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Star Soldiers

(Central Control #1 & 2)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,793 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Star Guard 1953. Dominant aliens allow humans to the stars only as mercenaries. Swordsman Kana and his comrades, betrayed by Central Command, march across hostile planet Fronn.
Star Rangers 1953, The Last Planet 1955. 4K years later, telepath Kartr and Patrollers crash on a beautiful unknown yet familiar world and seek the source of a beacon to safety.
Paperback, 480 pages
Published August 1st 2002 by Baen (first published 1953)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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William Bentrim
Sep 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Star Soldiers by Andre Norton

Humanity’s aggressive nature causes them to be galactic mercenaries when they burst out of Sol’s gravity well. Molded into a strict regime by Galactic Central Control, man’s creative aspects are ignored as they bleed off their most courageous warriors.

ANDRE NORTON needs to be capitalized for her impact on the entire genre. This book was first printed in 1953 and loses nothing in the ensuing decades. It is a great space opera with extremely humane characters.

D.L. Morrese
Mar 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I read several Andre Norton books when I was a kid. She wrote well over a hundred, mostly pulp space operas that were just what kids in the ‘space age’ wanted. Her tales of human space exploration, discovering other worlds, and meeting with strange aliens were simple but inspirational. We expected such tales to become a reality in the Twenty-First Century. Alas, things did not turn out so.

This Baen edition contains two of her earlier works: Star Guard (1955) and Star Rangers (1953).

Star Guard
Nov 16, 2013 rated it liked it
I read the first volume. (this is a twofer.) It was good. Enjoyable, but not good enough that I wanted to read the second. A low three stars.
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: e, sci-fi
Two fairly good, short novels. The main topics of both are mankind's exodus from Earth. Independently, each is a fun story of one character facing the complete change of the world he has previously known. Both characters, though being widely different in age, experience, background, etc, share the common trait of not only being prepared for the change they experience but desirous of it. This discontentedness manifests itself in reluctance to assume mantles which are thrust upon them (more so in ...more
May 26, 2015 rated it liked it
This edition collects two shorter novels into one volume. The two individual titles are 'Star Guard' and 'Star Rangers'.

The first is about a unit of mercenaries who find themselves betrayed on an alien planet. Although this ended pretty well. most of the story was hard going. Some of it just made no sense at all. If everyone has guns, why use ranks like Swordsman Third Class and Sword Master?? Just seemed totally lame to me. ** two stars.

The second follows the adventures of a small group of
Feb 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This is a collection of Norton's two Central Control novels, Star Guard (1955) and Star Rangers (1953). It's currently a free download on Amazon so I decided to give it a try. I only read Star Guard so far, and it's a pretty good old fashioned military sf yarn. Nothing terribly original, but it gets the job done. Standard plot: plucky rookie ends up helping save the world. Some of the plot - an Earth hemmed in by hostile aliens, people can only go to space through military channels - reminded me ...more
Nov 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
What did I think? I think that's two Norton books,and I give up. This was an incredibly dull book from start to utterly anti-climatic finish. That woman can't write an ending to save her life. Or compelling characters for that matter. The ideas are decent, but they need to be given over to a much more skilled author.
Jun 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Two stars for the first book as it had a really bad ending, and three stars for the second, which was more of an essay in race relations.

I am a big fan of Andre Norton, and this was free from Amazon, so I thought I would give it a try, but cannot really recommend it.
Baron Greystone
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Interesting combination of two novels, one set at the beginning of human activity in the galaxy, the other at the end of that huge empire. Dated, sure, but by a master of the genre. If you like that sort of retro SF, then you should pick this one up.
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and found it to be a relatively fast read. Star Soldiers is actually an omnibus of two books set in the same universe -- Star Guard and Star Rangers.

The first book is set some time after Earth has ventured into space and made contact with the rest of the galaxy. It turns out that Earth is somewhat late to the party – space is already populated by a diverse population of space-traveling aliens, and things are fairly civilized with rules in place to help keep it that way. The
Star Soldiers is an Omnibus Edition of the Central Control series by Andre Norton.
A free copy can be found here

Star Guard

When the human race finally began to explore interstellar space, they found that they were not alone. They also found that they were outclassed by a very old Galactic Empire. They were forced to be part of the Empire and given a role that was deemed best suited to their temperament... Mercenaries. As a human, the only way to visit the stars was to do so as a warrior for hire.

An Odd1
Oct 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Heroes have one-dimension, courage. Opposition includes hostile nature and fellow humans. Aliens are friends and foes. Different struggles united by common theme, brave soldiers get optimistic endings/ futures.

