Tag Archive: Pern



Sky DragonsSky Dragons by Anne McCaffrey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a bittersweet book. Published after our Pern Queen, Anne McCaffrey passed. That acknowledgement is at the beginning of the book and set the tone. At least it did for me.

I already had the hardback so all I needed was the audio. I borrowed that from the library. Now I have this on my Audible wishlist. Once again, Emily Durante was the narrator. She is excellent! Her acting skills shine in this recording.

In this book, the McCaffrey’s join the 21st century breaking the dragon-glass ceiling for those who love differently, for women. Feminists erupted from Pern and showed they could do anything the guys could. With the framework set up by Fiona and Larana in the previous books Xhinna sets out to save Pern from total destruction by thread. Illnesses cut the human and dragon populations and in the following passes of thread all could die. Xhinna comes up with some solutions, much of it trial and error but she is strong and pushes the envelopes of what she should be able to do. Just as her ‘sisters’ before her, Xhinna loves deeply and uncommonly. From that love, she finds uncommon answers.

It makes me sad that this may be the last Pern novel. Of course, I still have a few in the middle that I haven’t read yet. But knowing the chronological ending of the series just makes me feel SO sad! I will have to make sure to reread all of these again later. Even still, it astonishes me at how much story Ms. McCaffrey was able to create from this one planet. The mass of world and personality maps and charts of information, she and Todd must have sitting around … well, it must be amazing!

If you get the chance to read the entire series, do so! If I had to narrow it down, I think these last three, starting with Stargirl written by both mother and son, with the narration of Emily Durante, are the best ones of all!

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Dragon's Time (Pern, #23)Dragon’s Time by Anne McCaffrey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, this was a slower continuation of the last book I read, Dragongirl. Which wasn’t about a girl but rather a grown lady. Neither story let us in on the time Fiona was a girl. And this story takes place both after and before Dragongirl. Confused yet? Yeah. Get used to it. That is the problem in books of time travel. That is the problem of worlds that don’t have the same rules as our own.

Luckily, I was able to borrow the audio-CD version of the book to complement my hardback version. And I highly recommend others read the series this way. Emily Durante’s narration is superb! I love her acting. Since this book centers more on Larana who is older than Fiona and Emily’s voice sounds more aged and settled than Fiona’s often high-pitched excitable voice. And she is able to portray the male voices with differing styles. She is amazing! I have the Audible version on my wishlist now.

I do have to admit that this one was harder to follow for me and I often had to back up and re-read/re-listen to certain parts of the story to make sure I knew when and where the story was taking place.

But the love continues. The great love Fiona and Larana share with each other and planetwide, is what moves the story. Forgiveness plays a big part. There is much a person can learn from these last two stories about love and communication. Many who have reviewed these two books have been negative about the polyamorous viewpoints brought up here. But to me, this depth of love is needed for the problems that Pern is presented. The newly found abilities of moving back and forth in time solve and create other problems but without love it would have all fallen apart. Pern isn’t another Earth, it needs its own rules and answers. I think the McCaffrey’s came up with some great ideas… maybe we should institute many of these back here before our own world is caput.

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Dragongirl (Pern, #22)Dragongirl by Todd J. McCaffrey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wish I could give this book 20 stars! I think it is my favorite Pern novel ever! I must admit that I borrowed the audio CDs from the library to help with the hardback I own to get through it. It is the first I’ve read that doesn’t have Dick Hill’s deep voice but poor acting. Instead, this starred Emily Durante. Okay, I must admit that at first this high voice nearly drove me as crazy as Dick’s deep voice. And I missed his echoing sound for his dragon voices. But I soon got used to Ms. Durante’s energies and voices and added the Audible version to my wishlist for the future. I am thankful the library had the CDs in the meantime.

