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Dragongirl Mass Market Paperback – Jun 7 2011


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (June 7 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345491173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345491176
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 10.6 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 240 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #123,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
All the pieces have come together for me in with this book and Dragon's Time. But it does leave me wanting more which I suppose is Todd's intent, at least I hope so.
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By MLP on June 20 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
VERY WELL DONE, WILL CONTINUE TO BUY BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR. I DO LIKE READING PERN BOOKS. AM TRYING TO GET COMPLETE SET
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on April 30 2011
Format: Hardcover
If all life on the planet was about to die and the only way of saving it was suffering from a virulent plague, I imagine people would be at least a LITTLE worried. But apparently the people of Pern don't have that problem. Todd McCaffrey sets plenty of high stakes in "Dragongirl," the latest book in his mother's Pern series, but he ends up making it a mushy, sluggish mass of mediocrity.

Junior Weyrwoman Fiona and her dragon Talenth have returned from the past, where dragons and riders have been training, healing and generally preparing to blast out the Thread. Unfortunately there's STILL a plague that is killing the dragons -- like in every Todd McCaffrey book -- meaning that there aren't enough dragons to save Pern. Yes, again. The man is obsessed with plagues.

Then a tragic disaster hits, leaving countless dragons and riders dead. So Fiona immediately becomes the new Weyrwoman, and takes a position of authority in Telgar just as the plague hits her own dragon... which is very dramatic for about five minutes. Then Lorana and Kindan arrive at the hold, and a tepid love triangle suddenly becomes the centerpiece of the plot.

Todd McCaffrey's Pern books are an excellent illustration of why an author should just retire their bestselling series instead of handing them to someone else. "Dragongirl" has the bones of a brilliant fantasy novel, but those bones are almost buried under a few hundred pages of repetitive flab -- seriously, I felt like screaming every time somebody mentioned that Talenth was going to "rise."

McCaffrey's prose is tepidly mediocre and very stilted ("If you do this, you are no longer of Fort. For by standing by these riders, you stand for Telgar"), and his poetry is even worse.
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By Holly Levere on Aug. 23 2010
Format: Hardcover
I loved that this book followed up on Dragon's Fire. The book flowed forth and we can see what it was like 508 years after landing. I can't wait for the next book in the seriesDragon's FireDragongirl
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 148 reviews
215 of 220 people found the following review helpful
The Way Forward is Dark and Long July 31 2010
By Robert Thorbury - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've been reading Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider novels since 1979, and Pern has long been the place I love to visit in my daydreams. While I can imagine flying a dragon and fighting Threads, I can more readily picture myself living and working in the Harper Hall, immersing myself in music. Anne, over more than 30 years, has come up with a wealth of believable characters, people I could envision meeting and talking to. Pern is real to me.

And then there's Anne's son, Todd. With Anne getting too old to do much solo writing, Todd was a logical choice to take over her world. He grew up with the stories the same way I did, and could ask his mother for the whys and wherefores.

So I started following his stories, set in the Third Pass, a full two thousand Turns (years) before the original stories. For a time, I was enthusiastic. Sure, some of Todd's efforts were a bit rough, but he was new to the trade and would surely only get better.

In anticipation of reading the lastest Pern novel, Dragongirl, I re-read its immediate predecessor, Dragonheart, and was reminded of why I liked it as much as I did. I also skimmed through the highlights of Dragonblood, an earlier novel whose events largely overlap those of Dragonheart.

I recommend that you read at least Dragonblood and Dragonheart before you pick up Dragongirl. Todd's other Pern novels form part of the backstory, so are less important.

Dragongirl begins right where Dragonheart leaves off, so I was able to plunge right in. The main protagonist is Fiona, a gold dragon rider who has just spent three Turns in the past, managing Igen Weyr mainly on her own, having to make a lot of serious decisions despite being only in her mid-teens. Now, back in the present, Fiona is butting heads with Cisca, the senior Weyrwoman of Fort Weyr. Can strong-willed Fiona learn to accept being a junior Weyrwoman again?

As it turns out, she doesn't have to. If you've already read Dragonblood, you know what tragedy befalls the riders of Telgar Weyr. Fiona is the logical person to rush over there and take over. A lot of people have come to appreciate her, so she has no shortage of helpers.

Among those who join her are Kindan the Harper and Lorana, an ex-dragonrider who heroically sacrificed her own gold to save all of Pern from the dragon sickness. Lorana and Fiona already have a peculiar sort of psychic bond, due to Lorana's immensely powerful attempt to save the Telgar dragons, calling in vain for them to return from Between. Plus, Lorana can hear all dragons, a very valuable ability not seen since the time of Torene of Benden in the First Pass, some 450 Turns earlier.

There is an extremely moving scene in the story where the replacement dragonriders of Telgar are standing at attention in the Weyr Bowl, honoring all of the departed in the form of a roll call for the dead. "Who stands for D'gan?" "I stand for D'gan. His last thoughts were for the Weyrs." This was very powerful stuff, and at that point I was ready to give Dragongirl a five-star review.

