Tor, Jun 2002, 23.95, 318 pp.
Death-which-Comes-in-the-Night is as deadly a killer as anyone will find. The creature hunts its prey in darkness, but leaves no traces that it has dined except the totally cleansed bones of the victim. No one has lived to tell anything about this deadly scourge that eradicates populations with ease.
Death-which-Comes-in-the-Night assaults and feeds from the people of planet Arzor. Native American soldier Storm, who barely survived the Zik destruction of Earth, wants to stop the creature from razing his new home world and is willing to use his Beast Master skills to defeat the invincible foe. He needs help and it seems to have arrived with Tani, a genetic engineer from off-planet. Tani's mother does not want her daughter to follow the path of her deceased husband, a dedicated Beast Master; the lass grew up to hate Beast Masters, not knowing she is one of them. Only if these two individuals team up can they halt more than just a dangerous creature. They must try to stop a interstellar conspiracy that if successful will destroy all the human planets.
After a forty year void, Andre Norton (and Lyn McConchie) returns to her Beast master novels (see THE BEAST MASTER and LORD OF THUNDER) with the highly exciting BEAST MASTER'S ARK. The story line is loaded with action that never slows down though there are no major surprises as the tale plays out, as the audience would expect. Still readers will cheer the heroes and wonder what this Death-which-Comes-in-the-Night truly is. Fans will want a fourth book and the reprinting of the first two novels.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner