The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Early Heinlein. One of his best Juveniles. I don't know if it really counts to say there's spoilers here when it's so damn old, but I'm very amused by how it turned out.
Sure, we have a very old but very childlike alien beast that has been passed down for ten generations of this starfaring family. What began as a small, cute beast is now a full fledged dinosaur that like to eat shrubberies and trees in town.
And this is where the trouble begins. We've got busybody jerks who want to put down such an unintelligent beast because it doesn't quite match sapience laws despite being able to talk. After all, it doesn't have HANDS! *gasp* So yeah, this dog scared the locals and we go straight to a courtroom drama, counter-cultural hijinks, saving the beasty by all means, and a nice little surprise that turns the tables on everyone's understanding.
You know, Heinlein. Crusty libertarians, skirting the law when it doesn't make sense, making allies that throw a wrench in everyone's works. Fun stuff. And best of all, it's very much a YA. A great end, too.
View all my reviews