Piemur, mischievous young harper boy, is growing up. His voice has broken, and he doesn’t sing anymore, spending all his time mapping and spying for the Masterharper, and wondering what to do with his life.
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.
07 September 2018 SFF | Gigi McCaffrey | Pern |