As I wrote back in March, I’ve been rereading Anne and Todd McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern novels in the order in which they occur on on the planet (as opposed to the order in which they were written). I read up through Dragonheart this summer and waited for the release of the sequel, Dragongirl, which I finished in less than 24 hours.
Like rest of the Pern novels by McCaffrey fils, the focus in Dragongirl appears to be on personal or societal catastrophe as experienced by children. His characters have endured the loss of family and friends (including dragons, watch whers, and fire lizards) to mining disasters, human and dragon plagues, and Thread. Unfortunately, his characters are becoming less realistic and interesting as they become younger and younger in age.
I was particularly disappointed with the ending of Dragongirl. Essentially this book is a bridge between the previous volume and the next, Dragonrider (due out in May of 2011). The only resolution involves preventing the expected death of a minor character. Cliffhangers are bad enough in television series.
I also got tired of reading about Fiona’s sleeping arrangements–a lot of which were perfectly innocent though boring. McCaffrey could have covered the essentials of the plot in about 100 pages and combined that with the next novel he was working on.
I’m not sure I like overlapping of the novels with different characters as the protagonists. I know Anne McCaffrey did that with the original Pern novels, but one trilogy was for younger readers.
My recommendation is to wait until just before Dragonrider is released next year to read Dragongirl so you understand what is happening in the new book.
I’ll continue my reading with Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern.