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The Dolphins of Pern

(Pern #13)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  16,865 ratings  ·  270 reviews
Two boys, one of them a dragonrider, re-establish crucial contact with the wise dolphins, the legendary "shipfish" of Pern.

From the Paperback edition.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 10th 1997 by Del Rey (first published 1994)
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Eragon by Christopher PaoliniThe Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. TolkienEldest by Christopher PaoliniBrisingr by Christopher PaoliniDragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
1,414 books — 2,408 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. RowlingA Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Giver by Lois Lowry
Best Books of the Decade: 1990s
2,969 books — 3,516 voters

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  16,865 ratings  ·  270 reviews

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Ivana Books Are Magic
What a lovely novel! As the title would indicate, it has dolphin characters in it and they are adorable. The Dolpines of Pern was my introduction to this series. I was not familiar with this series prior to reading this novel, but from I gathered it is quite interesting. I didn't have problems following the narrative or understanding this future society. The only thing I had to google was 'between' as I wasn't sure what exactly is mean by dragon riders flying 'between' but I would have had proba ...more
Deborah Ideiosepius
Ta dah! Review located. I am copying to here because the conversation thread is too interesting to lose. For any newcomer, mystified by this comment, see *footnote.

The Dolphins of Pern

In this latter book in the Pern series Anne McCaffrey explores the notion that dolphins came to Pern with the original human settlers as helpers for the ocean side of the new planet. The book explores the re-discovery of the dolphins which have sentience and language skills due to a process they were given back on
Susan Kennedy
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was such a great addition to the Dragons of Pern series. When the settlers came to Pern, they brought dolphins with them. Once thread began to fall and the settlers had to move north to the caves and as generation after generation came to be on Pern, the dolphins were a forgotten history. When the current Pernese went South and began to unearth their history, the dolphins were once again befriended and utilized. These were bottlenose dolphins that came from earth, or rather their ancestors. ...more
Gere Lewis
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much. I like the dolphins almost as much as I like the dragons and that is saying something. I also enjoy Readis as a character.

I am beginning to wonder, however, what it is that Anne McCaffrey has against grown women, especially being one herself. The young female characters of Pern, with a few exceptions, are good natured and charismatic. However, her adult female characters are stubborn, self righteous, and often down right mean. The three most noteworthy examples (f
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A different sort of Pern novel...but an enjoyable one!
Apr 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
After all the exciting things happen--after the settlers land on Pern, and are nearly destroyed by Thread, and discover dragons, and set up Weyrs and Holds and Halls, all the while devolving into a sexist&rigidly hierarchal medieval society, and eventually Jaxom bonds with Ruth, and Menolly finds her firelizards and transforms Harpers, and they rediscover their computer and figure out how to end Thread-fall once and for all, and all manner of social changes start being forced through--after all ...more
To borrow a TV phrase, I consider All the Weyrs of Pern (the book immediately proceeding Dolphins of Pern chronologically) to be where McCaffrey jumped the shark with the Dragonriders series. I will refrain from including any spoilers here and only say that All the Weyrs has the natural feel of a conclusion about it. Then McCaffrey had to go and write two Pern books to follow it! To put it another way, all the books written before All the Weyrs of Pern have warrented multiple rereadings. All the ...more
There was a little bit of the "same story from a different point of view" that she has been doing on and off - which irritates me. But, it went far beyond All The Wyers of Pern and had little to do with much that happened in the other book. I really liked it. I've ordered the rest of the series from Amazon as soon as I finished this book, so I would have to say that I am a "Pern fan". ...more
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a darling book this is! I love dolphins and am quite captivated by these intelligent mammals so I was really taken with this book and the two boys who tuned in to the dolphins need to be recognised once again by the humans they had so been longing and waiting to connect with once again. readis and t'lion the dragonrider faced a lot of opposition particularly readis whose parents banned him from contacting the dolphins ever again but readis is proof that when one feels strongly about anythin ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it
I would have enjoyed this installment more if Readis' mother hadn't had such antipathy for her son's work with the dolphins. It really didn't make any sense at all and just added unnecessary conflict. The confrontation with Toric was also superfluous. ...more
I read this long ago. I recently picked up a large collection of McCaffrey hardback (many first edition) novels. I felt somehow in Her presence as I was about halfway through this book when she passed to 'between.'

This is not my favorite book of the Pern novels, but it ranks very high. I am passionate about dolphins and swimming... and dragons. But at times I wished for more of Readis's life than the life of the 'politicians' of the planet. I wished for more science discovery. There was a lot of
Jan 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. The dolphins add a new dimension to the Pern stories. I wish they could have been reintroduced earlier. However, I love what they bring to the series.
Deborah Ideiosepius
In this latter book in the Pern series Anne McCaffrey explores the notion that dolphins came to Pern with the original human settlers as helpers for the ocean side of the new planet. The book explores the re-discovery of the dolphins which have sentience and language skills due to a process they were given back on Earth (which apparently bred true).

Published in the early 1990's when dolphins and their intelligence were very much the talk of the decade, the book is a lot of fun in exploring Pern
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
As I reread Pern, I'm coming to the conclusion that McCaffrey would've been better off quitting while she was ahead (and that Todd McCaffrey should never have been let at the universe).

I wanted to like this because it featured characters I love (really enjoyed seeing Alemi again and his relationship with Menolly), but there's no heart to this story, nothing cohesive that made me want to turn the page.

There's a couple of anecdotes and characters I enjoyed (I liked the dolphins and how they've ca
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
For many Turns the dolphins have been left to fend for themselves. They remember the Second Crossing, the evacuation of the southern continent (detailed in a novella in The Chronicles of Pern First Fall), but why have the humans abandoned them?

