The Many Works of Anne McCaffrey

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Series Details:
Dinosaur Planet / Planet Pirates

Book Reviews

Dinosaur Planet
The plot of this book seemed slow to take off.  There were also a couple of themes in the book which irritated me.   First of all, the team leaders never seem to actually lead, or take charge of the situation.  Instead they turn a blind eye to all the warning signs that the heavyworlders on their team are planning to set up their own colony where the others won't be welcome.  Secondly, I often wasn't impressed with how Varian conducted her research on the animals of Ireta.  She seemed to jump to a lot of conclusions for which there was no evidence, and didn't come up with some hypotheses that I thought were incredibly obvious (the first time I read the book, not in hindsight).  So, basically, I thought the main characters were idiots, which of course hampered my enjoyment of the book.  I also thought the characters extreme reaction to the idea of eating meat a little silly and at times illogical.  While I can fully see that once the prohibition on eating meat becomes part of the culture for hundreds of years, it would seem like a radical idea, but the characters are blind to it being a cultural difference of opinion, despite knowing it's part of their own cultural ancestry.  I also find the justification for the prohibition to be illogical:  they don't eat meat because it could have come from a sentient (though not necessarily intelligent) animal.   I take exception to this for two reasons.  One: Once it's known that a species isn't sentient, what's the problem?  Two: What makes them so sure that no plants they encounter will be sentient?  Afterall, the sessile adult Ssli could easily be mistaken for plant life. This is one of her earlier novels, and I think it shows.   Still, I'd recommend that all general McCaffrey fans read the book at least once, because we all react differently to books.

Dinosaur Planet Survivors
I liked this sequel better than the original.  The plot was much more intriguing and the characters stopped acting like dolts.

Sassinak  (co-written by Elizabeth Moon)
This book is great, and it very clearly bears the stamp of Elizabeth Moon's writing style (so if you enjoy it as I did, you probably should read more by Moon).  Unlike in most of McCaffrey's stories, the female lead character does not link up permanently with a guy who becomes her direct (or effective superior).  Sassinak has lovers, but they never dominate her life or the plot.  She stands up for herself, get command of her own ship, and kicks pirate butt while remaining feminine at the same time!

The Death of Sleep  (co-written by Jody Lynn Nye)
Another good book!  Like Sassinak, Lunzie's life is never dominated by one male character.  Though tragedy befalls her again and again, she finds the internal strength to keep going.  When she's getting ready for her third round of coldsleep, you've really got to feel for the woman!

Generation Warriors  (co-written by Elizabeth Moon)
A good finale to the two series, picking up right where Sassinak and Survivors left off.  The plot of this book is not as focussed, because it jumps to follow several different characters who all started out together (and will come together in the end again).  I enjoyed all the various exploits of Sassinak, Lunzie, Ford, & Dupaynil.  And Sass's crafty way of getting Dupaynil off her ship was deliciously fun!  This book again very clearly bears the stamp of Elizabeth Moon's style.

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Anne McCaffrey 1967-2007, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.

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