Star Guard 1955
Kana 18, fresh from training, joins mercenary troops, the only way alien rulers Central Control, allow humans to travel space. Leaders are shot in the back, flamed to a crisp, except for dying warning. Hansu leads survivors across hostile planet Fronn, fighting, then
Lance Schonberg
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
I’ve enjoyed a lot of Andre Norton’s stories during my lifetime. I wish this were one of them. Or two of them, I guess.
This is an omnibus edition of Star Guard and Star Rangers, two novels set in the same universe but with several thousand years separating them.
The first book, Star Guard, is theoretically Military SF, with humans only allowed in space as mercenaries to keep us locked off from the galaxy at large and from becoming a threat to galactic culture. And I say theoretically, because the
Robert Scott
more later
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brings back memories

I first read stories by Norton in the 60’s and enjoyed the yarns she spun. The stories have a strong central character that matches the timeline. The outcome is hopeful.
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, science-fiction, ya
Star Soldiers is an "omnibus" of two Andre Norton pieces. Each of an approximate 200 pages in length, these novels are Star Guard and Star Rangers respectively. The author wrote them in such a similar fashion that they may be seen as set within the same "Universe" despite not truly being connected.
A few things stand out about these works. Firstly they were written in the 1950s, and do have a dash of a dated feel to them. This is not a problem in abundance due to the stark lack of any real depth
Jun 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Enjoyable book. Old school science fiction. Nothing objectionable. No female characters at all actually (except for a few minor background characters at the very end). Which sort of got me thinking... This book has humans and lots of different alien races, but no female characters, which is pretty common for old sci fi. It's a humans-the-explorers-and-adventure-seekers type story (again as is a lot of older sci fi), which I guess does tend to generally be more guys' than girls' personalities. ...more
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is comprised of two separate novels, Star Guard and Star Rangers. Star Guard was a decent old-school story about a group of soldiers who were stranded on a hostile planet after their war came to an abrupt end. The story has well imagined military action but to me it went a little too long and the ending was a little flat. I would have rated this story a 3 if it was by itself.

However, Star Rangers, the second novel included in the book, was one of my favorite Andre Norton stories. She
Oct 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
I didn't know this was two stories in one when I started it (I read the eBook version), I was pretty disappointed to find the story wrapping up when the book was only half-done. I was especially engrossed in Star Guard because of the futurist medieval-ism, a theme which I always enjoy, and so I was even more disappointed to find the second story is completely different. Besides being Scienec-Fiction they are honestly completely different Genres. I even considered putting the book down - a thing ...more
A.G. Lindsay
Feb 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sf
This "book" is actually made up of two books which do not have anything to do with each other, really, except terminology.

"Central Control" in the first is just at the height of it's heyday and is about to decline. In the second, CC and the Star Patrol are pretty much obsolete. It's not clear if the first CC and the second CC are the same entity.

I liked this book (or I should say "these books"), but I should warn you that it has not aged well in spots. There are few female characters, none of

I usually love Andre Norton and if I had read this as a young man I probably would have but as a middle aged reader it is very dated while still a worthy read it doesn't hit my scale for a great book
D. Meador
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Had to read this book again, gains in meaning each time I read it.
Harry Lane
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Actually two novellas, this book strikes me as being very uneven. I enjoyed the first, would have given it a three, but didn't finish the second.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Star Soldiers by Andre Norton

I would give this a much larger number if I could, I haven't read any book by Andre Norton that isn't great and this doesn't disappoint.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An old book, that addresses some of the same issues of prejudice that we experience today
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Really enjoyable 1950s science fiction
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good juvenile tale

Anything by Norton is a Classic, almost by definition, but my copy still needed proofing. There were minor errors of substitutions (if for it, for example).
I only have four stars because five is perfection, and this wasn't Shakespeare after all.
Scott Sammons
Hokey in a way that is only acceptable from a classic 2488534 like Andre Norton. If this were from most modern independently published writers it would get a two star rating. Such is the unfairness of reader loyalty.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To the stars & back

I've been reading (& rereading) Ms Norton far longer than I am comfortable admitting & while her SyFy is a bit dated ( ex-the wire feed tales she mentions) they still hold up well I believe & these two tales are great examples.
Zachary Owen
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Taken individually, each of the novels contained in Star Soldiers are fun and diverting in that unique pulp style. Since I enjoyed both quite a lot I'm rounding up the rating for the book as a whole to five stars.
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. She also used the names Andrew North and Allen ...more

Other books in the series

Central Control (3 books)
  • The Last Planet (Central Control, #1)
  • Star Guard (Central Control, #2)
“I believe that those in the city must be left to work out their own destiny," the hist-techneer said at last. "In a manner of thinking that choice is now a retreat. They wish life to remain as it always has been. But that is just what life never does. It goes up—one advances—or it goes down—one retreats. And if one tried to stand still—that is retreat.” 3 likes
“If Kartr had an instant picture of what it meant to dangle so precariously over the edge of a sheer drop he did not betray himself.” 0 likes
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