Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 180
When 16-year-old Cat, [protagonist of Psion] …, gets a chance to "volunteer" for a psi research project, he embarks on a tumultuous series of experiences leading not only to the awakening of his telepathic powers and the discovery that he can care for others but also to his brutal enslavement and near death. Finally accepting his dual human-alien heritage, Cat experiences an incredible heightening of his extraordinary psionic power when he faces a potent, power-hungry psion in a deadly confrontation that not only destroys Cat's enemy but also Cat's psionic power. In her first novel for young people,… [Joan D. Vinge] pulls no punches in fleshing out a viable, grim, multi-planetary civilization as the setting for a complex, borderline-adult story that combines the excitement and adventure of space opera with more psychological depth in character development than is usual in teenage science fiction. Vinge demonstrates her mastery of sustained suspense carried in part by Cat's emotional stream of consciousness and in part by the intensity of the action.
Sally Estes, in a review of "Psion," in Booklist, Vol. 79, No. 1, September 1, 1982, p. 37.