Book Review: Masterharper of Pern

So, I have finished reading the Masterharper of Pern (for the second time, though it was probably about fifteen years ago that I read it the first time).  As always, I have been enchanted by Anne McCaffrey’s wonderful world of Pern.  Once again, I was transported into the lives of the characters that I have loved since I was a child.

Again, this is the first time I’ve read Anne McCaffrey in about 10-15 years, and definitely the first time since I’ve started seriously working my way toward writing my own books, so my view of Anne McCaffrey’s work is now different from what it was before.

For starters, I realized that she writes several of her books in an omniscient PoV.  Not a huge amount, but it’s definitely not limited 3rd person like I had thought.  Now, for context, I HATE omniscient PoV.  Recently I attempted to read a book called “They Who Fell” about fallen angels living on Earth and the humans rebelling against them.  It sounded incredibly interesting, and it was.  The characters were cool, the structure of the Earth apocalyptic and archaic, but in an alien kind of way, the story really did do everything that it could to draw me in.  However, it was written in omniscient PoV, and regardless of all of the work that this amazing story did to reel me in, I got tired of jumping too much between all of the characters and ended up putting it down halfway through.  I keep trying to convince myself to pick it back up, but thus far I still haven’t managed to.  The only book written in omniscient that I like (that I thought I liked) is The Eyes of the Dragon written by Stephen King, which was a fantastic piece of work.  Apparently, though, I also enjoy Anne McCaffrey’s writing.  Discovering this was a surprise to me, but it opened my eyes a bit to trying to be a bit more accepting of the view point.  (Maybe I’ll finally make it back to They Who Fell…)

Now, comparing the story to the rest of the series, there was, unfortunately, a lack of continuity.  Where it overlapped with Dragonflight it was fairly accurate, but still not exactly lined up correctly, especially where she keeps attempting to force Robinton into situations that he probably shouldn’t have been in.

Not only that, there was almost no real emotion in the story, which is so different from Anne McCaffrey’s normal writing.  There were several people who died, scenes that should’ve torn at my heart considering how important each of these characters were to Robinton, but they happened so fast with almost no time spent covering the emotional reaction.  Honestly, the only real emotion I felt was when she threw in another favorite character who would become a beloved character later down the timeline.

Honestly, for a prequel, and one staring my favorite Pern character, I was rather disappointed.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still a rather enchanting story, with a lot of interesting idea.  However, I feel like she forced a backstory for Robinton because he is such a popular character, and didn’t pay enough attention to the solidity of the story.

Still, Anne McCaffrey will always remain my favorite Sci-fi author, and Pern will always be on of my favorite worlds.


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