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Sassinak (Planet Pirates #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,897 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews

Sassinak was twelve when the raiders came. That made her just the right age: old enough to be used, young enough to be broken. Or so the slavers thought. But Sassy turned out to be a little different from your typical slave girl. Maybe it was her unusual physical strength. Maybe it was her friendship with the captured Fleet c
Paperback, 346 pages
Published March 1st 1990 by Baen (first published 1990)
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Excellent Space Opera
39th out of 385 books — 2,095 voters
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Best Sci Fi Books with Female Main Characters
36th out of 739 books — 832 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 16, 2016 Dan rated it it was amazing
Jun 02, 2013 Jer rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
I can't believe I'm giving an Anne McCaffrey book two stars, but I have to. The last 50 or so pages left me baffled. I felt like I was reading something written in code. It just didn't make sense. Too little was explained for me to understand what was happening. The first two thirds to three quarters of the book was decent, if not masterful. The characters were a little flat. It would have made for decent sci-fi reading fodder, except the ending was unintelligible. Very disappointing since the m ...more
Nov 03, 2013 Ryan rated it did not like it
Sassinak is a name that's been stuck in my brain forever as code for badass female warrior, so I thought I'd dig this old read out and revisit. Mistake! Avoid! Lightweight cardboard fluff with lazy plotting, an omniperfect protagonist, and chronic bouts of WTF. This book is really four semi connected novelettes, possibly with alternating authorship. The fourth and last section is particularly terrible, baffling the reader with disorienting incomplete exposition, and suddenly terminating the main ...more
Apr 14, 2012 Louis rated it it was ok
I originally picked up Sassinak when it was first published. At the time I had no idea who Elizabeth Moon or Anne McCaffrey were, but hey there's a woman in power armour on the cover and it talks abut pirates and space ships and stuff on the back cover. What could go wrong? Nothing. I thought it was brilliant. Brilliant enough that I grabbed The Death of Sleep and devoured it. I started reading the Paksenarrion books... well you get the idea. I loved it.

A couple of days ago, I finished another b
William Edmondson
Jun 14, 2016 William Edmondson rated it really liked it
I read this one for r/Fantasy's Book Bingo. I picked it because I am a big fan of McCaffrey's Pern books and Elizabeth Moon's Paksenarrion. Both of them are fantastic authors, check them out! I'm afraid to report that this one didn't hold up as I had hoped. There were some jarring time shifts and deus ex machina going on at the end. There were plot issues that could have been solved with current technology; i.e. Apparently they don't have security cameras or DNA testing in the future.
Carolyn F.
Aug 13, 2013 Carolyn F. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book, sci-fi
I don't think I've read Anne McCaffrey before. From the cover of some of her books I've seen I thought she was all about fantasy not so much sci-fi. But her writing with Elizabeth Moon worked really well. I've read Elizabeth's work before and loved the Vatta's War series. This book reminded me of that series but with a lot more sex. Although the sex is all behind closed door it's just that it's practically a given when people work together. I didn't see any of that in Elizabeth's previous books ...more
Kickarse Heroine
May 10, 2016 Kickarse Heroine rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, military
Sassinak is the story of a 12 year old child whose whole life was turned upside down when her planet was raided by pirates and she was stolen into slavery. Once trained in as a pilot she was sold off to the highest bidder and forced to pilot other slave trader and pirate spacecraft until one fate fulled day, the ship she was on was captured and she was set free by the terran fleet. The information she had been given by another captured fleet officer lead them back to where she had been imprisone ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Gwen rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Solid sci-fi with a great female protagonist who kicks butt with honor. Female Hornblower IN SPAAAAAAAACE. I love it. This is the first I've read from Elizabeth Moon, so I'm not sure about her style, but it definitely felt a lot like the other McCaffery books I've read. (Huge Pern fan when I was a kid. Could almost picture that universe combining with this one - there's great fanfic to be written.)

I love that Sassinak is such a strong military officer to the core. I also love the approach to her
Bradley Kelly
Jul 28, 2014 Bradley Kelly rated it liked it
It's been 20 years since I read the book. It was really the first "real book" that I had read up to the age of 14. I picked it up at an airport book shop to read for the plane right. It was my favorite of the series and I remember looking for everything Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon wrote after that because I enjoyed it so much at the time.

I remember Sassinak being a really likable character. I had no problem at all rooting for her. I don't remember wishing the plot along either. It was the
Apr 09, 2015 Neeuqdrazil rated it it was ok
This was... not what I was expecting, or hoping for.

