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The Ship Who Searched (Brainship #3)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  10,304 Ratings  ·  126 Reviews
A tale of courage and adventure, set in the same universe as The Ship Who Sang . A precocious seven-year-old girl has been afflicted by a paralyzing alien virus, and cannot survive outside a mechanical support system. She straps on a spaceship and sets out to find what it was that laid her low.
Paperback, 312 pages
Published 1994 by Orbit (first published 1992)
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is another of the "Brain and Brawn" series created by Anne McCaffrey in The Ship Who Sang. The premise behind the books is that in a future time, severely handicapped people are given a chance at a fulfilling life by becoming cyborgs: an entire city or a ship becomes their "body" that they control.

Only that first book is solely written by McCaffrey--the others in the series are co-written by her or by others. Of those other books, this is my favorite--I love it just as much as the first, a
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I think this has to be one of my favorite books. I first read it about ten years ago, and have read it at least once a year since then. The first chapter snares the attention and reels you in. I was reading another novel, and an excerpt from this book was in the back. I read it, and had to have it. I devoured it as soon as I got my hands on it, finishing it in an afternoon. And I wasn't disappointed.

One thing I love about Anne McCaffrey is the way she wrote female characters. So often, in sci-fi
I gave this one 3 stars because of the ending (mentioned in spoiler tags below). Up until the ending, I was wavering between 4 and 5 stars.

It is hard to get used to these books as full length novels, after reading The Ship Who Sang, which was a collection of short stories about one particular Brainship. But it was well done as a novel, employing multiple plotlines and mysteries to great effect as the Brainship and her Brawn explore the Universe. I liked the main character in this one, Tia, as he
Alex Satrapa
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put the book down once I started, and ended up surfacing from this thoroughly involving story at 4am the next day. Whoops!

The Ship Who Searched starts simply enough: we are introduced to the protagonist (Hypatia Cade) as a child, living with her xeno-archaeologist parents on a remote dig site, with the story introducing the precocious brat, her life alone with her loving parents, and the onset of the disease which turns her into a quadriplegic. Anne & Mercedes know how to pull tho
Ellen B.
Mar 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McCaffrey is kind of a hack (I say this as someone who ravenously consumed every Dragonriders of Pern book she could as a teen) but oh man this made me cry and cry (in a good way).

I guess I liked it because it's kind of a weird emotional romance novel?
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A long time ago I found a collection of Anne McCaffrey which comprised 'restoree', 'decision at doona' and 'the ship who sang'. This last book introduced us to the idea of people who were highly disabled being enabled by forming the 'brain' of a spaceship. The concept was fascinating: a synthesis of organic and mechanical life that allowed highly intelligent people to reach the stars. This book, 'the ship who searched', takes the concept further: rather than being paralysed from birth Tia catche ...more
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, read-ebooks
The ship who searched is about the brain ship Hypatia, or Tia. She is an exceptional brain ship, because she was quite old when she became a shell person: 7. She is interested in archeology and finds a brawn who is interested in the same. Together they get into a few scrapes...

The book was written in typical McCaffrey style, not over-emotional, but compelling nonetheless. I love this world with people who become ships and I like seeing how they interact with the world. The story itself is not ov
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another lovely story about two souls meeting and falling perfectly for each other.

There's no real 'bad guy' in this one. Just a string of adventures and a happy ending for a child who, at one point, thought it was all over before she'd even begun.

I'd be happy to continue on with Tia and Alex to find the EsKays.

Overall, a good edition to the Brain and Brawn series. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I love Anne McCaffrey’s books & this was a fabulous read that I couldn’t put down.

A tale of courage and adventure, set in the same universe as “The Ship Who Sang”. A precocious seven-year-old girl has been afflicted by a paralyzing alien virus, and cannot survive outside a mechanical support system. She straps on a spaceship and sets out to find what it was that laid her low.
Sarah Bird
I found the ending a little unsatisfying as we don't get to know if Tia found a cure for the illness that crippled her. Apart from that it was a satisfying read.
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
One of my favorite books of all time, and one I can easily read over and over! This is my favorite of all the brainship books. I love the characters and the is just wonderful!
Daniel Beck
Aug 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fun, but with a sort of simplistic conflict and solution and some iffy perspectives on disability.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A precocious only child of a pair of archeologist who search for archeological dig sites spends significant time alone with the AI and has friend that is a brainship. She contracts an untreatable virus which wrecks havoc with her nervous system. A bright mind with a challenging, interesting future ahead of her, Tia our heroine is now trapped in body that does not move or feel. Her teddy bear is a symbol of her childhood, her vulnerability and her strength, never give up, be strong. It is a symbo ...more
Summerita Rhayne
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you finish a book in little over two days, I think there's no need to expound on how you found it. I rarely read sci fi. Thanks to Fiona for recommending it. Actually I picked it up because I wanted to write about women and technology conflict. This was perfect for my purpose but sadly I forgot about writing and became immersed in reading which says much about the readability of the work. I would have liked a more definite conclusion as far as the quest was concerned but since this is a serie ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I hadn't read the Brainship books in years so I decided it was time for a re-read and I happy to report that they stood up to the test of time. I really enjoyed the story and found myself very interested in the characters in these books. I am super glad I read them again.
Al Philipson
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a collaboration, so it's not 100% McCaffrey, but it comes off just fine. Good tension both within the BB relationship and with external events and threats.

