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The Ship Who Searched

(Brainship #3)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  10,838 ratings  ·  135 reviews
A young woman becomes paralyzed and must become a brainship—and find her Brawn, her human soul mate, so that she can discover a cure for her illness.

Tia Cade is a headstrong, smart, and very normal girl until she contracts a terrible illness that leaves her with the bare semblance of life. Tia's only hope: to become the oldest person ever to train to be one of the legendar
Paperback, 312 pages
Published 1994 by Orbit (first published 1992)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  10,838 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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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
Salena Ross
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
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 those h
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!
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps not quite 4 stars but pretty close. Tia is an unusually well adjusted bright 7 year old. Fortunately, since she is about to have a life altering horrendous neural disease that ends her in a shell person and a brain ship. Having learned from watching a friend of hers, she is extremely picky about who becomes her brawn. Has she made the right choice in career and brawn? Read to find out!

This lost a star by leaving some important points completely unfinished. One minute Tia and Alex (the b
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?
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
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
Beau N.
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.
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
Lucy Takeda
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it
The Ship Who Sang is one of my all-time favorite novels. Reading this during a pandemic is——interesting. However, it came across as a trifle saccharin/Disney to me.
Tia is a genius level child who travels around with archaeology parents. She gets hit with an unknown alien virus. Her parents and doctors push for her to become a Brainship when her body/nervous system breaks down. However, she is older than they usually accept....
Nicola Hawkes
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have a whole shelf of McCaffrey, with most I imagine being the first editions, as I started them probably 35 years ago. Reread some of them regularly, usually in times of stress or illness, particularly the Harper Hall books. This is one of my favourite Brain books, mainly because of the emotional start, and then the variety of trips Tia and her brawn is involved with.
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.
Kate H
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.
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
For some reason, I never ventured past Pern. This is my first run through the BB series. This was was better than the first two. Nothing epic, but I seem to be in a light, just for fun, mood. This fit the bill nicely.
Been distracting myself by re-reading a bunch of old SF/F that I loved growing up. This one probably wasn't the best choice given the many plague-driven plot points, but still as good as I remembered it.
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.
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.
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...
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
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!
Susan Sarabasha
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Starting off with the 3rd book may not be the best idea as it took me quite a few pages to catch on. Once I did it was fascinating and fun.
Am now going to read Book 1. The Ship Who Sang.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it liked it
It's been a long time since I've read this book; probably because I couldn't find the ebook version of it. Nice story, easy plot. Good read.
Michelle Louise
One of the best of the brainship series. Loved Alex. Adored Hypatia. Has one of the best happy endings in sci-fi
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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

Brainship (9 books)
  • The Ship Who Sang (Brainship, #1)
  • Honeymoon (Brainship, #1.3)
  • The Ship That Returned (Brainship, #1.4)
  • PartnerShip (Brainship, #2)
  • The City Who Fought (Brainship, #4)
  • The Ship Who Won (Brainship, #5)
  • The Ship Errant (Brainship, #6)
  • The Ship Avenged (Brainship, #7)

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