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The primary reason to read this book is entertainment—Norton encourages the reader to get lost in an alien world as the novel's protagonist, young Troy Horan, struggles against criminal elements on the planet of Korwar. Thematically, Catseye stresses the idea that animals as well as humans play an integral role in the life of a planet. Norton raises ethical questions about humankind's treatment of animals. Do humans have the right to use animals for their own purposes, or should animals have some choice? Do animals have intelligence? Is there a possibility of animals communicating not only with humans, but with other species as well?

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Although the novel is set on another world, the problems Troy faces are those that confront many young people today on Earth. Troy worries about a job, security, trust, honesty, and the search for independence, and learns that he must live with his choices.

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