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
Sassinak (co-written by
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
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.