Category Archives: Science Fiction Books

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund Book Review

Academy 7

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

Author: Anne Osterlund
Publisher: Speak (May 2009)
ISBN: 0142414379, EAN: 9780142414378
Page Count: 272 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: teens 12 and up
My Rating: image_thumb85_thumb1[3]

 

Synopsis:

Aerin Renning is an escaped slave whose father died in a horrific crash.  Dane Madousin is the youngest son of the most powerful man on the Allied Council.  They have nothing in common except they both tested in the top 50 on the A.E.E. exam and are part of the exclusive first-year class at the competitive Academy 7.  At first, Aerin thinks that Dane is simply mocking her in class and goes out of her way to avoid him and everyone else, terrified that someone will uncover her secret and get her kicked out of school.  But as Dane spends more time with Aerin, they both come to realize that they have more in common than either one of them realized.  Together, they make the perfect team in uncovering the mysteries of the past…

Review:

I picked up this book at the library on a whim and thought that it would be a fairly typical book where boy meets girl at an exclusive boarding school and then they realize that they are soul mates or vampires or something like that, but boy was I wrong!  I reread the back of the book again after I read the first Science Fictionchapter and can’t believe that they left out such an important aspect of the book – it is science fiction!  Academy 7 is set on a remote planet within Alliance space. So I found a big surprise at the beginning of the book and the plot twists just kept on coming from there!  It is so rare for me not to “see” where a book is going, especially with most of the popular fiction that is out there for teens right now that this book was a delightful surprise!  Dane’s father is part of the 11-person Allied Council that helps rule the universe.  Aerin’s father was killed in a spaceship crash and was enslaved on a backwater planet that is not part of the Alliance.  Technology and computers play a big part in the secrets that the Council is keeping from Aerin and Dane.  I love that I couldn’t predict what was going to happen and that Aerin was a total wildcard as a character.  The story took such crazy twists and turns that I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next!

I loved the juxtaposition of Aerin and Dane as the primary characters in the book.  Aerin spent the months leading up to her attendance at Academy 7 studying everything about the Alliance.  Once school begins, she can be found either in class or in the library at all times.  Aerin tries so hard to seal off her emotions so that she won’t fall apart after her father’s death, her enslavement, and her amazing escape.  She has had to endure so much in her life and is still trying to figure out where she belongs.  Aerin hopes that Academy 7 is that place, but knows that she could be expelled at any time.  A fierce fighter, Aerin ranks top of the class in all of her classes, including physical self-defense, except in Debate, where she is second to Dane.  Dane appears to be a spoiled son of wealth and privilege.  He always skates as close to the edge as he can, even if hisJet Flying Past the Moons life is in danger.  One of Dane’s greatest joys is flying his private jet.  His other greatest joy is making his father furious.  Unbeknownst to anyone outside his small family, Dane is a victim of abuse and doesn’t value his life because no one else does either.  Blamed for his mother’s dead in childbirth, Dane has never known what is like to be truly loved by another.  I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these two characters come together.  They appeared so different on the surface when I first met them, but I came to discover that they were a great match for each other and complimented each other in ways that I didn’t expect.

The universe that Anne Osterlund has created here was fascinating and added an extra layer of depth to make this book something special.  The Alliance is a group of star systems that have like-minded goals in regards to moral codes, government and treatment of citizens.  Each planet elects delegates to bring their concerns and issues to the Council, which is run by four respected leaders.  X-level planets have governments that allow inhumane treatment, which keeps them out of the Alliance.  In counterpart to the Alliance is the Trade Union, the Militaristic Science Fiction Planetsecond most powerful government next to the Alliance.  They specialize in infiltrating governments and taking them over.  The Trade Union is slowly challenging the Alliance as they continue to expand their power base.  They do not care about inhumane treatment or morals, they just want raw materials and a strong military so they can take down the Alliance.  What is holding the Alliance back is the very morals that they believe in.  Younger citizens like Aerin and Dane don’t know it yet, but they are desperately needed to usher in a whole new era in the Alliance.  The ending of this book is open, I feel, for sequels.  The students have two more years at Academy 7 before they graduate and then they can go on to achieve anything!  Unfortunately, I was not able to find any news about a sequel planned in this universe, but I am still hopeful!

