Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Del Rey;(July 27, 2010)
Young Fiona, rider of the gold queen dragon Talenth, has just returned from three years at the abandoned Weyr (or dragon domicile) Ingen, to which injured dragons and riders had gone to heal. The place is 10 Turns in the past, yet only days have passed at Fort Weyr when they return. The Weyr (dragons, riders, and support) are still fighting Thread shorthanded because the plague is still killing dragons, and dragons and riders are going down in battle. Suddenly all Telgar dragons and riders are lost Between. Since Talenth is the oldest queen who isn’t leading a Weyr, Fiona becomes Weyrwoman of Telgar, where she galvanizes the people and attracts dragon riders and healers to join. The constant Thread falls cause rapid attrition of dragons and riders, and the search for a cure for the plague and the fight for survival become ever more desperate. Adding fascination is the book’s exploration of the possibilities of dragons going Between from one time to another just as they go almost instantly from place to place on the planet.
In the case of Anne McCaffrey’s Pern books, I just never give up! The first few books her son Todd wrote were not up to Anne’s but I keep getting them and reading them because (much like Pandora) I just don’t want to leave!
In other books I know part of the problem is ME. You see, Todd is “keeping the planet and dragons and weyrs” but letting go of Anne’s fabulous characters from Benden like Lessa and F’Lar and many others like Masterharper Robinton, and Jaxom and Ruth… well…what can I say ? It’s damn hard!
So.. I got Todd McCaffrey’s latest book, and I guess some of the characters are finally sinking in and becoming characters I like. (but it’s taken a few books to do this) Anyway.. by page 140 I was thinking, “wow! I think he’s finally getting it right!”, and I was really enjoying the book!
But, (and I know you knew the “but” was coming)..as it went on I found myself thinking things I’ve never thought while reading a book before! Not that it was awful (it wasn’t!) but it distracted me I guess. I would read that Fiona was in love with Harper Kindan but “mated” to another… and her mate was in love with another. (huh? male dream? one man two women sharing him??) Then I noticed it was pushed in my face many times over the rest of the book. Men sharing two women, a woman sharing two men… it brought down my feelings of the people of Pern. I think it was meant to bring love to everyone and that everyone can love each other, but it was too much in my face.
Then he had the dragons letting others ride them without the one who impressed them. Again, under circumstances it was ok … but it was being done over and over with too many dragons. He was changing too many things in one book.
Needless to say the book that began so good and had so much potential still wound up disappointing me. Everything that he “changed” he repeatedly said it over and over and pushed it in my face… it was overkill.
However, things ended on a high note for me… it seems the next book due out next year will be a collaboration with his mother Anne McCaffrey! I hope she can put him back on the right track! Changes are needed when someone else takes over, but then again some things really need to stay the same.
If you are a Pern fan you should read this book… if for no other reason than to be able to know what’s going on when next years book gets released.
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