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5.0 out of 5 stars An Adult novel -- though suitable for and enjoyable by Young Adults.
I first read the Dragonriders of Pern series as an adult a couple of decades ago. I'm now doing a re-read, and after all this time, I am still just amazed by the quality of the story.

McCaffrey's skilful blend of science, science fiction, fantasy, strong character development, and intricate plotting makes for a gripping adventure which also examines human...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining...
I've had this book for years, but it was always one of those books that I'd take down from the bookshelf once in a while, read the first 10 pages of, and then close it and put it back. Finally, I decided to force myself to read the whole thing. After all, with such good reviews, the book has to be good, right? Wrong.
Okay, the book wasn't actually that bad. The story...
Published on Aug. 30 2003


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5.0 out of 5 stars An Adult novel -- though suitable for and enjoyable by Young Adults., May 3 2014
I first read the Dragonriders of Pern series as an adult a couple of decades ago. I'm now doing a re-read, and after all this time, I am still just amazed by the quality of the story.

McCaffrey's skilful blend of science, science fiction, fantasy, strong character development, and intricate plotting makes for a gripping adventure which also examines human nature in all its admirable strengths and deplorable weaknesses.

If you like Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series, you might enjoy this one.

If you're looking for an easy, carefree read for pre-teens, this is not it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Amazing story, Sept. 9 2006
This is a novel like no other. Anne Mccaffrey has created a wonderful masterpiece of literature that is truly a great read. This is a novel to be cherished and reread over and over again. The storyline, characters, and writing are absolutely wonderful in this novel and is a great read for everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining..., Aug. 30 2003
By A Customer
I've had this book for years, but it was always one of those books that I'd take down from the bookshelf once in a while, read the first 10 pages of, and then close it and put it back. Finally, I decided to force myself to read the whole thing. After all, with such good reviews, the book has to be good, right? Wrong.
Okay, the book wasn't actually that bad. The story was interesting and original; maybe even good, and the book was entertaining. However, I really don't think that the book lives up to the great reviews everyone has given it. For one thing, the writing isn't what I'd call great. It's not bad, but it's not good either. Maybe I'm just being harsh, but I don't think the writing style in this book really does live up to some of the other professional authors in this genre out there. Then again, there are worse.
I just found that sometimes consecutive paragraphs would not flow together. I'd read one, and then I'd read the second one and I'd pause and be like "uhhh...okay...was there supposed to be a space between these paragraphs or something?"
Other times, I found that things would just happen, and it made no sense. It would just leave me wondering what the hell happened before shrugging it off and reading on.
Lastly, I didn't think there was really much character development. The whole story was about the threads with little side comments about what the charecters were doing. But, I didn't actually feel for the characters at all, and you didn't see them develop or grow in any ways. The characters were just...spontaneous. They'd suddenly be in a bad mood or a good mood and the reader would have no idea why. Sometimes we'd find out later, and sometimes we wouldn't. The reader didn't even know how the characters felt about each other most of the time either.
OH yes, and there were wayyyy too many characters. I'd find myself pausing all the time, trying to remember who certain people were, before frantically flipping to the index trying to find their name. Maybe it was just the fact that so many of the names started with F'___ or K'____ and that was confusing. I don't know...I just thought that should have been more limited. It did get annoying after a while.
This book did have its share of problems, but I don't think the book was terrible. If you have some hours to spare and you want something mildly entertaining to read for a while, then by all means, get this book. Just don't expect it to be the fantastic book that everyone else says it is.
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4.0 out of 5 stars dragonflight, Nov. 9 2011
This review is from: Dragonflight (Paperback)
i like stories about dragons and for me anne mccaffrey is the best writer. i've got the whole serie and i am very happy with it.adventure is awesome and the lives of people is stupendous. thank you for this good writing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Smaug's More Likeable Cousins, May 9 2007
"Dragonflight" is the first book in Anne McCaffery's "Chronicles of Pern" series and was first published in 1969. Pern in a world colonised by humans many years before the book's beginning - though, despite the technological advances made to travel to Pern, life has reverted to an almost medieval level.Unfortunately, Pern is also prone to attack be Thread - spores that grow on a neighbouring planet which, in the right conditions, can make the journey between the two worlds. Thread is deadly to all life : it can only be killed by fire on land and its progress is halted only by stone and water. Luckily, Pern's inhabitants have found a useful ally, native to Pern, in their battle with the deadly spores : dragons. The bond between a dragon and its rider is formed when the dragon hatches and lasts for life. Not only can Pern's dragons fly and breathe fire, they can also communicate telepathically with their riders and teleport. In years gone by, dragons and their riders were revered by all. However, as the book opens, it has been many years since the last Threadfall and the reputation of the dragonriders has plummeted. Of the six traditional Weyrs, only an understaffed Benden remains occuppied - which is unfortunate, as Pern's neighbouring planet is moving closer...