This is the first book that I read by Anne Osterlund and I was very impressed.  I immediately went and got her other two books, Aurelia and Exile, (not in the same universe from what I can tell) and look forward to some more original Anne Osterlundentertainment.  If you are looking for something different to read in teen fiction and are tired of paranormal romances with love triangles, this is a fresh choice that I really enjoyed.  I loved the characters, I found the world really intriguing and the story was full of the unexpected.  Treat yourself to something new and different – attend a year at Academy 7!

Content:

This book contains bullying, enslavement, murder, death of parents, fighting and some intense emotions.  Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Science Fiction Books, Young Adult Books

The Lighthouse Land Book Review

The Lighthouse Land

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

The Lighthouse Land by Adrian McKinty

Series: The Lighthouse Trilogy #1
Author: Adrian McKinty
Publisher: Amulet Books (October 2007)
ISBN: 0810993619, EAN: 9780810993617
Page Count: 416 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: young adults
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Jamie O’Neill hasn’t spoken a word since they amputated his arm to control his cancer.  It has been a year now and Jamie’s life has dramatically changed since then.  His father left them and moved across the country with his new wife.  His mother barely makes enough money to make ends meet and Jamie is in a special needs school where they treat him like an idiot.  So when his mother receives a letter telling her that she has inherited a small island in Ireland, it seems like a godsend.  Jamie is thrilled to move and hopes that his mother will be happier now that they have a bit of money and a home to live in.  He is really enjoying exploring their new spot of land and is especially fascinated by an old lighthouse that is located near their house.  Jamie surprises himself and makes a new friend in Ramsay, a boy who goes to his school, on his first day and they soon become inseparable.  Ramsay is a math genius who is too smart for his own good.  He loves to talk and Jamie doesn’t talk at all so it is a perfect match.  Ramsay is fascinated by the lighthouse, too, and the two boys soon discover that there is a hidden room on the top of the lighthouse.  Inside the room, they find a mysterious golden object.  When they push the button on the side, they are magically transported to another planet – and Jamie miraculously has both of his arms again. There, a young girl named Wishaway pleads for their help in defending her city, Aldan, from the Alkhavan raiders.  She believes that the Ui Neills will return to save her people in their time of need, as they have in the past.  But what can two boys do against an army of hardened warriors?

Review:

If you enjoy time travel books, and I do, then this is a pretty good one.  I really enjoyed Jamie’s character and actually found him more interesting in the first half of the book, when he was seen as broken, then in the last half when he was whole and had some power.  Jamie had an interesting outlook on the world and was working through some pretty serious issues.  He had to stare death in the face when he was diagnosed with cancer.  He survived, but he lost one of his arms and could not shake the depression and the apathy.  Rather than try and help him, his father bailed on the family and started over.  Jamie’s mother tried to be there for Jamie and to support him and encourage him to speak again, but even she has given up hope.  It will take a miracle to change Jamie and to help him realize that his life, while different, is not over.  Luckily, he gets a pretty huge miracle!  Ramsay was the perfect foil for Jamie and he made me smile throughout the book. He is such a know-it-all and can be pretty insufferable, but has absolutely no idea he is doing it or how to tone down his personality.  However, being brilliant and having amazing ideas is not always strength, as Jamie shows in this book.  Jamie is a natural leader who needs someone like Ramsay to feed him ideas, but without someone decisive like Jamie to move things along, Ramsay never would have gotten anything done!  The rest of the characters were peripheral and a bit nebulous.  Wishaway was Jamie’s love interest and she seemed like a strong female character, but I felt like she was really only there to move the plot along and give them an interpreter.  Lorca, a native warrior, is introduced 2/3rds in and introduces a love triangle aspect, which I am assuming we will see more of later, but we learn very little about him.  The adults in the book get rather short shrift, I am afraid, and don’t seem to be able to make many intelligent decisions without relying on the children to lead the way.

