The "shipfish" are the dolphins of pern and they once helped they once accompanied the earlierest settlers of pern. Altough he child (Readis) who is not understood by his parents is reminiscent of Menolly's story, there's so much to like. I just wish there was more about the dolphins and less about Readis. Pern also has changed a lot in this book and what I think made Pern interesting is how people interacted and were dependant upon each other though the re-discovery of the dolphins and the events that take place after-ward will keep your eyes glued to the page.
This is an interesting part of the Pern series that focuses mainly on the Dolphins of Pern. The Dolphins are an important part of the history of Pern. The Humans and Dolphins lost touch along the way. Now the old bonds are being reforged. However, not everyone treats the dolphin's with the respect they deserve. Hardly anyone does in fact. Most view them as having less value than dragons, and certainly less than humans. Even though the dolphin's intelligence is equal to human's. But one young man does not feel this way. In fact he is willing to risk everything (including his overprotective mother's rage) to be with the dolphins. This is mainly their tale.