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5.0 out of 5 stars A great beginning to an awesome series!
After you get past the beginning techno stuff, you will have trouble putting down this book.
Dragonsdawn is about the colonists who came to Pern. They settle in at Landing and start building houses for families and Crafthalls to set up apprentinceship.
Soon young Sorka and Sean find miniature dragons who come to be called firelizards. Their friendship blossoms...
Published on Aug. 10 2003 by Miriam

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time
That is how I summed up this book, not worth the time. This book is very confusing. This comes from the number of characters there are. In every incident in this book, you usually have to think back and remember who the characters are before reading on. There are a whole lot of villagers, then you have to keep track of all the different dragons too. The only way to...
Published on April 22 2002 by T-doh


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5.0 out of 5 stars A great beginning to an awesome series!, Aug. 10 2003
By 
Miriam (Provo, UT, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Mass Market Paperback)
After you get past the beginning techno stuff, you will have trouble putting down this book.
Dragonsdawn is about the colonists who came to Pern. They settle in at Landing and start building houses for families and Crafthalls to set up apprentinceship.
Soon young Sorka and Sean find miniature dragons who come to be called firelizards. Their friendship blossoms soon after they get firelizards of their own.
Unexpected danger comes all too soon in the form of mindless silver worms that fall from the sky to eat anything organic in it's path. Thread!
Only fire, water or stone will stop the Thread, but the sleds that the colonists brought with them weren't for often use and soon they weren't adequate to protect the people, but there is one hope. Those little firelizards that Sorka and Sean found can teleport themselves and breathe fire. They protect things from the Thread.
If only they were big enough to hold a rider. Kitti Ping genetically engeneers dragons and her granddaughter tries to keep on where Kitti left of, but fails with breeding a watchwher, a dragonlike animal who is sensitive to the light and is very protective of those it knows.
Soon, the volcano near Landing erupts and everyone is driven out to live elsewhere and leave a lot of technology behind.
This book is the basis for some of the themes in other later books such as The White Dragon and All The Weyrs of Pern.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Answered a Lot of My Questions About Pern!, June 17 2003
By 
Silmarwen (Huntington Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Mass Market Paperback)
A small group of settlers have risked everything on the information of a survey of Pern a hundred years or more before. They have traveled 15 years in deep sleep on older spaceships to reach the new planet and to start a whole new way of life. Some come because they want the chance to own their own land, others come for the adventure, others come for riches. When they first arrive on Pern, it truly feels like a paradise. The settlers choose a valley at the base of three inactive volcanoes to be their first settlement, which they call Landing. The settlers are eagerly experimenting with seeds and plants brought from other planets and trying to get animals settled and fertilized. Schools to teach children about their new life are quickly organized. Charter members of the group get first pick of land and set out exploring and claiming their small holdings. Others are content to live in Landing and to wait for their turn to spread out. All seems to be perfect...
Eight years later, the settlers notice an unusual cloud formation and think that there is a storm coming in. But when silver thread-like things start falling from the sky and devouring anything organic that can be found, paradise turns into a kind of living hell. The only bright spot that can be found in the whole tragedy is that the fire lizards seemed to know when the thread was coming and warned their owners to get inside where it was safe. The colony hopes that the thread-fall was a one-time occurrence, but then they notice the star with the irregular orbit that has slowly gotten closer to the planet and they realize that the thread is going to keep coming back. Many colonists despair and demand that the leaders send out the homing beacon to bring help from earth, but that could take 10 years or more, if help comes at all. Others turn to the fire lizards for answers. Finally, in one desperate action, they ask a geneticist to manipulate the genes of fire lizards to build something bigger - something more dragon sized that would be more effective against the thread. With time running out, all of Pern's hopes rest on the project of one woman...
