Something clever I'll change later

I like fantasy. The end.

Dragonseye

Dragonseye - Anne McCaffrey As seen on Stumptown Books.

This was published as Red Star Rising in the UK, a much better title in my opinion. I guess it didn't scream BUY ME I'M ABOUT DRAGONS enough to the American audience.

Every Pern book I read, I wonder if it is going to be the last. I want to be able to finish the series, mostly because I like completing things. It is becoming a chore of epic proportions to get through each successive novel; this one was by far the worst yet.

It is a familiar story at this point. Thread is on the way, and one holder, Chalkan of Bitra, doesn't believe it's coming. The "pass" this time is the second one ever in the history of humans on Pern. Landing was made about 250 years ago, so there are still some remnants of the knowledge of the First Crossing, but a lot of it has faded. They still have access to a few decrepit old computers (a computer that ran for 250 years?! Who made it? I want one) and solar panels, for example, but everything from Earth is becoming more and more rare. Weyrs are set up, and most of the holds the readers have become familiar with over the course of the series are there. The southern continent is completely abandoned and things like craft halls have not yet become the norm. There is no Harper Hall yet, for example.

Dragonseye essentially tells us the story of how Pern started down the path to become the Pern of Lessa and F'lar about 2,000 years/turns in the future. The creation of the star stones is explained so no one can doubt that Thread is on its way. The craft halls are formed so vital information is not lost to the rigors of time.

The problem is, I was okay leaving those mysteries to a simple "our ancestors sure were smart now let's go ride our dragons into the sunset." That is how these things were always explained away before. Well, I thought, I'm going to continue giving this a shot because maybe the characters will be memorable. Unfortunately...no. Every character is a lesser version of their counterparts in the original trilogy. The bad guy is TIRED, and I was completely disinterested in his multitudinous villainies. He is the exact same creep as the bad guy in every other Pern novel, with a slightly different name. I was bored with that formula ages ago, when Toric became the villain.

The other characters are introduced so quickly and haphazardly that none of them were the least bit memorable. Dragon riders and their mounts are thrown at us in list form, and then we are supposed to remember not only which rider has which dragon, but also what color that dragon is and which Weyr they hail from. If you introduce 15 characters within a chapter, I'm not going to remember every detail, that's just how it is. Where's the editor here? Check out this list of all the characters. It's gigantic. And there is never another novel set in the second pass, so most of those characters are wasted. I would have vastly preferred getting to know a handful rather than be bombarded by a million nonessential and inconsequential redshirts.

I give it 2 stars only because it is Anne and she has a warm place in my heart. I consider myself a HUGE fan of Pern, but this simply didn't cut the mustard. Do not read unless you are more fanatic of Anne McCaffrey's works than I am.

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