The Two Towers: Exploring Middle-Earth

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Two Towers is the second third of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, and begins right where the previous book left off: the Fellowship has been sundered, with the death of Boromir, the escape of Frodo and Sam, the capture of Merry and Pippen, and the chase that ensues on the part of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. Like the other two installments in the series, The Two Towers is split into two books, in this case it is Book Three and Book Four.

Book Three alternates between the journey of Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli in their cross country race across forest and plain in order to rescue Merry and Pippen. Their pursuit takes them into Rohan, the province of King Theoden and his people, known as the Horse-Lords due to their skill and affinit... Read More