Tower and the Hive School & Library Binding – May 2000
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|School & Library Binding, May 2000||
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Anne McCaffrey concludes the saga of Angharad Gwyn, the Rowan, her husband Jeff Raven, and their family of powerful telepathically and telekinetically Talented offspring with The Tower and the Hive. ( The first four books in the series are: The Rowan, Damia, Damia's Children, and Lyon's Pride.) As usual, McCaffrey delivers vividly real characters struggling with personal, political, and ethical issues and finding humane solutions.
Federated Teleport and Telepath, dominated by the Gwyn-Raven clan, provides interstellar shipping and communications for the Star League of Humans and Mrdinis--weasel-like aliens. In following the aggressive, ant-like Hivers, whose "spheres" have repeatedly attacked League worlds, naval vessels have discovered many more habitable planets, including some occupied by Hivers. Who will get to colonize these planets, Humans or Mrdinis? Should all Hivers be destroyed, or is there some way to contain them? Where will more Talents to staff the vital Towers come from? And how best to defeat those whose resentment of the Gwyn-Raven family's powers and friendship with Mrdinis could lead to violence?
McCaffrey's protagonists are four Gwyn-Raven grandchildren, now young adults who find romance and mature while studying both alien races. Old and new fans alike can enjoy her masterful blending of scientific extrapolation and fantasy elements to produce a universe they'll leave regretfully. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Heres a happy ending to McCaffreys futuristic Rowan (aka the Talent) series (Lyons Pride, etc.), as Humans, their allies, the Mrdini, and the insectoid Hivers, who menace both, find ways to coexist. The main heroes are the Talented members of Federation Teleport and Telepath, dominated by the family that began the organization, but increasingly including different blood lines. McCaffrey provides an introduction, What Has Gone On Before, but its nearly as confusing as it is helpful. Fortunately, the narrative offers bountiful explanations of salient events and relationships, so all becomes clear as the story progresses. Few surprises are on hand, but the relationships among the parapsychically gifted Humans at FT&T are particularly well drawn, including the romantic subplots. Indeed, procreation is key, as readers follow the family dynasty of FT&T, the search for a solution to Mrdini overpopulation and the link between the Hivers queens and their spread to new worlds. The novel lacks the profound imagination of alien minds thats a hallmark of much recent SF, but it also avoids the kill-the-bugs outlook of such SF as Starship Troopers. Readers looking for intelligent, heroic adventure will find it here, and Rowan fans will be especially pleased at this felicitous closing of a popular SF series.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The Lyon/Raven family are all just too good to be true. Everyone (except the bad guys), seem to love them. They are saintly.They can do no wrong. They never die. Please.
Even the Lyon/Raven clan's relationships are all perfect. Each couple is more than happy to settle down to become a Lyon/Raven baby-making machine. When accidental pregnancy occurs the prospective fathers all seem to be happy and thrilled. I don't know about you, but I found this to be too saccharin for words.
The only character that really interested me was Laria. But I found her relationship with Kincaid to be implausible and unhealthy. Everyone's reaction to this was very low key. Kincaid is gay; we've seen no indications otherwise in any of the previous books. To have the Mrdini manipulate them to become a couple seemed wrong somehow. Perhaps if Kincaid had bi leanings...But suddenly to get involved in a long term straight relationship? Implausible. Especially when the same character says at some late point: "I'll love you as much as my sexual orientation allows..." Either he loves Laria, or he doesn't why give us a qualifier?
Other than that, there are several loose plot threads and silliness. The whole part with the 'Nose' was just ridiculous. The human nose is just not that sensitive. And what about the ethics of manipulating an entire species using biological warfare? This novel seemed like the jumbled collection of several different prospective novels rolled into one. It lacked the cohesion I've come to expect from a McCaffrey novel and left me feeling unsatisfied.
Since I've been following this series from its beginning, I already cared about Damia Gwynn-Raven, Afra Lyon (a "methody" Capellan who more than holds his own despite his wife's considerably greater mental powers), and their young adult children. The new generation's coming-of-age stories play out while the book's "A plot" unfolds, and I am pleased that (as in real life) every single loose end does not get tied up - but nothing major is left hanging to frustrate the reader. The resolution of the Hiver threat is handled not at all as I might have expected! Which is a good thing, and the author doesn't rob her "villains" of their wonderfully creepy alien-ness in the process. The Mrdini, though, become more alien than ever before as we get a look at their culture (and their biology) that is almost too close for comfort.
A satisfactory conclusion to an engrossing saga.
I feel that McCaffrey has started to lose her "sense of wonder"; either that or my expectations have increased since I began reading her books almost ten years ago. To be fair, I have not read the Acorna or Catteni books, so maybe she is concentrating her energy there.
Anyway - a gay person falling in love with a straight person? After it was repeatedly emphasized in the previous book in the series that he was gay, I had a hard time buying into that turn of events.
There was no suspense as to the eventual outcome - although McCaffrey is not one for unhappy endings, this for me is more a calm, soothing book that I can read before bedtime to fall asleep than one in which I can take any real pleasure in.
I could write more, but it would mainly boil down to this: If you must purchase this book, buy the paperback. And don't expect too much.
I read *The Tower and the Hive* because I had so much enjoyed the stories of the Rowan and Damia that I wanted to know what happened to their children, and not so much because I was interested in the children themselves. Which is a shame. The story here is obviously a continuation of what happened in *Lyon's Pride.* Very little that is new is introduced. The characters and their relationships are not as developed as in previous books; mostly, you must rely on what you remember from those stories to get any feeling of family dynamics.
The short of it is, I only made it all the way through this book because I wanted to know what happened to Damia and the Rowan (who only make cameo appearances in this book). To use a movie analogy, I felt a little like I went to see a two-hour documentary on insect pheromones, just because I knew there was a 5 second comment made by my favorite Hollywood actress.
Most recent customer reviews
Anne McCaffrey piles of wonderful books. Some I really like, some are ok, and few did nothing for me. This book is one of those that you just fall in love with. Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2014 by Collin C. Carbno
There had to be an end to the Rowan series. I only wish the end of the series was a little deeper and memorable. Read morePublished on May 29 2004 by Amazon Customer
I have read all the others in this series, and all the dragon books multiple times, I doubt I will reread this one. Read morePublished on March 17 2004
While I greatly enjoyed the first 4 books in this series, this the 5th book is rather slow. Its almost as if it was written to finish off a contract or just to give the author... Read morePublished on April 11 2003 by Amazon Customer
Was Anne McCaffrey awake when she wrote this book? I have never encountered such a paint by numbers effort from this author. Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2002 by Susan Haskins
The Rowan/Damia series, has to date been wonderful. But not here! In an ending I describe as "throw the material from two books into one and finish it up" this book... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2002 by Lawrence R. Williams
I've read Anne Mccaffrey books since I was 14 & loved them all, but The Tower & the Hive left me so disappointed. Read morePublished on Dec 22 2001
I liked the story, but I think it leaves too many unanswered questions. The solution to the Hivers' expansion is finally revealed (at least, it appears so), but there are lots of... Read morePublished on Nov. 14 2000