Wishaway’s world is an interesting one and I am excited to have the opportunity to visit it again in the remaining 2 books in the trilogy.  I am not sure that Jamie and Ramsay made the best decisions while they were in the city of Aldan and I know that we are going to see some repercussions coming down the pipe.  See, Jamie was not in time to save Aldan, as it had already been taken over by Alkhava.  So he is on the defensive from the get go and trying to rally the remaining survivors to free the Aldans, oust the Alkhavans and figure out how to get home.  That is a lot to put on the plate of a young boy!  Before the book is over, Jamie literally must decide who will live and who will die.  It is one thing to dream of glorious battle and to picture yourself as the hero, but it is another thing entirely to be caught up in the actual fighting and watching people die.  Then, of course, Jamie also has to decide what to do at the end.  Does he stay in Alda with Wishaway, where he is whole and can make a difference in the learning and growth of the people, or does he return home to his mother?

Regardless of whether you agree with Jamie’s decisions or not, they make for interesting reading and will open up some discussions (in your own mind if nowhere else!) as to what you would do were you placed in the same situation.  The planet that Wishaway lives on is a brutal one.  The sun is steadily pulling away from the planet, leaving it cold and full of icecaps.  The city of Aldan, one of the great trading capitals and full of light and knowledge, is still a backwards city.  They have very little metal on the planet and wood is also precious so it is difficult to progress in scientific matters.  The Alkhavans are even poorer as they live in cities that are icy and always cold.  Their warships are built entirely of ice and they have learned to use what they have to conquer, pillage and enslave to build their fortunes.  It is clear that there is much two young boys, that are as clever and resourceful as Jamie and Ramsay are, could do much for this world.  Jamie’s ancestors established universities and imparted their 1600s knowledge to the eager populace, but there is a great deal that has happened in the last 400 years!  However, by relying solely on alien saviors and other miracles from the gods, the people have not worked to attain any progress or knowledge on their own.  I think they would have been a great deal stronger and a good deal more interesting if they were constantly trying to build on what the Ui Neills had taught them.  They seem to be pushing no boundaries and it is easy to see why the world seems rather hopeless, cheerless and also aimless.  Hopefully the author will address some of these issues and introduce some characters that are a bit more forward-thinking than the ones in this particular book.

I did enjoy this book.  I don’t want to give you the impression that it is not worth reading, I just feel that the first half was stronger than the second half.  This is rare as I usually am much more interested in reading about the characters’ adventures once they pass through our borders and move on to the new world that they are going to explore, but I just didn’t like it as much.  Again, I have high hopes that the sequels will be more interesting and that the city of Aldan and the planet it resides on will be more fully fleshed out and realized.

Content:

This book contains scenes of battle, death, enslavement, and sickness.  The characters deal with torture, dark magic, cancer, prejudice, and violence.  Recommended for ages 12 and up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Books, Science Fiction Books, Young Adult Books

Eros Ascending Book Review

Eros Ascending

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Eros Ascending by Mike Resnick

Series: Tales of the Velvet Comet #1
Author: Michael D. Resnick
Publisher: Roc (November 1984)
ISBN: 0451132556, EAN: 9780451132550
Page Count:
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: adults
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Harry Redwine was an old and valued employee of the Vainmill Syndicate, one of the huge corporations that existed – and controlled – the galaxy. Harry was a “fixer” and his boss, Victor Bonhomme, would send him in to take perfectly healthy, well-run businesses and turn them into shaky ruins that would quickly go under. Harry’s latest assignment would take him to the Velvet Comet, a galatically famous brothel that orbits around the planet Charlemagne. The Leader Madonna, the madam of the Velvet Comet, didn’t seem to like him very much and Harry was suspicious of Suma, a beautiful young prostitute who seemed to be a little too accommodating. But as Harry spent more time on the Velvet Comet, he came to realize that it was much more than a brothel – it was a place where you could literally have your fantasies brought to life, sexually and otherwise. For the first time, Harry does not want to be a fixer, he wants to leave the Leather Madonna her empire and he wants the Leather Madonna herself…

Review:

This was an entertaining science fiction/mystery book. Harry is a character who is definitely torn between doing his job and doing what he knows is right. Even if he chooses the high ground, he may still lose because of the powerful conglomerate and he has to make the choice as to whether it is worth it to struggle at all. The secondary characters in this book were also fascinating: the rundown old boxer, the beautiful young prostitutes, the honorable security agent, the syndicate owners, all were real people who worked in that shades of grey area with nary a sign of white or black anywhere. The setting was also quite interesting, being a huge orbiting brothel in outer space, and this lent to some interesting subplots, as you can well imagine. The mystery was subtle, but it was there and quite fun to try and second guess what the characters would do and whose side they were on. If you have the opportunity to read this book, I recommend that you do, it is a good, solid read.

