Andre Norton's "style is clean and simple. She doesn't digress into an examination of minutiae, of either exterior or interior worlds. With graceful economy she hands the reader the very hearts of her characters, and cleanly etches her settings - like an artist who can suggest the whole shape of an object by the thickness of the line with which she draws. The result are lean, rich stories that move." Linda Taddeo
"The Forerunner Factor" is an omnibus containing "Forerunner" and "Forerunner: The Second Venture". Andre Norton's books talk about the Forerunners. They are those who went before and have left artefacts that noone understands. We desire what they were and had.
In "Forerunner" we meet Simsa, the orphan. She lives in the Burrows, the slums in the spaceport-city on the planet Kuxortal. Her looks are exotic with iridescent blue-black skin and white hair. As many of Norton's other protagonists, Simsa has a telepathic bond with her batlike zorsal but does not truly communicate with them. The adventure begins when she gets involved with a spaceman in search of his brother. Together they end up running for their lives. Eventually they come into contact with a Forerunner artefact and, what do you know, Simsa is revealed as one.
In "Forerunner: The Second Venture" Simsa escapes captivity, crash landing on another world where life does not seem viable. She comes into intelligent life, manages to communicate with it and discovers that the Forerunners have also been there. In this novel Simsa has two goals. First and foremost she seeks to remain herself. The second is to survive without recapture.
Really enjoyed this story, Andre Norton is sadly missed in the Science Genre. This is a story starting of in the Dipple a type of refuge camp and carrying on into adventures on the planet and then further in space. it is a time of growth for the heroine from just a cast off to being some-one who can control her own destint
This books starts out very well, and even if it kind of peters out eventually, it is still a very good read. The book consists of two novels and I'm in the middle of reading the second one as I write this. I've read quite a few books by Andre Norton over the years and they are always worth buying and reading
Andre Norton is one of the all-time greats of Sci Fi. Some write a single great book (A Canticle for Leibovitz). Some hit on a series or theme (The Foundation Trilogy, Dune, Erikson, Earthsea etc). Norton just turned out good or excellenet books every time, with individual ones like Catseye that can compete with the one-hit wondres AND themes like the Forerunner books which can compete with the themes and series approach.
This edition is two novels in one cover. The first is full of vision and freshness. The second develops it with slightly less verve. At the price you are blessed indeed. I often find that female Sci Fi writers ironically do heroines badly. Norton never does.
Oh by the way, these novels are always very accessible to teenagers and yound adults. Habit forming and taste-forming too. After a teen has read Norton they will have a helpful benchmark for the rest of their life. Norton knows how to channel teen issues, feelings and needs into something that is definitely more than just pandering to those topics, like a lot of teen fiction. I first read these book as a teen and now many many years later get a different but just as rich satisfaction from reading them again.