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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars33
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 19 August 2003
Star Soldiers is a compilation volume of Star Guard & Star Rangers.
I was always more fond of Star Rangers than Star Guard even though they are 'very' loosely related. Both have a Central Command.
In Star Guard humans went to space and found that they weren't even second class citizens they had to become mercenary soldiers. It's a good read (No Andre Norton is exactly a bad read) but I prefer Star Rangers.
In Star Rangers a vessel of the Stellar Patrol crashes on a planet way, way of any known charts. They explore and find a city of high technology occupied by refugees from a passenger liner. They are being dominated by a ruthless telepath.
After many perils the depose the dictator in the process discovering the name and origin of the planet. I won't spoil the suprise you'll just have to read the book.
Having many of Andre Norton's books in single volumes it is nice of Baen Books to bring back these old classics. Gives me a chance to replace all the tatty (tatty through over-reading)copies I have.
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on 23 May 2003
very pleased with this book. Please be aware that it contains two books Star Guard and Star Rangers for the money. Lots of action and description and not at all dated. Nice straightforward sci-fi adventure books.
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on 17 April 2013
As a pre-teen Andre Norton was one of the writers that I loved. I was also reading a lot of history books by authors like Rosemary Sutliffe, and Andre Norton's futures were curiously redolent of those historical fictions, but with beam weapons, telepathy and star travel.

Now, though, I find the plots far fetched, the science fiction component is pretty much restricted to scenery, and the writing is consistent but doesn't require any superlatives.

These books are set in a far future. Earth has suffered a nuclear war (a classic feature of books from this era) and recovered. The hero in the first book has no meetings with, sight of, or conversation with a woman, at all, ever - and there's not a whiff that this is unusual. There's no children either. Information is disseminated through libraries that, as a nod to technology, dispense data in the form of a wire, rather than a paper book. Communication at a distance is restricted to a few people equipped with fairly rare devices. WHere we now see technolgies differentiated, a future trained technologist can deal with any technology and understand it - whether it is a star ship or something else; because technology can be learned by a specialists and all technology is just the same, really?

I think this is pretty good writing that a teenager should consider. But it's thin stuff. This is not a fully imagined future. It's a background for a specific style of story telling, a modern form of a miracle play in which the heroes have their integrity challenged and respond with valour. But it could have been set with swords and horses. There is no real reliance on science other than to change the setting.

For free, it's excellent value to understand the hopes and fears that mass technological changes were introducing, but it doesn't really wear well. I think that's true of a lot of science fiction, though. Compare this with John Brunner's "Stand on Zanzibar" to see what a visionary was capable of doing.
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on 15 June 2013
I thought "Star Guard", book 1, was badly conceived and poorly written. Apart from these two faults, the book did not have an ending, it just stopped. I thought, at first, that I must have a faulty copy, but then became aware that this would have picked up by the Amazon website.

It was difficult to believe that "Star Rangers" was written by the same author, I found it excellent, well written, entertaining and hard to put down, which is a bit of a pain for an insomniac, like me.

My rating of three stars, is an overall rating, two stars for book one and five stars, for book two, hence, 3 stars average. I was somewhat disappointed, mind, the book was FOC and I suppose, at 66, I may be getting on a bit for Science Fiction?
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on 11 January 2013
As someone who has grown up reading Andre Norton over nearly 40 years it is always interesting to read a book that I haven't previously perused. Unfortunately the first story in this book is not really one of her best. None of her books are bad however and I was quite able to read through it pleasantly but I would have rated it 3 stars only.

The second half is better. Still not one of her best but I cared more about the protagonists and I enjoyed the finish. This I would rate 4 stars.

Both books show her ability to write imaginative SF, with good descriptions and believable characters. Neither book reaches the heights of the Solar Queen series or the Zero Stone books or frankly anything with a Forerunner influence.
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on 3 February 2013
Reading this was like returning to re-visit to my childhood...suspend your disbelief and hold on for a wild ride.

I loved it and had forgotten how vivid a narrator Andre Norton can be. Nice simple characters, you like them and want them to succeed against the odds...a good story with enough ideas to challenge and make the story interesting without overloading on internal self examination or too much quasi science. A little short of good female lead characters but she was writing for a different audience back then. Amazing how the story has held up over the years despite all the real-life advances.

Basically a ripping good space yearn. Enjoy it, I did.
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on 4 May 2013
This is timeless sci-fi at it's best. When everyone else was writing about little green men and communist allegories, Norton was writing fully characterized space opera with themes and complexities far ahead of her time. No fan of the genre could claim their library is complete without her in it. If you want to see where today's greats learned from then Andre Norton is who you should read.
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on 5 April 2013
I read Andre Norton books as a young teenager and to be able to relive those memories is marvelous. Andre Norton was a prolific writer and the books stand the test of time.
If you are interested in no frills science fiction then this is the book and author for you.
This book is definitely woth a read and at this price you cant go wrong :-)
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on 30 August 2013
Star Soldiers and Star rangers are different take regarding human and space travel. The central command in both books was the bit where I couldn't understand how they linked up between the stories.

Both stories were compelling to read and hard to put the book down.

Both book endings came with a twist, which was fun.
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on 28 January 2013
This story is up to his usual high standard. It is a very compelling read - I found it difficult to put down. The storyline (as is to be expected from Norton) does not follow the path you would expect and so is quite fascinating. This is another good addition to his work.
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