Content:

This book contains scenes of flirtation, sensuality and titillating scenes, but nothing overt is conveyed in the book.  There are scenes describing different alien species and their various needs.  There are also scenes of strong language, drinking, vices, gambling, murder, mysteries and evil conglomerates.  Recommended for ages 14 and up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mystery Books, Science Fiction Books

Falcon Book Review

Falcon

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Falcon by Emma Bull

Author: Emma Bull
Publisher: Ace (October 1989)
ISBN: 0441225691, EAN: 9780441225699
Page Count: 281 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: adults
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Dominic “Niki” Glyndwr comes from the ruling family of Cymru, a relatively isolated planet that is not part of the Central Worlds Concorde – yet. When he returns home after a summer vacation, he finds changes on Cymru. His uncle, the Prince, is acting erratically and seems to no longer care for the people. Niki is determined to make things right and makes connections with an underground revolutionary movement. But, despite all his efforts, his planet is stolen, betrayed by agents of the Central Worlds Concorde, undercover agents he thought of as friends. His family was destroyed and his world shattered before his eyes…

Dominic Glyndwr becomes Niki Falcon, an elite gestalt pilot taking part in an experiment: he has been changed into a being who can literally become his ship. And he’s the last. For behind his amazing new abilities lies a deadly drug that systematically destroys his body’s defenses. So when Chyrsander Harris, a famous singer, begs him to break through the Silence imposed by the Central Worlds Concorde to return him to his native planet of Lamia, what has he got to lose? More than he could imagine…

Review:

Falcon was an amazing book about a grand adventure across the stars – and a hero to cheer for. Niki is a good guy who tries hard and often makes mistakes, but always for what he feels are the right reasons. He touches the lives of everyone that he comes in contact with: Pedr, the paranoid, frantic Prince; Kitty, the Prince’s beautiful, pregnant wife; Rhys, Niki’s solid older brother who suddenly believes the worst of him; Jacob, the Prince’s security advisor who taught Niki to shoot and defend himself; Niki’s mother, Morwenna, a famous geneticist who will destroy his world with a few angry words; Reg, the revolutionary who wants desperately to be a hero; Jhari, the woman who must make the difficult choice between Niki and her job as a Special Agent; Chyrsander Harris, the famous singer who is both more and less than he seems; and a cast of other characters, all of whom are rich and well developed.

Falcon is almost two stories told in one book and there is quite a division between the two, but they link together beautifully as the reader continues to submerge deeper into the story. The plot is lovely and quite unexpected in parts, the characters were strong and weak and normal and yet not, and the writing is beautiful and wonderfully evocative. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading science fiction and/or fantasy. Take the time to find this in a used bookstore or order it used online – you will not regret it, this book is a treasure!

Content:

This book contains scenes of violence, murder, political coups, revolutionary battles, espionage, intrigue, war, drug use, cloning, genetic engineering, and strange aliens.  There are a few scenes of sexual intimacy, but it is more hinted at than written about in explicit terms.  Recommended for ages 13 and up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Books, Science Fiction Books

Dragondrums Book Review

Dragondrums

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey

Series: Harper Hall Trilogy #3, a Dragonriders of Pern Series Book (to go to the author’s website and see suggested reading order, click here)
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Publisher: Aladdin (April 2003)
ISBN: 0689860064, EAN: 9780689860065
Page Count: 243 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: young adults
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis:

