Reviews of Dark Companion (2005)
Review by johnafair (2007-05-13)
The first of these stories, Dark Piper, is relatively unusual for Andre Norton; a story where the protagonists come out of the story definitely worse off than when they started. Andre doesn't usually go for situations where her characters benefit from the situations thy find themselves in, but neither do they end up suffering all that badly either. In Dark Piper, though the group of survivors find themselves in a very dicey situation and have come together as a group despite being a disperate group at the start, their position at the end of the novel is definitely uncertain.
Dark Companion is a more usual style for Norton, with the children able to escape from their captor and settled in the society that they find waiting for them.
Both books are suffiently gripping for you to get through quite quickly and if not great literature, they are not too dated - Dark Piper was originally written in the 60s and the computer equipment used seems dated for even then, but this is a common problem with science fiction. As always with Norton, it's the interaction between the various characters rather than the technology that's important anyway and these are among the most believable in science fiction.