Of the book's two main characters, Lessa is introduced first. Although working as a servant in Ruatha Hold - one of several owned by Lord Fax - Lessa is actually the last surviving member of the Hold's true ruling family. Fax took the Hold by conquest several years earlier, and Lessa has survived by keeping her true identity to herself. However, she does aim to have her revenge on Fax someday. F'Lar, meanwhile, is a bronze fragon-rider, and one who holds the traditions of Pern and Weyr-life dear. Unlike Benden's Weyr-Leader, F'Lar is convinced that Thread will soon return to Pern - however, he isn't yet in a position to prepare the defences in the manner required. F'Lar and Lessa first meet due to the imminent hatching of a new Queen dragon. As dragons and their riders bond for life, F'Lar and his colleagues are searching for a suitable partner for their new arrival - preferably, one with the 'correct' bloodline. It's vital the correct choice is made : this new Queen will be the last surviving female capable of breeding.

Overall, I'd day "Dragonflight" was an enjoyable read - though, having already read The Harper Hall Trilogy, not as enjoyable as I'd hoped. The first half of the book felt a little stretched, while the book's ending felt a little rushed. (The book's first section "Weyr Search" was first released as a novella...it may have been better keeping it 'separate'. "Weyr Search" did win the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Novella). Also, where some describe F'Lar as arrogant, I found Lessa quite manipulative - she certainly wasn't quite as likeable as Menolly. Still, worth reading overall - and it is the obvious starting point to the Pern series !
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great imagination...but somehow it still feels boring, July 12 2004
By 
Kangareader (Enschede, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
Contrary to all the praiseful reviews, I think this book is a bit boring. Yeah, just as my title says, the writer has a great imagination. Also the story is quite complex - something I like - but somehow it's just boring. This has a lot to do with her writing style. It's so monotonous... A lot of spectaculair things happen, but they seem to go almost unnoticed. She describes action from a distance.
I want to experience the burning of 'the thread' in a dragon's wing..!! Just mentioning it doesn't get me arroused.
The only bit of action is in the dialoges. These are relatively well written, although sometimes hard to follow (it seems one needs to fill in gaps). Yet I kept waiting and waiting for Lessa and F'lar's romance. Hoping dearly for increasing tenderness between the two. No way, suddenly everything is alright... State affairs are the only fun thing to write about, according to Anne McCaffrey.
Well, I don't want to paint a very bad picture. Maybe you should give it a try.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, light fun, May 21 2004
By 
R. Seehausen "aeroblaster2" (Cypress, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Anne McCaffrey's famous Pern series is "Science Fantasy"--that is, it incorporates elements (such as, of course, dragons) commonly accepted as Fantasy, but explains them with science. Science that is sometimes a little shaky, but rational, not magical or mythical, explanations, nonetheless. So one person might call it "Fantasy" and another might call it "Soft Sci-Fi", and they'd both be right.
That aside, the world McCaffrey has created is well-envisioned and fresh. Though the prologue is dry, it's interesting because the world itself is interesting.
"Dragonflight" was just starting to capture my interest and bring me into the world when it kicked me out... with time travel. McCaffrey introduces it too late for it to feel real, and serious logic holes in its operation (of the "why has nobody figured this out before?" type) cause some serious skepticism on the part of the reader. It pulls you out of the world and significantly damages the believability of the story.
As sketchy is it is, the time travel is necessary for this to be a novel rather than a novella... and for many other reasons. But it's still a tired plot device used in a problematic fashion, and it's the crutch this novel rests upon.
The time travel is but one part of why this novel feels like light fantasy. Though they're not caricatures, the characters aren't particularly deep--but they get the job done.
McCaffrey's prose turned me off at first, seeming a little flowery, but it either got better or I got used to it, because it was very easy to read for the rest of the novel.
But more than anything, the reason this novel is merely average is because the premise for the story does not offer a very good conclusion. This isn't a character drama, it's not about relationships. It incorporates those elements and more, but what this story is really about is saving the world. That in itself is not a serious flaw, but the fact that it takes fifty years before the world can be considered 'saved' is one. Because of the admittedly interesting setup, the peril that the dragonriders are fighting will last for half of a century... so since the characters are quite human, McCaffrey has to end the story without truly accomplishing what it set out to do.
And the way she ends it works... sort of. It doesn't feel completely fulfilling, but she did the best she could with what she gave herself to work with.
I could talk about the problems of "Dragonflight" for hours, but the fact is, it's still fun. It's just downright fun to read. Take it too seriously and you'll be disappointed, but come in looking for a "book snack" and you'll enjoy yourself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Satisfyingly Rational Approach to Flying Dragons, May 19 2004
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Anne McCaffrey walks the blurry line between science fiction and fantasy in this pleasing tale of men, dragons, time travel, and natural catastrophe on a faraway planet.
Leesa is an undistinguished servant girl in her home town when the dragon rider F'lar arrives. He recognizes her considerable natural gifts, and takes her home to be queen of Brenden Weyr. Unlike most of the inhabitants of the planet Pern, F'lar and Leesa believe the ancient ballads that foretell the coming of the Threads - a calamitous rain of death that comes from the sky every 200 years. It having been almost 400 years since the last attack, most people believe that the Threads have ceased, or are mere legends that never happened at all, and that the elaborate ongoing defensive preparations are mere idle rituals of the distant past, which more and more are being abandoned. Can Leesa and F'lar convince the people of the error of their ways, and fight off the coming attack of the all-consuming Threads?