Piemur is arguably one of the best singers in Harper Hall. He is eagerly anticipating his performance singing the role of Lessa in a new piece that Master Dominic has commissioned, when his voice starts to change. If Piemur can no longer sing, what role can he play at the Harper Hall? He has no patience for scribing, no skill for creating instruments and he doesn’t compose, all he does is sing. Luckily, the Masterharper has a special job just for him. He is to become one of the Drummaster’s apprentices and learn the drumbeats that deliver messages over the continent of Pern. Unfortunately, he is not well received in the drummer’s tower and barely escapes lasting harm when his fellow apprentices play some nasty pranks on him. But the Masterharper is not done with Piemur yet and quickly sends him out with Sebell to do some unobtrusive information gathering at Lord Meron’s hold. Piemur is excited to be of help, but his natural curiosity gets the better of him and he finds some fire lizard eggs. Ever since he started helping Menolly feed her fair, he has desperately wanted a fire lizard egg of his own, a queen, naturally. He cannot resist the temptation and steals one of the eggs. When it is noticed, Piemur is forced into hiding and finds himself on the largely uninhabited Southern Continent. Unsure of who is friend and who is foe, Piemur sets off to make a home for himself and to forge a new life with his fire lizard, Farli, his runnerbeast, Stupid, and his own quick wits to aid him.

Review:

Dragondrums tells the tale of Piemur, one of the first harpers to befriend Menolly (Dragonsong & Dragonsinger) when she came to Harper Hall. He was a rascal in those books, but a very loveable character. I gave this book 4 stars because I felt that Piemur changed quite abruptly from that fun-loving boy into a secretive, solitude-seeker, which is completely opposite from what he was before. I know that it is high time that he grew up and changed, but I did not feel that it was in necessarily a good way. Also, I did not like to see that the ending of the trilogy was so far removed from Harper Hall.  I was really excited to read more about the singers and documenters of Pern and was disappointed to see this last book took place largely on the Southern Continent.  I still enjoyed the book and feel that anyone reading Anne McCaffrey‘s excellent Dragonriders of Pern Series will not want to miss it because it offers some critical links as to what is happening on Pern in general between Dragonsingerr and The White Dragon, but I enjoyed Dragonsong & Dragonsinger (book 1 & 2 of the Harper Hall Trilogy) much more so I was a little disappointed.

Content:

This book contains scenes of mild peril and violence, as well as prejudice and fighting.  Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Books, Science Fiction Books, Young Adult Books

Dragonsinger Book Review

Dragonsinger

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey

Series: Harper Hall Trilogy #2, a Dragonriders of Pern Series Book (to go to the author’s website and see suggested reading order, click here)
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Publisher: Aladdin (April 2003)
ISBN: 0689860072, EAN: 9780689860072
Page Count: 288 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: young adults
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Dragonsinger is the second book in the Harper Hall Trilogy and is the sequel to Dragonsong. It starts right after the previous book ends, with Menolly arriving in Harper Hall a-dragonback. There she begins her musical education with the masters of music. Menolly always thought that harpers would be different and that she would fit in among them, but she finds that people are the same wherever you go. All of the other girls are jealous of her musical talents and do not want her living in their cottage. The boys insist that she has no place with them and her nine fire lizards make her stand out even more. Still, she is Masterharper Robinton’s special apprentice and he seems to believe in her and to love her new songs. As Menolly struggles to find her place among the Harpers of Pern she will discover much about herself, as well as the remarkable secrets about fire lizards and eventually find an honored place among the Harpers of Pern.

Review:

Even though I have enjoyed all of Anne McCaffrey‘s books, the Harper Hall Trilogy has always been my favorite. I first read this book when I was in junior high school and simply loved it. I have read my copy time and time again. Anne McCaffrey has a nice, smooth writing style with great descriptions so readers will have no trouble visualizing the life on Pern. She also does a nice job of throwing in little recaps so that those who have not read Dragonflight and Dragonquest can still understand what is going on. I simply loved the world of the Harpers and think that any reader of fantasy will enjoy this enchanting series.

Content:

This book contains scenes of mild peril and violence, as well as prejudice and fighting (mostly verbal).  Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Books, Science Fiction Books, Young Adult Books