And then the story started to unravel about halfway through. First, there was the initial mating flight of Fiona's dragon, Talenth. This is a major milestone in the life of a Weyrwoman, and also important for this reason: The rider of the bronze dragon who flies Talenth becomes the Weyrleader, the man who organizes attempts to fight Pern's ancient enemy, Thread. Also, mating dragons produce eggs, and Pern is desperately in need of dragons right now.

Can a bronze dragon whose rider is in a coma succeed in flying a gold? You'll find out. And it's pretty weird.

After this, Fiona and Lorana and Kindan and the new Weyrleader are in some complicated sort of mutual relationship. They all love each other. It's both polygamy and polyandry and -- heck -- how about poly-dragony?

This is where I think Todd went wrong. It's no mystery to longtime Pern fans that this sort of stuff goes on in Weyrs. It's an inevitable side-effect of being telepathically linked to mating dragons. The riders of green and blue dragons, almost always men, tend to prefer the company of other men. Anne mentioned in one of her very earliest novels that conservative holdbred people found Weyr life very uncomfortable.

Todd goes into too much detail, and the story seriously bogs down. "OK, Todd, I get it," I wanted to tell him. "Can we fight Thread, now?"

But that's no help, because of the relentless catastrophes befalling the dragonriders. Every time they fight Thread, more dragons and/or their riders are fatally injured. It can be gruesome. I credit Todd for very vivid writing. If more dragons aren't found, fast, will there be any left past the end of the Turn? Worse, the queens suddenly aren't laying enough eggs, and everyone's afraid they know why.

If the theme of Todd's previous books was Plague, the current one is surely Carnage.

I could get close to Anne's characters because they tended to stick around for multiple books. With Todd, I'm always wondering who the next victim will be. Too many disposable characters, and too depressing a storyline. The worst part is knowing that this story ends with a cliffhanger, another key character making a major sacrifice. If I want my Pern fix, I'll have to pick up at least two more books to get it.

It was prophesied to Lorana that the way forward would be dark and long, and that's exactly what I'm worried about. I don't know about you, but I like to finish a Pern book feeling halfway good. Right now, I'm not.

So, read Dragongirl if you must, but be sure you know what you're in for. For myself, I might have to wait until the rest of the series is out in paperback before I get any more. Or maybe I should just cut my losses and go back to Anne's works.
103 of 109 people found the following review helpful
Back to Telgar Aug. 2 2010
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If all life on the planet was about to die and the only way of saving it was suffering from a virulent plague, I imagine people would be at least a LITTLE worried. But apparently the people of Pern don't have that problem. Todd McCaffrey sets plenty of high stakes in "Dragongirl," the latest book in his mother's Pern series, but he ends up making it a mushy, sluggish mass of mediocrity.

Junior Weyrwoman Fiona and her dragon Talenth have returned from the past, where dragons and riders have been training, healing and generally preparing to blast out the Thread. Unfortunately there's STILL a plague that is killing the dragons -- like in every Todd McCaffrey book -- meaning that there aren't enough dragons to save Pern. Yes, again. The man is obsessed with plagues.

Then a tragic disaster hits, leaving countless dragons and riders dead. So Fiona immediately becomes the new Weyrwoman, and takes a position of authority in Telgar just as the plague hits her own dragon... which is very dramatic for about five minutes. Then Lorana and Kindan arrive at the hold, and a tepid love triangle suddenly becomes the centerpiece of the plot.

Todd McCaffrey's Pern books are an excellent illustration of why an author should just retire their bestselling series instead of handing them to someone else. "Dragongirl" has the bones of a brilliant fantasy novel, but those bones are almost buried under a few hundred pages of repetitive flab -- seriously, I felt like screaming every time somebody mentioned that Talenth was going to "rise."

McCaffrey's prose is tepidly mediocre and very stilted ("If you do this, you are no longer of Fort. For by standing by these riders, you stand for Telgar"), and his poetry is even worse. What little plot there is ends up being a string of repetitive crises that are half-forgotten after ten minutes -- he infects Talenth with the plague, has Fiona angst for a day or two, and then PRESTO! she's healed. It's like the man is terrified of any major plot developments.

The deadliest sin this book commits? No tension. No drama. No suspense. At all. EVER. McCaffrey packs the story with endless boring minutiae about life in the Telgar Weyr, usually about stuff that doesn't really matter. I honestly couldn't care less about Fiona's pottery experiences, Bekka's career goals, or what the proper funeral arrangements at Telgar are -- let alone the halfhearted romantic tension. Isn't Pern supposed to be in danger of annihilation?!