This book is a stand-alone in the Pern series in that you don't need to be familiar with any other background before you read it, but there are many things that won't really make sense or won't seem important if you are not familiar with Pern's later history. Dragonsdawn answers questions such as how the dragons came to be, how they got their mental connection with their riders, how watchweyrs are different from dragons and why, how the colonists ended up in caves on the northern continent instead of the southern continent where they first settled, how the grubs were developed that ate thread, where the cat came from that caused a plague that decimated the population during Moreta's time, who the first dragonriders were and why they named the Holds and Weyrs what they did. The only complaint that I had was that the story was told from so many different points of view and contained so many characters that you really had to be on your toes while you read it. At the first part of the book, it wasn't so bad. McCaffrey refered to people by their first and last names and many of them were familiar to me because they had holds, weyrs and natural landmarks named after then such as Paul Benden, Emily Boll, Sallah Telgar, etc. Then the last names were dropped and we were left with the first names. After a while I got used to it, but then we had those long stretches of time where everyone got older all of a sudden and there are children and other people to deal with. Good thing there are plenty of references in the book to help you keep track of everyone! Although this book could technically be considered the first in the Pern series as far as chronology goes, I think that it is helpful to read the books in the order that Anne McCaffrey wrote them so that you can fully appreciate the detail of the world that McCaffrey has so painstakingly created. This book is a wonderful blend of science fiction and fantasy and I think anyone would thoroughly enjoy it as there really is something for everyone!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the time, April 22 2002
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This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Mass Market Paperback)
That is how I summed up this book, not worth the time. This book is very confusing. This comes from the number of characters there are. In every incident in this book, you usually have to think back and remember who the characters are before reading on. There are a whole lot of villagers, then you have to keep track of all the different dragons too. The only way to accurately keep track of all the different characters would be to make a notebook with the character's name and what they do next to it. This book was also very boring. The author just doesn't have the flare in her words that keeps you reading, so most things don't even stand out to you when it is a important event. A good book would take a whole page to dramatize an important characters death, but Dragonsdawn takes about three sentences. Then, once you figure out that someone died, you have to go back and figure out who it was!
I would compare the theme of this book to the book Ender's Game. In both books, mankind has to fight a alien hazard to stay and survive on their planet in a futuristic world. The main differences are that in Dragonsdawn, the battle against the alien hazard is on a different planet. The fighting in Dragonsdawn is done by a group of colonists on a new planet who are trying to escape the corrupt society on other planets, but the fighting in Ender's game is done by the military of planet earth. Dragonsdawn also uses dragons to fight the threat to their survival.
Overall, I consider this book a waste of my time. I just couldn't get into the plot enough to keep me reading. Two stars.
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2.0 out of 5 stars "Some Good Characters, But Needed More Drama", Feb. 24 2002
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This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Mass Market Paperback)
I was rather disappointed by the lack of drama I felt with this book, especially at the end when you've got a volcanic eruption and a big Threadfall coming. To me it seemed the Pernese settlers dealt with it in a business as usual attitude.
However, McCaffrey handled the development of Sorka and Sean very well. They were by far my most favorite characters in this book. Liked how Sean starts off as a total loner and very, very slowly warms up to Sorka. Soon finds himself learning to depend on her and starts opening up. This is especially true once they discover the dragons on Pern.
The dragons were pretty cool, especially when the Pernese start genetically altering them to grow bigger. And I did like the very first Threadfall, as debris from an Oort Cloud falls across Pern, burning almost everything it touches. McCaffrey really drew you into the scene and gave you a grand tour of the disaster and its emotional impact on the colony.
On a whole, the book seemed to have its up moments and down moments.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Dawn of an Era, the Birth of a World..., July 24 2000
This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Mass Market Paperback)
When one goes through countless reviews, some good, others bad, you stop to think if anyone ever reads these and if you are just saying what others have said. You know what I have come to think? I don't care. I just have to write something to praise the books I am reviewing... like this one.
I read this book after I read Dragonflight. I know it is not how the series should be read but I could not find Dragonquest and I needed, urged for a Pern book. So I decided to read Dragonsdawn. And I made no mistake. I loved this book. It has so much in such a wonderful way. You can actually believe that this may happen... fiction is no longer fiction. It all seems to plausible. And it's wonderful.
You are faced with the Coloners from Earth in search of a world to colonize. They have come to the Rukbat System and found the third planet to be ihabitable. They named it Pern. And so it all begins. What they did not know was that Pern, for calmer and more beautiful it may seem, hides a dangerous and deadly secret. The threat of the Threads, brought by the Red Star, catches the coloners unware, unexpectedly. And from then on it is a race to protect the survivor's lives from certain death. You witness in this book the birth of the Dragonriders, and the beginning of the amazing relationship with the dragons. From the delicate fire-lizards there comes the dragons of Pern... to fight Thread, to breathe fire, to protect humans. And you can't keep yourself from suffering in the harsh times, bellowing in joy with the fight of this danger, and shedding a tear when the multi-faceted eye of a dragon crosses your own eyes...
