Dragon's Code: Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern: Dragonriders of Pern Series Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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A new hero emerges in a divided world as one of sci-fi’s most beloved series - Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern - relaunches with this original adventure from Anne’s daughter, Gigi McCaffrey.
In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Dragonriders of Pern series, Gigi does her mother proud, adding to the family tradition of spinning unputdownable tales that recount the adventures of the brave inhabitants of a distant planet who battle the pitiless adversary known as Thread.
The last time Thread attacked Pern, the world was unprepared for the fight - until the Oldtimers appeared. These courageous dragonriders arrived from the past, traveling four hundred years to help their descendants survive. But the collision of past and present took its toll. While most of the displaced rescuers adapted to their new reality, others could not abide the jarring change and found themselves in soul-crushing exile, where unhappiness and resentment seethed.
Piemur, a journeyman harper, also feels displaced, cast adrift by the loss of his spectacular boyhood voice and uncertain of his future. But when the Masterharper of Pern sees promise in the young man and sends him undercover among the exiled Oldtimers, Piemur senses the looming catastrophe that threatens the balance of power between the Weyrs and Holds of Pern.
When the unthinkable happens, Piemur must rise to the challenge to avert disaster and restore honor to the dragons and dragonriders of Pern. Because now, in a world already beset by Thread, another, more insidious danger looms: For the first time in living memory, dragons may be on the verge of fighting dragons.
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 56 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 02, 2018|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #82,122 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#393 in Dragon & Mythical Creatures Fantasy
#1,111 in Dragons & Mythical Creatures Fantasy (Books)
#1,969 in Adventure Science Fiction
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2018
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There are, perhaps, schools of thoughts that would disagree with me, but I feel the title of a book should give the reader some idea of what the story holds. "Dragonflight" felt symbolic, as well as practical. The protagonists were grounded by those who held power over them, and come into their own when Lessa triumphantly tells F'lar, "Queens can, too, fly," and he replies, "Of course they can; that's why they have wings!"
Halfway through "Dragon's Code", I still couldn't tell you what the title is meant to convey. A dragonrider's moral obligation to protect Pern? The dragon's inherent loyalty to its rider? Perhaps it would be easier to parse if this weren't an oddly placed Harper Hall installation, a couple years after "Dragondrums".
This story follows Piemur as he continues his surveillance of the Southern Continent. Sort of. I think we're taking a detour? He was desolate when his voice broke in the previous book, but found purpose in his skills and talent outside of singing by the conclusion. This story reads like the author couldn't believe that a young adult could possibly come to terms with their situation as maturely as Piemur did, and so we're treated to an onslaught of continuous sulking. You want to tell him, "Just talk to your mentors, already!"
Herein lies my greatest grievance of this book. Yes, even greater than the retconned nicknames, mislabeled characters, six-legged runner beasts, and Piemur being in a persistent state of awe with everything around him. My main problem with this story is that Robinton, the Master Harper of Pern, is a short-tempered idiot.
When we finally reconnect with this beloved character, he fails to see that Piemur is suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, and shows visible signs of anger when a concussed Piemur tries to coherently give a report before collapsing. In past stories of Pern, multiple characters feared disappointing Robinton, not because of his ire, but because of how fair-minded he is. In "Dragon's Code", it feels as though people need to tread carefully in his presence, especially if Sebell isn't around to point out the obvious for him.
Still, Gigi is playing in someone else's sandbox, so I'm willing to allow some leeway here. After all, there are other authors who have made mistakes in the worlds they themselves have created.
I did enjoy the book, though I think I might have enjoyed it more if Gigi McCaffrey had picked a different point in the history of Pern to write about, or had focused on other characters in the time period she did choose, because some of what she described for Piemur's actions and feelings didn't fit perfectly with the picture I had formed of him from the other books.
Otherwise, the writing and storyline are pretty good. The book held my interest and showed a different side of Piemur and insight into his feelings and growth as a young man as well as giving the reader a better look at things from the exiled "Old Timers" point of view. And there were at least two scenes where the author was able to coax out a few tears, so all in all, I think this book was worth the read.
There are also a couple of annoying retcons that will jar you right out of the story. Such as Piemur's runner, Stupid, having six legs. (Which is an affront to anyone who has ever read Moreta). And the fact that Gigi McCaffrey reports N'ton's Lioth as being 37 meters long (i.e.~100ft, larger than a blue whale and larger than Boeiing 747) Apparently, she, or more likely an editor, switched units from feet to meters based on a similar error in the Dragon Lover's Guide to Pern. Similarly an early scene in the book has Piemur contemplating a dragon's telekinetic ability. (Telekinesis was not even a concept in the Pern universe until the AIVAS posited its existence in All the Weyrs of Pern, which is set several Turns after this story.
As far as tone and voice, Gigi has done well at capturing her mother's voice and tone as exhibited in the Harper Hall triology.
Hopefully, her next foray into the Dragonrider universe will engage meatier substance and supply some plot and action and grow it up a little. Anne never seemed to shy away from adult topics.