It's very clearly 4 individual stories, and there's a whole lot of stuff missing in between them - characters and all sorts of things mentioned in one, with a clear expectation of back-knowledge, that aren't introduced or explained earlier.

Also, I was hoping that this was the book that I read back in the late 80s/early 90s, which involved a young woman sold into slavery, and then eventually escaping and becoming a space marine (?) I just reme
Sep 05, 2009 Cryselle rated it did not like it
McCaffrey and her scattered logic had to have overwhelmed Moon and her understanding of change of command: I can't explain the commander's sleeping with her second in any other way. Not one of Moon's better offerings- read the Herris Serrano books instead.
Oct 31, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: 2007-reads
Amusingly enough, the first time I read this, I wasn't old enough to get the title reference. Love McCaffrey's femme-centric sf normally, but this is a little dry as space epics go.
Ethan Nahté
Mar 08, 2016 Ethan Nahté rated it really liked it
Sassinak (Sass) is abducted by pirates as she watches her friends and family be killed. She is taken off planet and sold as a slave where she soon learns that she will be training for the Fleet. She befriends a retired member of Fleet who not only helps train her but becomes a surrogate father to the young girl.

Sass eventually graduates with high marks and the story follows through from her first outing through her eventual command of her own ship. Throughout her journeys she befriends many of h
I wanted to rate this higher than I did... Sassinak starts out well, with a clear writing style, a strong story, and a sympathetic and capable heroine. She is competent, smart, and fair. I like that she befriends people that others have a prejudice against. I also like that she is relatively relaxed in her relationships. They start, and they end, and no fuss is needed on that account.
The reason I'm not rating this higher, is that I started missing more and more about the story, until I really c
Jul 18, 2013 Ethan rated it it was ok
Wow, I am so over Anne McCaffrey. From the few books I've read by her, I've gotten the impression that she tends to have ambling plots. There is no real climax because there is no major issue at the center of the story. Instead, it is a sort of episodic plot, consisting of several books. That's fine in and of itself--I just don't find it particularly exciting. What pushed me to give this book such a low rating is that the last 50 pages are very difficult to decipher and come across as a sloppy a ...more
Jeffrey Jelmeland
I love "comfort books," and that is what this book is for me. I originally read this series almost 20 years ago, and reading it again brings back that time in my memory. So to me these books aren't just about the story that they tell, but they are also as much about what they remind me of from my life as a younger man. I freely admit that this has some bearing on my rating of the book.

I won't go into the story itself as that is more than adequately covered in the book description on Goodreads, a
Brian Schiebout
Jul 01, 2013 Brian Schiebout rated it really liked it
Sassinak by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon is the first book in the Planet Pirates series set in the Ireta universe. The main character is of course Sassinak who is first presented in Dinosaur Planet Survivors as the commander of the rescue ship from the navy. This book however starts out when Sassinak is a young girl on a colony world. After the world is hit by pirates who kill her whole family and put her into slavery she is lucky to be rescued by the navy who become her new family. However ...more
Once again I am disappointed by the newly published audiobook of an old favorite sf/f book. Maybe Audible Frontiers needs a bit more in their budget for narrators.

Ax Norman did an OK job of reading the book. He did not feature any differing voices for the different characters. Toward the end of the book he began to waver in how he pronounced names - maybe he was getting tired. And Mr Norman's rhythm varied a lot, sometimes fast when it should have been slow and vice-versa.

It was perhaps only m
Aug 06, 2012 Lorena rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I do hate to give this book only a 2, but... 3 stars said "I liked it" and "it was OK" is really closer to the truth. Moon and McCaffrey are two amazing authors, and I do love me a good roaring space opera with a heroine who is both damaged and strong... but this book skipped around in Sassinak's life too much for me. About the first half of the book or so she's young, then in her teens, then in her twenties... and all of a sudden she's in her late 40s/early 50s? Don't get me wrong; as a woman g ...more
Caroline Weigle
Nov 27, 2011 Caroline Weigle rated it it was ok
Like all of McCaffrey's books, this one held my interest. I sat down and read the whole thing without stopping, a testament to the vivid characters and fast-paced plot. Haunted by the memory of her planet's massacre and her own time as a slave, Sassinak joins the Fleet, excels at it, and becomes a commander who has only one goal - to stop planet pirates. However, the book follows the adventures of Sassinak from the time she was twelve to her mid forties, and at times it feels disjointed. Too muc ...more
Natalie Bowers
I was a huge fan of Anne McCaffrey in my teens; I read all her series except the Planet Pirate books, so when I saw this book in a charity shop a couple of months ago, I decided it was time to relive my youth and discover what I’d missed.

