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Voodoo Planet by Andre Norton

“Voodoo Planet” is a science fiction novel written by Andre Norton, first published in 1959.

The story is set in the future, where humans have colonized many planets in the galaxy. The novel follows the adventures of a space explorer named Dane Thorson and his crew as they land on the planet, Yiktor, and discover its dark secrets.

The story begins with Dane Thorson, a crew member of the spaceship Solar Queen, being ordered by his captain to make a detour to the planet Yiktor. The captain believes that there are valuable trade goods to be found on the planet. However, upon landing on Yiktor, the crew soon realizes that there is more to the planet than meets the eye.

Yiktor is a mysterious and dangerous place, shrouded in superstition and magic. The planet is ruled by a powerful and sinister witch named Voodoo Lilette, who is feared and revered by the planet’s inhabitants. Thorson and his crew are soon captured by Lilette’s minions, and they must find a way to escape before they are sacrificed in one of the witch’s dark rituals.

As the crew explores the planet, they encounter a variety of strange and terrifying creatures, including giant insects, telepathic beasts, and deadly predators. They also discover that Yiktor is home to a powerful alien artifact, a crystal that can manipulate the minds of those who come into contact with it.

The crew eventually manages to escape from Lilette’s clutches, but they must navigate their way through treacherous terrain and avoid the dangers that lurk around every corner. Along the way, they make contact with a group of rebels who seek to overthrow Lilette’s rule and restore freedom to the planet.

As the story unfolds, Thorson and his crew must confront their own fears and prejudices, as they come to understand the complex society of Yiktor and the true nature of the threats that they face. They must also find a way to outwit Lilette and her minions, and to unlock the secrets of the crystal before it falls into the wrong hands.

“Voodoo Planet” is a thrilling and imaginative science fiction adventure that explores themes of power, control, and the nature of magic and superstition. Norton’s vivid descriptions of the planet and its inhabitants bring the story to life, immersing the reader in a world that is both strange and familiar.

One of the strengths of the novel is the character of Dane Thorson, who serves as the reader’s guide through the world of Yiktor. Thorson is a relatable and likable hero, who is forced to confront his own biases and preconceptions as he learns about the planet and its people. His interactions with the rebels and other characters on the planet provide insight into the complex social and political structures that exist on Yiktor.

Another notable aspect of “Voodoo Planet” is its exploration of the themes of science and magic. Norton deftly blends elements of science fiction and fantasy, creating a world that is both grounded in scientific plausibility and infused with a sense of wonder and mystery. The crystal, which is both a powerful technological artifact and a source of magical energy, represents the intersection of these two themes.

In conclusion, “Voodoo Planet” is a classic science fiction novel that stands the test of time. Norton’s skillful world-building, vivid characters, and thrilling plot make for an engaging and thought-provoking read. The novel’s themes of power, control, and the intersection of science and magic continue to resonate with readers today, making “Voodoo Planet” a must-read for fans of the genre.

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