This book proposed a different way to look at life and love. I see in the reviews that many found this book disgusting. More’s the pity for them. Sorry. If your humans and dragons are dying and you are given a gift of love and it seems others can find that fluidity of love within themselves, there is an answer to procreating in a new way. Old methods of impressing dragons show that the old ways don’t work in the world anymore. Much time travel is needed to help keep the planet alive. All these new methods combine to promote a healthier Pern. Stuck in Earth’s ways with old mores, Pern would have surely ended with this book.

LOVE is the key of this book. Fiona, gold queen-rider and weyrwoman, has more love than anyone can imagine. She gives it freely and does her best to shine her positive light on everyone. But even greater love has Lorana who has given the ultimate sacrifice, her dragon, to Pern. How could others not see the magic and love of these two womyn?

One warning? Have the Kleenex ready near the end.

Okay, to those following my reviews: I know my goal is to mainly read books written by women that contain strong fem leads. This one more than qualifies as Todd McCaffrey merely channeled his mother’s world and populated it with the strongest womyn I have met yet. Thank you, Todd! I can’t wait to read more!

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Dragon's FireDragon’s Fire by Anne McCaffrey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Would this book get a higher rating from me had I not solely listened to Dick Hill read it? Could it have been better with text-to-speech? I think so. I just don’t like how this narrator interprets females or the young males. They all sound weak and whiny. I don’t mind his deep sonorous voice for the Masterharper, or even for just descriptive parts of the book. But mostly I don’t like his acting.

This is the first book in a long time that I didn’t have the hardback book to help me along. I had to just listen. That was sheer torture to this ADD mind. To be stuck under the headset for so long nearly drove me mad… there are those that think I already arrived, but that’s another story!

As for THIS story, I do think it is the weakest so far. I’m a little afraid to state that per above remarks, but there was quite a lot of time that there was just NOTHING going on. I read these books to be flying with dragons or their kin, but there seemed to be very little of that and a whole lot of bad guys and bad decisions that had nothing to do with impressing or flying.

Luckily, this was a library CD and I don’t have to worry about whether I should buy the book. Nope. I have a lot of the books in this collection, but I see no reason to get this one.

Still, good try, Todd. I still miss your mom. RIP, Anne.

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Dragon's Kin (Pern)Dragon’s Kin by Anne McCaffrey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes a person has to do with what they can afford and/or find at the time. Found, at the library the hardback and the audio CDs of this book available at the same time! Score! And I own the next four hardbacks waiting for me on my own bookshelves. Problem with those is I don’t have the audio/Audible versions to help me out. So it may take a while until I can read them.

Meanwhile, I had a lot of fun reading/listening to this. Dick Hill did the narration. And I think he did a better job acting out this one than others in the Pern series before. Maybe it was the writing combo of Anne and Todd McCaffrey. Maybe I was just more receptive of the story. At any rate, I just found this more fun. And I am glad that those left-over beasts of the original research that resulted in dragons, the watch-whers, can have their day in the Pernese sun. And I loved the kids that were the main characters.

I can never get enough of Anne McCaffrey’s work. Glad her son joined in the fun. I look forward to reading more by both. R.I.P. Anne.

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The Skies of Pern (Pern, #16)The Skies of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I SO wanted to give this book five stars. Five stars because I miss Anne McCaffrey and she showed a different way to depict women in science fiction. Five Stars because I got to go back to Pern and enjoy the dragons and dolphins. But I just couldn’t.

Had I read this a long while ago when my eyes were still good, I might have given a higher rating. I wouldn’t have had to listen to the narrator, Dick Hill’s version of the story. Ugh! He makes all the women sound like weak whiners. Even Lessa, who is supposed to be a strong leader, Mr. Hill diminishes with his vocal characterization. But there was no text-to-speech so I was stuck with his voice. And there is no loanability for these books. What the Heck! Poor people want to read, too!

But maybe Dick was only working with what was there? Did our dear Ms. McCaffrey write the book with the male heaviness I felt? I just wasn’t happy with how it progressed. It took me much longer to read, just because it didn’t pull at me like, say, her Harper Hall books did. Okay. I did read most of this series about twenty-four years ago. Whew! That is a long time ago!