Dragonsong Book Review

Dragonsong

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey

Series: Harper Hall Trilogy #1, a Dragonriders of Pern Series Book (to go to the author’s website and see suggested reading order, click here)
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Publisher: Aladdin (April 2003)
ISBN: 0689860080, EAN: 9780689860089
Page Count: 208 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: young adults
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Menolly is the youngest daughter of Yanus, Sea Holder of Half-Circle Sea Hold. He is a hard man who works hard and is very set in his ways. He strongly believes that girls are made to work in the kitchens and doing other chores – not playing music. It was fine for Menolly to experiment with new tunes while Petiron, the Harper was alive. But, now that he has passed on, Yanus no longer wants Menolly to have anything to do with music. Unfortunately, a new Harper cannot arrive for some time so he lets Menolly teach the younger children while everyone waits. But when the new Harper does arrive, Yanus firmly informs Menolly that he no longer wants her to sing or to play. Menolly rebels, of course, but when she slices her hand while helping cut fish, she feels that she will never play again. She turns to spending time alone and, when she is caught out during threadfall, she takes refuge in a cave where she impresses nine fire lizards. She is quite content living alone, completely unaware that the Harper at Half Circle Sea Hold is earnestly looking for the writer of the fabulous new songs that Petiron sent to Harper Hall before he died. Menolly is caught without shelter during a later threadfall and saved by a dragonrider, who takes her to Benden Weyr. There, she meets the Masterharper and finally has the chance to let people know how talented she is.

Review:

Dragonsong is the first book in the Harper Hall Trilogy and I believe it is one of Anne McCaffrey‘s best books. I first read this book when I was in junior high school and have always loved it, reading it time and time again. Anne McCaffrey has a nice, easy writing style that it simple for all to understand and her characters are very engaging. Young adults especially will enjoy coming of age with Menolly and seeing her succeed and come into her own. If you have no previous introduction to Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern Series, do not worry because she does a great job at putting in just enough information for those who have not read Dragonflight and Dragonquest, but not too much so the readers who are familiar with Pern do not get frustrated reading the same information. If you like reading fantasy, dragons, or music – you will love this book!

Content:

This book contains scenes of mild peril and violence.  Recommended for ages 10 and up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Books, Science Fiction Books, Young Adult Books

The White Dragon Book Review

The White Dragon

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey

Series: Dragonriders of Pern Series Book #3 (to go to the author’s website and see suggested reading order, click here)
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Publisher: Del Rey (November 1986)
ISBN: 0345341678, EAN: 9780345341679
Page Count: 468 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: adults
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Jaxom is the future Lord Holder of Ruatha, one of Pern’s oldest and most venerable holds and has been groomed for his role since he was very young. When he accidentally impresses a white dragon named Ruth, everyone is dismayed and worried about what to do with him. Dragonriders belong in the Weyr, after all, and a man simply cannot be a dragonrider and a Lord Holder – or can he? Jaxom is determined to keep Ruth and to learn how to fly, breathe fire and kill Thread – and be the future leader of one of the most prosperous Holds on Pern. What others refuse to teach him, Jaxom discovers for himself. It is as Ruth and Jaxom are experimenting that they find themselves in the position to prevent a great disaster on Pern and to unite the Oldtimers and the Weyrs of the Northern Continent through Ruth’s unique ability of always knowing when he is and his rapport with fire lizards. Ruth and Jaxom even discover some new “secrets” on the Southern Continent that the ancients left behind!

Review:

The White Dragon is simply a superb book. I loved the characters and really felt that I identified with Jaxom as he was growing up and growing into his roles as both a dragonrider and as a Lord Holder. Readers who have read Anne McCaffrey‘s previous books in the Dragonriders of Pern Series will simply find that it is another story about Weyleaders F’lar and Lessa (Dragonflight & Dragonquest), as well as Masterharper Robinton and Journeyman Menolly (Dragonsong & Dragonsinger) told from a different, very enjoyable perspective. I loved the way Anne McCaffrey took the time to incorporate older characters so that the readers know what is happening in their lives. The White Dragon is an exciting link between the first several books and the next grouping as there are many surprises and new discoveries that take place here. Ruth is also one of my favorite dragons and was such a joy to read about. Anyone who loves fantasy will enjoy this book so do yourself the favor and buy this book!