I understand why some people consider this one of the less-enjoyable books in the series: dragons hardly enter into it at all, the beloved characters featuring in the other books (F'lar, Lessa, Robinton, Menolly, Jaxom) are all on the sidelines here, and t
Al Philipson
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is parallel to The All the Weyrs of Pern in that it takes place in the same time frame.

Readis is a youngster who develops an interest in "Ship Fish" (Dolphins) when they rescue him from a sinking skiff (during a storm). He's the first person in hundreds of years ("turns") to realize that they can talk. The story revolves around around this link between Readis and the dolphins as the fact of talking (and helping) "ship fish" clashes with the hidebound culture of Pern that is already ree
This is such a sweet tale in the Pern series. You can't not love the dolphins, they're so happy and clever and so loyal to their traditions and duties to 'mans'.

This book gives some nice depth to events after the victory over the Red Star and adds a good element of the dolphins which are mentioned now and then before and it's nice to see them finally embraced. It gives a nice view on how things are shaping up, building to The Skies Of Pern regarding Toric and the start of civil unrest.

I really
Aug 02, 2008 rated it did not like it
Oh for crying out loud...what the heck HAPPENED? The book right before this one, "All the Weyrs Of Pern" was fantastic and startling and different and beautiful. And then this one was AWFUL. McCaffrey took one of my favorite characters from the last book, Aramina, and turned her into a shrewish, unsympathetic, two-dimensional twit. The storyline with her son going off to make his own hold was like something out of a nine-year-old's diary ("I'm going to run away and make my own hold and live with ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-me
I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book! I'm a huge Pern fan...reading the original series again for 3rd or 4th time...I thought I had read this one, but it didn't seem familiar at all...

I found the interactions between humans and dolphins and especially the charming childlike-ness of the dolphins just what I needed to read right now. Deep in depression lately, this book gave me a welcome respite, and brought me happy tears and many smiles. I get what others say about it not adding to the overall plot of
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
My one big problem with the book is that it is not mainly about Readis and T'Lion and the Dolphins. It is a transition book between the "traditional" Pern books and the ones that will take place centuries in the future. It is a Companion piece to "All the Weyr's of Pern", instead of really a stand alone that deals with the Dolphins. Which is really what I wanted or expected, a book about re-finding the Dolphins of Pern. This was part of the content, yes, but so much more could have been done wit ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Decent for late-career McCaffrey. Not thrilled at the way Aramina (literally the only female character who shows up in more than one or two scenes!!!) is reduced to an irrational and domineering obstacle for plot purposes but the dolphins were cool. Wouldn't recommend to someone who isn't already a fan of the Pern books, though, there are so many cameos that were only enjoyable because I knew the characters already. ...more
Apr 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Another chronicle of Pern. If you've enjoy your time on the planet before this will give you more of the same. This novel explores the oceans of Pern and the community of dolphins that have long been forgotten by the humans and dragons. I didn't find it compelling or exciting or satisfying, but a healthy diversion. ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another good Mccaffrey read. Love the dolphins.
George Hahn
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A feel-good story and not for people who want blasters and battling spaceships, but another enjoyable Pern book if you like that kind of story.
W.C. Quick
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good tale

An ending to the saga of Pern, dragons and all. The dolphins ad some color. I enjoyed this diversion. Well done
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Another book in the Pern series, this one exploring the dolphins that apparently accompanied the original settlers to Pern and who still remember the traditions of helping the humans, even though the humans have forgotten. In this novel, with help from the records recovered from AIVAS, young Readis gets reacquainted with the dolphins and resolves to restart the Dolphineer mastery.

It's a cute story and another tale of Pern - and a retelling of the colonization of Pern from another point of view
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy going back to Pern. I figured I would read "The Dolphins of Pern" in order to keep the sequence and be able to read the book I have been keeping aside "The Skies of Pern" which I will break a rule and read next.
But back to Dolphins. The story takes place at the same time as the events on "All the Weys in Pern" so AIVAS is still functional and guiding the Dragonriders towards its mission of diverting the Red Star. With this backdrop we focus on the second part that is also history
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only Pern fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erik Akre
May 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
So you've read enough fantasy literature and taken enough trips to the bookstore to browse around and see what the genre has to offer. Eventually you see enough names, and you wonder to yourself, "Hmm... Who is this Anne McCaffrey? What is this 'Pern'?" You get a little curious, but then you move on.

Then, a few weeks later, you stumble on The Dolphins of Pern at a Goodwill store, and you say What the heck; I've heard good things about McCaffrey, haven't I? Oh I guess I'll try it; and you buy it
Levent Mollamustafaoglu
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This Pern novel from Anne McCaffrey is partially overlapping with All the Weyrs of Pern in terms of the period it covers. The previous book told the story of how the Pernese found Aivas, a forgotten Artificial Intelligence system left from the early settlement and how they developed a method to end Threadfall for good.

This book starts around the time Aivas has been discovered and tells the story of how dolphins were (re-)discovered in Pern and how the human settlements organised themselves to re
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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

Other books in the series

Pern (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Dragonflight (Dragonriders of Pern, #1)
  • Dragonquest (Pern, #2)
  • Dragonsong (Harper Hall, #1)
  • Dragonsinger (Harper Hall, #2)
  • The White Dragon (Pern, #3)
  • Dragondrums (Harper Hall, #3)
  • Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern (Pern, #7)
  • Nerilka's Story (Pern, #8)
  • Dragonsdawn (Pern, #9)
  • The Renegades of Pern (Pern, #10)

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