Catseye features Norton’s usual broader theme of the main character finding his place in the world, but isn’t really a coming-of-age story like many of her books. In fact, Troy Horan doesn’t need to be exiled or otherwise lost to find his place; he had it, on the plains of Norden, but he was evacuated for a war, and the planet of Norden is lost, no longer part of of the Council.

Troy is stuck on Korwar, a gathering place of the rich and powerful, and with a chronic job shortage. A temporary job using his rusty animal handling skills starts to lever him out of the slums, but it is quickly apparent that his employer is engaged in something outside the law, and involving exotic animals imported from Terra. The action moves quickly and smoothly, with a lot of twists and turns. The story stays focused on Troy, and his struggles against a restricted society, so that you never quite find out exactly what happened in a couple of critical places.

Technically, those missing parts are outside the plot, and aren’t really needed. Indeed, the lack doesn’t actually detract from the book, as Troy (and the reader) gets just enough knowledge to be getting on with.