Content:

This book contains scenes of peril, violence, political intrigue and backstabbing, and fighting.  Recommended for ages 14 and up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Books, Science Fiction Books

Dragonquest Book Review

Dragonquest

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey

Series: Dragonriders of Pern Series Book #2 (to go to the author’s website and see suggested reading order, click here)
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Publisher: Del Rey (October 1986)
ISBN: 0345335082, EAN: 9780345335081
Page Count: 352 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: adults
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Dragonquest begins seven Turns after Dragonflight and the reader is immediately plunged back into the complex world of Pern. F’lar and Lessa are still Weyrleaders at Benden and are struggling to unite all of Pern to fight the deadly Thread. It is true that the 5 weyrs who jumped through time to come forward to aid Benden were there in Pern’s time of need, but they are set in their ways and not willing to change. F’lar has heard too many complaints from Holds and Crafthalls under the protection of the Oldtimers’ Weyrs to disregard them any longer. When the Weyrleaders even go so far as to keep other Weyrs uninformed of irregular Threadfall, F’lar has no choice but to take action. He immediately starts looking for alternative ways of fighting Thread and easing relations between the dragonmen and the rest of the Pernese, but it is an uphill battle all the way. Meantime, there are other problems brewing inside the Weyrs themselves. Kylara, Weyrwoman of the Southern Weyr, has caused much dissent and no end of headaches for the Weryleaders. Brekke, a new queen, is desperately afraid of what will happen when her queen rises to mate. F’nor is trying to support his half-brother F’lar in all of his endeavors, but he has many problems of his own. Outside of the Werys, the Lord Holders cannot understand why the dragonmen simply do not go to the Red Star and kill the Thread there, before it falls on Pern. Emotions are running high and F’lar and Lessa have their hands full trying to keep everything tied together, but will they be able to unite Pern?

Review:

This is the second book in the Dragonriders of Pern Series and is just as good as the first one in the series. I felt that this book was a little more complex than the first because the author could spend more time on intertwining people’s lives since the reader is more familiar with the world of Pern. This will make it a little more difficult for those who have not read Dragonflight, however. I simply love Anne McCaffrey’s characters so it is wonderful to have a series where you get to see the characters grow and change. Even Anne McCaffrey‘s supporting characters are well-fleshed out and fun to read about. If you enjoy fantasy or science fiction or dragons, do not miss out on this series!

Content:

This book contains scenes of violence, fighting, life-threatening peril, name calling and mild romantic situations.  Recommended for ages 14 and up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Books, Science Fiction Books

Dragonflight Book Review

Dragonflight

Book Review by Debbie Winkler

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

Series: Dragonriders of Pern Series Book #1 (to go to the author’s website and see suggested reading order, click here)
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 1986)
ISBN: 0345335465, EAN: 9780345335463
Page Count: 320 pages
Format: paperback

Target Age Group: adults
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis:

Lessa waited 10 long years in hiding for her chance to reclaim her birthright. As the last of the Ruathan blood, she must hide her true identity or be killed by Fax, the usurper who killed all of her kin and claimed Ruatha Hold for his own. When the dragonrider, F’lar, comes on search for some likely candidates to impress dragons, Lessa knew that her time had come.

Unfortunately, her plans did not go quite the way she wanted them to and she ends up in Benden Weyr, where she impresses the Queen dragon, the beautiful Ramoth. Even though Lessa is now Weyrwoman and dragonrider, her troubles are far from over. The dragons live to kill thread, deadly spores that fall from the sky and eat every living thing in their paths. But thread have not fallen for over 400 Turns and the people of Pern no longer want to support the dragonriders, of which few are left. F’lar is convinced that the thread will fall again – and soon. Can F’lar and Lessa mobilize the forces of Pern to fight the deadly forces of thread and survive?

Review:

Dragonflight is the first book in Anne McCaffrey’s highly acclaimed Dragonriders of Pern Series. She carefully eases you into the world of Pern and the reader has no trouble visualizing the planet and its people. Anne McCaffrey also has a nice, easy to understand writing style that will make this book popular among young adults and adults alike. Her characters are engaging and anyone will root for the stubborn, opinionated Lessa and her all-too-perfect mate, F’lar. Readers will also love the fact that this book is the start of a long series and that, even though F’lar and Lessa are not the main characters of all of them, they figure into most of them so feel free to get attached to them! If you have not yet read any books by Anne McCaffrey then you are in for a real treat!

Content:

This book contains scenes of life-threatening peril, violence, fighting (both verbal & physical), prejudice, mild sensuality (very few scenes and pretty tamely described), and sci-fi action.  Recommended for ages 14 and up.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy Books, Science Fiction Books