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Todd McCaffrey

book review Anne McCaffrey Dragonriders of Pern Todd McCaffrey, son of Anne McCaffrey, now writes the Pern books, among other things. Learn more at Todd McCaffrey’s website.

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THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN: Read the first six books

THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN by Anne McCaffrey

It’s been my longstanding theory on multi-book series (by multi-book I mean ones that go well beyond the standard trilogy) that the books tend to fall into four categories: great ones (usually early on), good ones that don't match the passion or excitement of the top ones but still sweep you along, adequate ones that serviceably move the grand story along but aren't particularly original or well-written, and the bad ones that were just spit out because the series’ fans would buy them even if the covers were made of poison ivy leaves. Anne McCaffrey’s classic Pern series is a prime example of this classification system.

Pern is a classic for a reason. The first trilogy Dragonflight, Dragonquest, ... Read More

Dragon Harper: Can’t recommend it

Dragon Harper by Anne McCaffrey

To be honest, I don't expect much when I pick up a Pern book anymore. These last few have ranged from middling at best (Dragonsblood) to nearly unreadable (Dragon's Fire). While the eternal optimist in me keeps me reading the series, the realist in me can't help but note just how long it's been since there's been a good book (I'm not asking for the glory of the great ones).

Sadly, Dragon Harper doesn't break that streak. It's not as bad as Dragon's Fire, though that isn't saying much at all, and it's not quite as good as Dragonsblood, which also isn't saying much since that novel was mostly just adequate. Timewise, the book picks up just after the events of Dragon's Kin and Read More

Dragongirl: It’s well past time to put Pern to rest

Dragongirl by Todd McCaffrey

The steep fall in the quality of the PERN series can’t be laid solely at the feet of Anne McCaffrey’s son Todd McCaffrey, as Anne’s later books in the series themselves widely varied in quality, ranging from downright bad (a few) to mediocre/adequate (most) to not-great-but-pretty-good (a few). But at least one could kind of justify the existence of most of them, as they wrapped up characters we’d grown to love, or gave us the backstory of how the whole setup began, or kept us in the familiar and beloved setting but gave us new situations. But since Todd began co-writing the books with his mother, and later writing them on his own, it isn’t just the quality of the books that’s questionable but their very reason for being. The simple fact is we’ve seen these types of characters and these specific plots too many times and the books have suffered from a major lack of origi... Read More