It was only near the end of reading this book that I realized that this was the last solo book of the series. I will now have to look up the continuation written with her son, Todd or those he wrote alone. I have a few sitting here, but I will have to find the Kindle versions and Audibles to get by.

SO as much as I miss our dear Anne McCaffrey and her love and talent, I have to stay truthful. This just wasn’t my favorite Pern.

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Review: Dragonsdawn


Cover of "Dragonsdawn (Dragonriders of Pe...

Cover via Amazon

Dragonsdawn
Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my third reading of this book. I still love it. This time I was able to purchase the Audible version to go along with my own hardback book. This particular book includes Chronicles of Pern: The First Fall. But since I am trying to read these in order I didn’t want to read that part yet. Yes, I realized that Moreta should have been the read, but I didn’t have that Audible version yet. So I jumped ahead. I do have Moreta now, so I’ll start it soon.

I loved discovering, again, how humans landed and learned to survive on Pern. I was fascinated by the amount of research that Ms. McCaffrey put into the writing of this book. Not only is this pointed out in her preface, but it is obvious in how the humans proceed in inhabiting this new land. Her characters are so realistic.

Dick Hill’s narration further developed each character. All voices done so well that you know who is talking without the identifying tags in the sentences.

I have mentioned in previous Pern reviews how I love the way Dick Hill reads. He keeps the reader/listener engaged. Even his dragon voices sound convincing.

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The Dragonriders of Pern
The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If it weren’t for Audible I wouldn’t have been able to read this book. The font is so small that I can’t stay with it for long. Having the story narrated to me helped. When I didn’t understand a passage I could check it out in the book for understanding.

I love this series. I read them all a long time ago. It is so fun to get back into Pern and enjoy the dragons and fire lizards. Anne McCaffrey wrote so beautifully. I loved her vocabulary and the extent that she researched the sciences of these books. Her characters are well developed and fallible. In this part of the series the traditions of a male dominated system are challenged. The dragons make those changes happen. A new more equality-base system is about to emerge. I look forward to more in the series.

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The White Dragon
The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wish I would have written this review when I finished reading/listening this book. I have already started another in the Pern series (Dragonsdawn/Dragonriders’s Dawn).

Okay, let’s see. I remember loving The White Dragon more than the others the first time I read it. Maybe that was because I read it after the Menolly stories last time around. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums. As a music major at the time I was thrilled by the music of Pern. But White Dragon was more mature with a wider vocabulary. It also helped titrated me up to the rest of the books of Pern. This time I was more interested in the trials of the way Pern, herself, demands that traditions be challenged.

The name Ruth, in my life, has been a female name, so it still throws me that the white dragon is Ruth. He named himself. Who would argue with a dragon? Still, I loved the book. Can’t say if it is my favorite this round. We’ll see!

This time I am listening to the Audible versions while reading the paper book (hard back). I love Dick Hall’s voice, especially when he does his rendition of Masterharper Robinton. He keeps the characters individualized. And the voices for the females are not silly. It is a pleasure to listen to his voice.

Oh, the book form for this was Dragonriders of Pern which had the three books: Dragonflight, Dragonquest and The White Dragon.

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Review: Dragonflight


Dragonflight
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a second reading for this series. I loved these books so long ago, and find I am excited to be back in Pern. I didn’t change my star rating as they are just as wonderful now as when I read them the first time.

The difference, this time, is I had the Audible version to listen to while keeping track on the Kindle version, and in the huge book version, Dragonriders of Pern, that contains Dragonflight, Dragonquest and White Dragon. My eyes couldn’t stay with the book version at all. The font was too small.

This Audible version had Dick Hill as narrator. His deep voice resonated within me, especially when he did the voice for Robinton. Oh, how I had missed that Masterharper! Mr. Hill was able to keep the characters different while not making the females sound silly. In fact, I think his strength was in drawing out Lessa’s personality.

My soul misses Anne McCaffrey and her wit and imagination. At least we still have all her books to immerse ourselves in.

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