Book Review- Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

Hello Blogland!

Some updates are in order. Firstly, I’ve received my “No Thanks” letter from that agent I queried. Which was completely expected, and didn’t actually hurt my feelings in the least. I submitted on a whim, on the off chance that he liked what he saw. But, this is my first novel. I have zero expectations for it, other than providing a learning experience for myself. I have to go through with all the editing and querying, because how else am I going to learn how to do it?

In addition to that rejection letter, feedback from Beta readers is trickling in. I haven’t looked at any of the responses too closely, because I’m not in a place where I can really do anything with their suggestions yet. I need to print out the novel again, and get it organized before I start the next round of edits.

School is in the final stretch, and I’m not really paying much attention to it. Not the best way to the end the term, especially when I’m fighting for Summa, but these classes sucked and I have zero fucks to give.

There, I said it.

Also, I was in Disneyland last week celebrating my aunt’s 50th birthday, and have a ton of pictures and memories to share. The highlight of which was asking Kylo Ren if he was “totally shredded”. Let’s just say, he wasn’t amused.  And that made it even better!

“So, rumor has it you’re totally shredded…”

Anyway, that should get you mostly caught up with the happenings in my life lately. I’ll update the What I’m Reading page right after I publish this.

So, Dragonflight!

How I neglected to read this series my entire life thus far is a mystery. But, just like my reticence to read Rawn’s Dragon Prince series, which I love, the covers of McCaffrey’s iconic series gave me doubts. Plagued with the oddly sexual and sexist covers of scantily clad damsels astride virile beasts, these books didn’t appeal to me. Which is a perfect example of why you should never judge a book by it’s cover!

I loved this book! At just over 300 pages, it was a quick read. The characters are distinct and likable, even impetuous Lessa, who very nearly bungles everything time and time again. F’lar is my favorite, Lessa’s love interest and leader of the Dragonriders of Pern.

There’s been about a million covers for these books, but this is the cover of my copy.

So, here’s somethings you might want to know. This series rides a very tenuous line between Science Fiction and Fantasy. The opening of this novel reeked of Sci-Fi, with commentary on planetary rotations, colonization, and inter-space travel. And then, as the reader is brought to the planet’s surface and introduced to characters, the world is shown to be quite medieval. Swords and castles, beds made of straw, and archaic rituals and traditions based on lineage and the preservation of the male line.

It’s a rough transition. But, I’m told that the science fiction comes back in later books. Apparently there’s, like, 26 of them or something, and that time travel and space, and dragons are all key parts of the series. It’s kind of insane.

Insanely awesome!

There’s a reason this series is a main-staple for every fantasy fiction fan. Short, fast-paced, with high stakes and great world building, this series is high on my to be read list. Though the character names and places are complex, rife with politics and personal drama, the actual language is fairly straightforward, making this story a relatively easy read.

Also, despite the total “damsel in distress” feeling evoked by the cover, this book actually tackles some feminist themes. Lessa trumps assumptions about women through the entire book, and while I wasn’t a fan of her shortsightedness and impatience, I appreciated her stubbornness and insistence on equal treatment. She balances nicely with the ambitious, yet patient and traditional F’lar, as well as irritates him beyond measure. As every good love interest should.

But, I can’t really talk about these characters at length without mentioning their dragons. Dragons impress upon a human at birth. They hatch and find their human, instantly forming a bond that can only be broken by death. The dragons are telepathic, able to communicate with their riders as well as with other dragons. F’lar’s dragon is a large Bronze male named Mnementh. And Lessa’s is the queen, Ramoth the Golden.Pern Crop

These two were instantly my favorites, as they were both sarcastic, moody, and mouthy. Put them together and giving feedback and advice to their riders, and I was laughing a lot.

So, this book is the first in a vast series of Science Fiction/Fantasy books full of politics, romance, danger, and humor. Short and quick, Dragonflight was a wonderful introduction to the world of Pern. I don’t know when I’ll read the other two titles in this particular trilogy, hopefully later this year, but I know they have to be on my “To Be Read” list. There’s no way I can pass up the opportunity to spend more time with F’lar and Lessa and their dragons.

You most likely already know about all the awesome that is this series, but if you’re like me, and haven’t read them yet, pick up a copy. You won’t regret it!

Book club continues with Red Rising by Pierce Brown, and I should be back sometime this week with a review of The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. Until then, Blogland!