The whole argument about sci-fi vs. fantasy is probably not that important, although it can be interesting, and this book makes for a good test case. McCaffrey has done an excellent job of using the tropes of fantasy: an armored warrior class, their daring and headstrong Queen, fire-breathing dragons, a medieval social structure, age-old prophecies, etc..., and giving them just enough historical and scientific background to make them credible. It seems a little too much to call this science fiction - the scientific explanations given are rarely more than a sentence or two, and they in no way dominate the story; but at the same time the very fact that there are explanations puts this book beyond the realm of garden-variety fantasy. There's no magic at work here - this story takes place in a logical universe where everything that happens does so for a reason.
McCaffrey's prose is sometimes a touch awkward, especially towards the beginning of the book, but it's still much easier reading than Tolkien or Cherryh, and the length is not intimidating, although there is a whole series of sequels available to those who want more (and many surely will). This novel is an excellent selection for teens, particularly young women, who may find Leesa easier to identify with than the standard fantasy hero. For them, this should be considered a 5-star selection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book!, Feb. 17 2004
By 
Kevin Tang (Taipei, Taiwan) - See all my reviews
Elves shooting bows, dwarves built like solid stone, and wizards enchanting little creatures with magical spells. Doesn't all that fantasy stuff get kind of boring after awhile? Lord of the Rings, Dragonlance, Sword of Shannarah, and many others are all the same, just with different names in different places doing different things. For the first time, I have finally read a fantasy novel that is different. With unimaginable imagination, author Anne McCaffrey creates a whole world of fantasy very different from the traditional styles. With realistic descriptions, complicated twists in plots, and a great, drawing style of writing, the author takes you on a journey you'd never thought existed. With the idea of dragons and humans as the main figment of fantasy in this novel, Anne McCaffrey combines just enough modern day sci-fi with medieval fantasy to create one great novel. Combining the ideas of dragons with a modern world where planets orbiting each other cause dangers, the author creates a magical world you would've thought had never existed. Not giving too much at a time, the author slowly draws you in and slowly, things become more and more clear as you near the end of the book. Many a time I have had to slap my head and say, "Geez! How come I never thought of that?" The complicated plot makes it hard for readers to guess the story and not get any delight out of reading it and being surprised by the answers they find to the plots. Though the book has a rather weak introduction and takes a while for the reader to get completely drawn into the world of Pern and it's dragons, it doesn't take long before you are unable to put the book down again. The suspense that the author creates at the climax of this book is amazing. I read for 5 straight hours through the climax because it was simply too fantastic to put down. I just HAD to know what happened next. Like an addiction, the book just draws you back and back like a magical spell was cast on you. Anne McCaffrey makes it seem so realistic that it's as if I was there throughout this whole adventure! After reading this book, I can't stop daydreaming day after day what a life on Pern with dragons would be like!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for young adults -- a great science fiction novel!, Feb. 16 2004
This book begins Anne McCaffrey's wonderful long-running series, "The Dragonriders of Pern." Although sold as a book for young adults and looking on the surface like a fantasy novel, "Dragonflight" is actually neither. Certainly, teenagers will (and do) love this book, but McCaffrey's work is mature and complicated enough for older readers of science fiction and fantasy to enjoy it on the same level as they would any work from an author of "mature" novels. And although the word "dragon" conjures up images of heroic fantasy, "Dragonflight" is actually science fiction: it only wears the outer clothing of fantasy. New readers will find this a surprise, as they learn that Pern isn't a "neverland" fantasy world, but an Earth-colonized planet; that the dragons are the native alien species who consume special minerals to chemically create their fire-breath; and that the evil menace that threatens the planet -- the "threads" -- are not supernatural monsters, but spores migrating from another planet that passes near Pern. Perhaps most surprising for a new reader is the focus on time-travel and time paradoxes; some of the most exciting parts of the book deal with the complexities, dangers, and potentials of time-travel.
The story takes place as Pern nears another invasion from the threads, but the planet is unprepared. Many people no longer believe in the threads (it has been hundreds of "turns" since the last attack), and there are fewer dragon dens (called "weyrs") than there once were to produce the creatures who can destroy the threads. Dragonrider T'Lar searches for a Weyrwoman to help him replenish the dragons before it is too late and unit the dragonriders to face the invasion.
This only scratches the surface of a tale full of suprises and unexpted turns. McCaffrey builds an intriguing world and wonderful characters, and each section of the book bursts with new revelations and plot turns. "Dragonflight" is not at all what you expect it to be...and that's an extremely high recommendation in these time when most science fiction and fantasy advertised for younger readers is bland and predictable.
This book also sets up the excellent second novel, "Dragonquest," which you will definitely want to read after this terrific book. Recommend for all fantasy and science fiction fans who have yet to take a wild trip on the back of Pernse bronze dragon.
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Dragonflight
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (Paperback - July 26 2005)
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