I’m glad I went back to Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonflight before reading this, because Gigi McCaffrey’s book takes place not long afterward, and references many of Dragonflight’s key moments. It’s essentially a gap-filling book in the series – filling in backstory and side characters from other books. And for those who loved Piemur in other books, here he is at the center of this one.
I know that Todd McCaffrey took the helm at Pern from his mother Anne first collaboratively, then alone. I haven’t read those books – I just haven’t had much luck with authorial dynasties. But I saw this on Netflix and thought I’d try it out.
I think it’s probably fair to say that the younger McCaffrey uses the book in part as a cathartic way to examine her mother’s death. Not to worry; it’s not the focus of the book, but there’s what seems to me a fairly obvious stand-in; it’s one of the better parts of the book. The rest however, is fairly hum-drum, and suggests that the younger McCaffrey just isn’t the writer her mother was. The prose itself is decent, but the plotting is thin – far too much turns on unlikely coincidences and other tricks that a more experienced author might pull off (or avoid), where a neophyte does not.
If you insist on owning the complete Pern, by all means pick this up; it fills in some detail. But the kind of magic that McCaffrey mere brought to bear is sadly missing.
I received a free copy of this
book in exchange for an honest review.