What a dissapointment! All the passion and excitement I remembered from her other works was absent in this one. The characters lacked depth, and generated no sympathy in me. The plot was far too fast; the first half of the book covers about 40 years and some maj
Nov 26, 2013 Josh rated it it was ok
Much like "The Death of Sleep", this book has a very interesting premise that is absolutely terrible in its execution. I chalk this up to two things. First is the writing style, which is just not good. Secondly, I think McCaffrey and Moon are science fiction fans, not scientists. This is space opera, not hard SF. Not, about the writing style: There is scant detail given about what is going on, virtually no internal character thoughts or development, and really almost no narrative. The story read ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Belle rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a joint venture between Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon and is the first in the Pirate Planet series. It reads like a YA book, but I don't think that's how it was intended.

It's a very quick read, but it's a little jewel of science fiction. Sassinak is a colonist, and the planet is attacked by Pirates. She becomes a slave. I'm not telling anymore - but you will enjoy this story!
Jun 15, 2016 Howard2nd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
McCaffrey and Moon = Flight and Fight Amidst the Stars

The very best of Science Fiction. Where the science is hard truth and balanced extrapolation. Elizabeth brings tactics and weapons and strategy and thrust of character to wield them. Anne brings plots spanning centuries and people we are glad to meet and mourn their loss.
Philena Garey
Jun 12, 2015 Philena Garey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Down with planet pirates and slavers! Seasonal and her team wins!

This book started out with a lot of technical "stuff" which I had to slog through, but the story and action AND the characters that follow made it well worth it. This book runs parallel to "The Mystery of Ireta" and they join seamlessly at the conclusion.
Barbi Faye (The Book Fae)
Apr 05, 2016 Barbi Faye (The Book Fae) rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy readers
Recommended to Barbi Faye (The Book Fae) by: author, genre
Sassinak was 12 when the raiders came. That made her just the right age: old enough to be used, young enough to be broken. But Sassy turned out to be a little different from your typical slave girl. Maybe it was her unusual physical strength, her friendship with the captured Fleet crewman, her spirit. Whatever it was, it wouldn't let her resign herself to the life of a slave. She bided her time, watched for her moment, and she escaped. But that was only the beginning for Sassinak, she's a Fleet ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Theresa rated it really liked it
Classic Sci-Fi from Anne McCaffrey. This trilogy definitly comes out of a pulp sci-fi era. Pirates and space marines, oh my. Blends nicely with the Ship who Sang series, and the Pegassus in Flight Series. Currently rereading as inspiration for the RPG Traveler.
Trace Kerr
Feb 17, 2016 Trace Kerr rated it it was ok
Written by two women, reads like a Heinlein--like Friday. Not very authentic with emotions or relationships but I come back to this book occasionally for the action and girl power. Even if the girl power is over the top, comic book style, and very dated.
Mar 19, 2015 Trang rated it really liked it
If you have a young daughter, please find a copy of Sassinak, written by two amazing female authors, and gift it to her. It's an incredibly fun and inspiring coming of age story of a young girl and her adventures with space battle and planet pirates.
May 29, 2010 Nathan rated it it was ok
This book has a very rushed and disjointed feel to it, we are given brief glimpses of the heroines life that are so short as to leave us unimpressed, little or no transition happens as we hop around from crisis to crisis. The heroine is somewhat likeable but mostly cliche, and she seems to have a penchant for stating the obvious. The technology hasn't been thought out well either, these really advanced space faring people are able to travel the stars with ease, but seem unable to do the most bas ...more
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Anne McCaffrey was born on April 1st, 1926, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Her parents were George Herbert McCaffrey, BA, MA PhD (Harvard), Colonel USA Army (retired), and Anne Dorothy McElroy McCaffrey, estate agent. She had two brothers: Hugh McCaffrey (deceased 1988), Major US Army, and Kevin Richard McCaffrey, still living.

Anne was educated at Stuart Hall in Staunton Virginia, Montclair High Scho
More about Anne McCaffrey...

Other Books in the Series

Planet Pirates (3 books)
  • The Death of Sleep (Planet Pirates, #2)
  • Generation Warriors (Planet Pirates, #3)

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