And it's pretty hard to care what happens to Fiona -- she's a tepid Mary Sue whom everybody just LOVES, even though she's bossy, stiff and insensitive. And while McCaffrey tries to convince us that she has a deep passionate love for Kindan, the two of them have as much chemistry as a math book -- as do Kindan and Lorana, and Fiona and that other guy whose name I've already forgotten. Even the riders and their dragons barely seem to notice each other.

There are some promising subplots and unique twists at times, but "Dragongirl" is basically a big dough mass of mediocrity. Time for this series to go between.
47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Just don't bother! Oct. 27 2010
By M. Alexander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like so many people who have loved the Anne McCaffrey Pern world, I eagerly looked forward to her son being able to carry on the tradition, so I bought the first couple of collaborations. They were not good, but I hoped they would get better.

Sadly this seems unlikely. Todd McCaffrey simply cannot write. His characters are unbelievable, his plots non existent, and to add insult to injury he introduces some very typical prurient male sexual fantasies, and even a plug for capitalism in the book (Fiona chastises another woman and lectures her on the virtues and fairness of "profit")This apropos nothing whatsoever and against a background of a society whose very existence depends on total cooperation, and whose past experience with holders who indulged in too much personal acquisition proved disastrous.

Anne herself dealt with the sexual "freedoms" of the Weyrs with a light and tactful hand, and while she mentioned in passing that some of the older and more conservative holders disliked this aspect of the Weyrs, she also went to some lengths to point out that they were usually mistaken in their assumptions about it all, were in the minority and not liked for their views.

Todd on the other hand hints at overall disgust against certain sexual orientations, specifically he mentions prejudice against a young lesbian girl, even within the Weyr itself, while indulging in a multiple partnered relationship revolving around an under aged girl with a strange inability to sleep alone.

His grammar is below high school level, as is his vocabulary, which also means his editor should be fired. On a purely technical level this finished book rises, barely, to the level of a very rough first draft, with elementary English corrections required on just about every page.

In the manner of the worst modern American "news" broadcasts, the book staggers from one disaster to the next and when the absolute worst is not happening, then it is being foreshadowed by non stop feelings of dread being expressed. The very dragons are bungling and inept at fighting thread. Predictable cross currents cannot be managed, so the losses are legion. There is no balance in this choppy narrative, and even characters previously fleshed out and developed in other books are turned to little more than names in the inane and meaningless dialogues.

Fiona, the main "character" at one point states that she would give her dragon to her friend if she could, a thought that would be impossible to entertain let alone express for anyone experiencing the dragon/rider bond. In fact there is almost no communication between the riders and their dragons at all in the book.

There is not a doubt in my mind that had this manuscript reached the slush pile of even an average editor without the McCaffrey name, it would have been rapidly, and correctly, rejected. It is a book that should never have seen the light of day, leaving the reader with the clear and uncomfortable certainty that the man and his publishers are quite willing to butcher Pern, its delightful inhabitants, and all of its subtle layering for the sole purpose of continuing a lucrative franchise.

My advice is not to encourage them.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
What a strange Pern this is.. Aug. 23 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This story leaves me with more questions than I should have.
Why does everyone like Fiona? Is her bed really full of pre-pubescent lesbians? Do we really need more mating flights in this one book than there are in the rest of the series? Why did Lytol bellyache about his beloved Larth every ten minutes, while everyone during this Pass treats losing a dragon like having an inconvenient toothache? Why are dragons eating sheep?! Where are the wherries? Why are people suddenly telepathic?

I haven't finished the book. It's painful to trudge through, especially with the unmemorable, indistinguishable characters. So little description has been provided that I can't even begin to picture these folks in my head.

The biggest question I have, halfway through this book - Have I read more of the Pern series than Todd?
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
*sigh* Aug. 15 2010
By Nezumi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I made an attempt to read this book after having read Dragonheart (which, by the way, was just barely tolerable), and to be frank, I couldn't finish it. I've been an avid Pern reader for years, and have read the series in it's entirety countless times.

When Todd co-wrote the books with his mother, it appeared that there would be hope for him. However, it's clear, that his mother was the one who had a clear hand in all the editing and most of the writing.

In Dragongirl, we are still following Fiona and her queen Talenth. Fine, whatever, I enjoy characters who stay around a while. However, this book was even more disjointed than it's predecessor. The plot is practically non-existent, and there is no chemistry between any of the characters in the book.

My biggest problem with Todd is that he's changed things in the world that he has no business changing. The connection between Dragon and Rider seems to not exist. Many Dragonriders lose their dragons in both Dragongirl and Dragonheart but they don't seem to care! Lytol was a completely different man after he lost his Dragon, but in this book, it appears that when you lose your dragon life just goes on its merry without any change to the characters. On top of that, he's added in food items like Beef; I hate to be picky, but there are just some things that don't belong on Pern.

I can honestly say that Todd has no business writing in his mother's world, and that he really should try on something different. I don't enjoy being thrust into a world where the adults seem incapable of doing anything, and the children are raising their parents and that's exactly what's happening. Children are running Pern.

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