A page-turner from the start that I enjoyed completely.
Sherry Giarrusso Phillips
OOOh What's next!!

As always Anne McCaffrey keeps readers wanting more. I can't wait to see what is next for the brain ships!
Cheryl Leary
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
The beginning of the story was better and I felt that it fizzled out and had a weak ending.
Mindi Briar
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was the most enjoyable of the Brainship series so far!
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent character development, good tight story line. Couldn't put it down.
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Much better pacing, more engaging characters and story than the first two books in the series make for a delightful read.
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, 2018
wow, that was quick

didn't have the emotional impact reading the book did and the reader's pronunciation of Hypatia and her robot-voiced AI detracted from it, but wow, since I love the book...
L.G. Estrella
Dec 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I will admit that I have not always been a fan of the two authors. Too often I find McCaffrey slightly dull, and I've had similar difficulties enjoying Lackey's work. However, this book is excellent and a credit to the powers of collaboration. Whatever faults there may be amongst the two authors, their collaboration has been able to draw upon the strengths of both while remedying the weaknesses.

To begin with the prose: the writing here is concise and to the point but never lacking in personality
I just reread this, having found it by happenstance among the links at Free Speculative Fiction Online (a list I'm delighted to have found!), from Baen. (Both halves of Brain Ships are there, in chapter-chunks, TSWS and PartnerShip; the Contents link is for the full 2-in-1.) I made the "mistake" of reading a bit of the first chapter. :-) BTW, the online copy doesn't seem to be one of the edition options here on GR, so I didn't have to figure out how to show both my MMPB and the digital version ...more
Sep 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to review this book without comparing it to The Ship Who Sang. While the treatment of the brain-brawn romance was less obsessive and weird (though I, with my compartmentalizing nature, find it somewhat repulsive that physical satisfaction seems to be presented as the ultimate goal of love,) Tia's path to buy-out seemed far too easy, if definitely clever. Also, the emotional high point of the book was in the first chapter, with Tia's illness, and the ending focuses too much on her relat ...more
Mar 13, 2011 added it
A great brainship book: This book has adventure, mystic and romantic combined in a great book. This the first person as far as I know that lived as a softperson before she become paralysed and becomes in a shell. Tia has more character than many of the other shellpersons, that never has been outside their shell. She unlike most other shellpersons know her parents. It's on a alien archeology dig on an airless world with her parents she starts to get paralysed.

Here it's a lot of alien creatures T

Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-to-read
This book is probably better then the original Helva, just by fact of the emotions it put me through. This one takes place with the archaeology loving Tia. It starts with Tia as a young child who gets a disease that causes her to be paralyze from the neck down. Instead of being a cripple all her life, Tia decides to join the brainship program, being the oldest to ever go through the process. I must say that the beginning is a terrible tearjerker. Afterwards it takes a nice turn and goes through ...more
Jan 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though sometimes outdated by modern tech, it was published in 1992. Written by two of my favourite writers, this is one of my favourites of the Ship Who sequence.

Hypathia Cade is a young precious kid who lives with her family on a small archaeological dig. The worst possible thing happens when she contracts a virus that causes her to become paralysed from the neck down. At seven she really isn't a candidate for the Brain project, where young children with incurable conditions are offered a chan
Mar 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
I first read this book long ago, and it was one of those that always stayed with me. The idea of someone who would have been expected not to thrive, or even survive, yet now had power beyond any human expectation... and the fact that most were strong females... made a big impression on a young girl.

I just listened to the file, which is (unfortunately) abridged. I don't know if it is the abridging, or if I was just younger when I read it, but while the story was great, it didn't devel
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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

Brainship (7 books)
  • The Ship Who Sang (Brainship, #1)
  • PartnerShip (Brainship, #2)
  • The City Who Fought (Brainship, #4)
  • The Ship Who Won (Brainship, #5)
  • The Ship Errant (Brainship, #6)
  • The Ship Avenged

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“Zen Hugs - the hugs that you would get, if we were there, if we could hug you, but we aren't, and we can't.” 28 likes
“The AI told her not long ago that her "Why?" period might have been the shortest on record - because Mum and Dad answered every "Why?" in detail AND made sure she understood, so she wouldn't ask that particular "Why?" again.
After a month "Why?" wasn't fun anymore, and she went on to other things.”
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