©2005 Andre Norton; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio
"Miss Norton endows this story of a homeless, revenge-driven man with her own inimitable touch. The result is a compelling and compassionate tale." (The New York Times Book Review)
Beastmaster had all the familiar Norton strengths, a young man trying to make his place in the adult world, an empathic animal team, a quest through an exotic (this time wild western-ish) alien world, and, of course, caves. What I liked the best? I suppose it was the caves.
Did I mention the caves?.
Brewer gave a straight forward, well inflected performance, with a voice that worked well for a young protagonist.
Norton doesn't make you laugh or cry, usually; she just takes you for an absorbing, even spellbinding -- if you let yourself be in the mood -- journey.
This is one I missed from my youth (when they were being written!) though I remember the fuscia and yellow cover of the original well. It's much better than and much different from the movie of the same name. I'll reread it again, and if I like it as much a second time, it may move up onto my very favorite Norton list with Catseye, Galactic Derelict, and The Stars are Ours. Not high art, but great reading.
I class this book with Frank Herbert's "Dune" series. Fantastic storyline, considering when it was written, with Richard Brewer drawing the listener in with his narration.
If you are fans of Frank Herbert, Clive Barker and even Isobelle Carmody, and enjoy sci-fi with a difference then this download is for you! I will certainly be downloading the sequel for this...
There is simply very little down time in this book. No empty fillings by overdescribing what people are wearing, eleborate descriptions of the landscap and such. Although everything is well described, as the story goes along, much like if you were experiencing it your self!.
I am writing this review as i am waiting for book two to download. I certainly hope Audible get's more from this series!
When I was a kid I loved Andre Norton so I thought I'd give one of her classics that I read years ago a try.
It is definitely more suited to juvenile tastes.Seriously,I think it's well suited for pre-teens and teens and should be treated as such by audible.Of course Hunger Games and Harry Potter were designed for young people and read by all.
The mind thought melding with animals was what always appealed to me as a young man.The plot is kind of like a Zane Gray Western with some Sci Fi mixed in.I can't really recommend it for adults.
I am an oldster but still enjoy all those of books including science fiction and fantasy as well as occasional books on history and classics
Science fiction is a niche I occasionally like to read or listen to. It is escapist literature and although I enjoy it I would never put it on the same level as someone as Marion Zimmer Bradley.
All other Andre Norton Books since she tends to use common themes although she may use them with different shadings.
He is adequate.
I have tried to listen to this audiobook 3 times now, and just can't seem to finish it. Andre Norton is one of my favorite authors from my teen years, and I have always enjoyed her stories. With this one I don't know if it is the story, not interesting to me, or the narration which is flat and boring, but I just don't enjoy it.
Being born in 1979 I feel like I missed out on the golden age of science fiction and as such can not truly know what that is. This book personifies it for me tho. It's not to fussy or complicated. Less is more on this one.
So little time, so many books
Beast Master is not her best, but her best was very, very good. This is a good story, well told with well drawn characters.
Hosteen Storm was raised on Terra where he learned Navaho discipline and gentle but firm handling of animals. When war decimated his home world of Terra he became a commando for the Planetary Confederacy forces with a designation as beast master. His superior was reluctant to let him go due to the volubility of the Terran survivors. But Storm has survived a year without incident and there is no apparent reason for his superiors to withhold permission for him to travel to Arzor, a frontier world. Storm travels with his special team with whom he has special telepathic abilities: two meercats, a dune cat and an eagle.
Storm has not let anyone know his history and the reason he seeks access to Arzor. Storm makes his way on the frontier planet by proving his value to a man hired to drive cattle and horses. Storm shows his skills by managing a horse who is added to his team.
One of the other drivers is immediately hostile to Storm who has learned to observe carefully and watch over his shoulders. Storm makes a friend with a young Norbie who is a native people whose anatomy precludes them from vocal talk so they have developed sign language that Storm picks up fairly quickly. It seems their culture is very similar to that of Storm's early life. But there are other native tribes and natural land hazards, including floods and huge beasts, that threaten the men on their trek.
The crew reaches a way-station after surviving the wild hazards. There Storm runs into the man he is seeking but he is surprised and unprepared for the character of the man. Storm takes on another job with an archaeological research group. They run into problems too and Storm uncovers evidence of a danger that no one has expected on this planet. He must survive the wilds and enemy attacks to get word of the danger to those who can take action. He is met with surprising revelations before it is over.
Hosteen Storm is a wonderful hero. I really enjoyed the whole package of characters, animals and plot with secrets and dangers. I was impressed by the engaging writing and the extent of the plot especially considering this was written in 1959. I was surprised that I had never read this series (which apparently is not really followed in the movie of same name). I look forward to reading more books by Andre Norton.
Audio Notes: Richard Brewer does a good job with the narration. He gives enough distinction to the characters to make it interesting. I became engrossed in the story and the narration made this an easy read for me which I finished in one day.
If you like sci-fi fantasy with Native American Indian folklore mixed with the bigoted white man gone wrong, then this is probably your kind of story. After leaving Earth, the Beast Master (BM), our hero, escapes torrential rains on an alien planet, an Earthly variety. Hiking with sorted problem company among the semi industrial-agrarian society, (you know the type), they like to keep him traversing the torrents, including blizzards of those spacious snow-covered mountains. So, this is about a lot of tromping in the wet and cold and it gets a little too soggy for me. False hope does arise every now and then with a trip to the fantasy forest for our health. It is nice to know that tidbit exists but you know those aliens will keep interrupting it with an unjustified war. We know the alien kind on this planet, there is not much meat to pick off their character. Even so, tough as it is, that single fact probably makes it easier for us to pick them apart. Unfortunately weakly developed alien species are like that. While there are plenty of other creatures, all types, especially humans, including those with an assortment of head problems, they are just like those in a mini soap opera. That is what it is. It is based upon an off-world human migration with its growing problems about what it would actually be like to live on a new world. Yet, that act alone doesn't develop into much brain material for this reader either. There could have been more about those extra terrestrials, who were secretly living among them until they were needed to make war, to destroy or be destroyed. Duh! You know those kinds of aliens, the enemy? The author’s lines of logic are too predictable. We knew that from the beginning. So why am I going on about it? In this case, it’s to find out why there was an obvious attempt to act as a crafty story teller where just one act would have saved his tale. That's what would have made all this critical typing pointless and frivolous from the beginning.
The point is, if I thought I going to get my money’s worth, then this story is more like an extremely bitter sunflower seed. You know the seed. It's that one that takes fifty more good ones to rid your mouth of its acrid taste. Caveat! This is that one.
May the force be weird on you too.
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