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The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey
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Dec 27, 07

Read in December, 2007

Pretty standard pulp fantasy with a bit of a sci-fi bent. Entertaining & a good read, but nothing tremendous. Dragonflight begins the Pern series, and Dragonquest picks up pretty much right where Dragonflight leaves off, but The White Dragon takes place several years and 3 books later, so it can be somewhat jarring if you haven't read the Harper trilogy (the 3 intervening books).

Strong points (all 3 books):

1. Generally likeable main characters who cooperate well against external threats. In this respect, the dynamics are somewhat like Lord of the Rings, where the good guys need to work in perfect harmony (Denethor & Boromir excepted) to overcome their obstacles. Contrast that to the Wheel of Time books, where the good guys' problems stem not only from external sources, but from mistrusting each other, infighting, failing to share vital information, and general petty squabbling amongst themselves.

2. Good pacing. Generally the plots move along well, and almost every scene (except some in White Dragon, more on that later) moves one or more of the plotlines forward.

3. Awesome job of handling time-travel. Saying any more would be a spoiler, but it was really well done. One of my favorite aspects of the books.

Weak points:

1. A fair amount of implausibility. Not a big deal for me, but for some people it is. It seems difficult to believe that Thread could perfectly survive the heat of entering Pern's atmosphere from space, then be incinerated by dragonfire. Also, the energy requirements to keep teleporting dragons around would probably denude the planet. But like I said, not a big deal for me.

2. (White Dragon only) There's a little too much "Jaxom is horny" stuff. It is pretty realistic, because 18-year-old guys pretty much spend all day just being horny and checking out women, but I actually found it distracting at a couple of points.
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