Of the two most recent Andre Norton novels, The X Factor and Quest Crosstime, The X Factor begins with the most promise; but it fails to fulfill that promise….
While this novel might have held "a mirror up to nature," it avoids a most significant issue for the adolescent: how is a man to come to terms with his physical makeup in his own culture? Moreover, Norton relies on the cliche that the physically handicapped possess some special affinity for, and sensitivity to, the natural world. Here this cliche is dressed out as "thought projection." Neither the science, which borders on mysticism, nor the slow-moving action will make this novel appeal to younger readers....
(The entire section is 520 words.)