If you love Dragonriders of Pern... Dragonsdawn will surely amaze you. Though if you want to keep the many mysteries of your world away from your knowledge, then you should not read this book. But then you'd miss a great book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My First Love, April 22 2000
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This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Mass Market Paperback)
This book is excellent! I absolutely fell in love with Dragonsdawn. I had not heard of Anne McCaffery until a few years ago when I randomly picked up her book. I am obessed with imagination, but always disapointed when I realize that it can NEVER be real. Yet, when I read Dragonsdawn, it let an "impossible" myth that dominated my fantasy become a reality. Not by some magic or undefinable subtance, but by a "logic" by science that doesn't seem incrediable. As for the charaters, I was enchanted by the young, red-headed Sorka and the free spirited, son of the Roaming folk Sean. And I fell in love with the loyal dragonet/firelizards. To me the greatest test of a book is weather I want to read another book about the same place and people. I loved this beginning hope of Pern, trashed by disater and conspiracy only to find another way to hope again, so much that it took me a whole year to read anymore about Pern. Afraid that the sequels whould distroy the greatness built by the one book. I highly recommend this book, an ultimate beginning.
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2.0 out of 5 stars What's all the fuss about, anyway?, May 20 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Mass Market Paperback)
I saw the Dragonriders of Pern series in the SF and Fantasy Top 100 list, and since the book was both SF and fantasy, my two favorite genres, I snapped it up when I saw the book in the bookstore.(Enlish titles are hard to come by here, anyway.)And then I read it. And then I realized that not all books are good merely for being science fiction or fantasy, or even science fiction and fantasy at the same time. The whole book is about how resourceful, loving, and noble Sean and Sorka are, what an (unbelievably) evil slut Bitra is, what great leaders Benden and Boll are, and so on. The author's obsession with detail, which would have been pleasing in many other books, make reading this book laborious work. Phew! The other Pern book at the bookstore, Dragonquest or whatever, is about the same. What are all these people, reincarnations or something? First novel where I counted the remaining pages while I read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all lovers of fantasy, sci-fi, romance & mystery!, July 24 1998
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This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Mass Market Paperback)
This was the first Dangonbook I read. I didn't expect to like it--fantasy is not usually my cup of tea. Not only did I like it, I went straight to the bookstore and bought every one of the series and immersed myself in the world of Pern. By the end of Dragonsdawn, I wanted a dragon so badly that it almost broke my heart. You can lose yourself totally in the fantastic world of the Weyrs and Holds of Pern, and fall head-over- heels for the dashing Holders and Weyrleaders; ache with the young Pernese who wait to be chosen by a dragon; and soar in triumph with the Dragons as they fight their battles against Thread. Please, Anne McCaffrey, don't stop writing about Pern and all the generations that follow the discovery of the original landing!!!! All the books that follow, or precede, Dragonsdawn are just as compelling and fascinating--I'm hooked on Dragons!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Her worst book (and I'll tell you why), May 18 1998
By 
Peter Payne "Peter in Japan" (Isesaki, Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Mass Market Paperback)
This was McCaffrey's worst book (okay, Renegades did suck worse), and the reason is that it destroys all the thrill of discovery that we felt all through the first three books and the rest of the series. The "ancients" are revealed to be boring, stiff characters not half as interesting as the best of her 2nd string characters. The "main characters" are stupid and allow themselves to be duped, the evil characters are way too evil, and it basically takes much of the magic of the series away. All this history is meant to be subtle, to be something you think about after you put the book down -- but it's just a lot of dreck. It offers nothing that we didn't know, but a lot of flat, boring characters named Benden, Bitra and so on, and does nothing good. Please, do NOT read this book. Spend time with your kids instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Pern books out there!, May 11 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Dragonsdawn (Mass Market Paperback)
I absolutely loved this "historical" Pern novel chronicling the fist settelers of Pern and their lives up to the move to Fort in the Northern Continent. I thoroughly enjoyed learnign about the individual people and their activities. I was finally able to understand the naming of the holds in the north, as well as certain happenings hinted at in All the Weyrs of Pern. Despite all this, I do wish Anne McCaffrey would have enlarged upon some of the more obscure refrences in this book, such as giving an explanation for why the probes sent to the red planet all blew up, or whether there really was a second cycle to thread that fell to the ground and didn't die. Little things like that weren't totally explained to my satisfaction, but they can be excused in teh face of what a great work this novel is over-all.
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Dragonsdawn
Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 13 1989)
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