Exploring the Southern Continent

The Renegades Of Pern (The Dragon Books) by Anne McCaffrey

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Series: Pern (Chronological Order) #22Pern #10 / Literary Awards: SFBC Award (1990)

Renegades of Pern, published in 1989, starts a decade before the events of Dragonflight and covers the time up to Dragondrums fairly quickly. We get glimpses of Piemur, but the main storyline is otherwise just touched upon briefly here and there and shown through different POVs. Knowing the first two trilogies will give context, I recommend reading those first anyhow, although the first trilogy has a seriously dated tone and attitude.

I really liked Jayge‘s storyline, even though…

He had found her! He loved her! He would help her. The Weyrs and the Holds be damned. Hold and Weyr could not provide her with safety. He could and would!

Page 288

The dreaded instalove makes an appearance…

Apparently Jayge himself will also keep making appearances in:

Looking forward to that!

The first half of the book has a rather episodic feel to it, with different POVs in every chapter. I figured that I was reading one of these in-between books one doesn‘t really need. 

However, by the middle of the book many of those strands came together. It got pretty interesting and added new things to the overarching story of the world of Pern. We cover not just new, but also important ground. I really enjoyed myself, especially when we started to spend serious time on the Southern Continent, which is always fun.

Not to be skipped when making your way through the Dragonriders of Pern!


Pern Re-read
I started a re-read of the series in 2020/2021 and plan to read all the available main novels that I have not read yet.
I am deleting, as I progress through the series, mostly in publication order. I am not too fussed about the order for the rereads, so I will diverge where it seems practical…

Publication Order — main novels / next
* 1991 – All The Weyrs of Pern
* 1994 – The Dolphins of Pern
* 1998 – The Masterharper of Pern
* 2001 – The Skies of Pern
* 2003 – Dragon’s Kin
* 2005 – Dragonsblood
* 2006 – Dragon’s Fire
* 2007 – Dragon Harper
* 2008 – Dragonheart
* 2010 – Dragongirl
* 2011 – Dragon’s Time
* 2012 – Sky Dragons

Pern Wiki mainpage: https://pern.fandom.com/wiki/Main_Page

This epic journey to fight evil is not for me.

Seven To Eternity #1 by Rick Remender (Author), Jerome Opeña (Illustrator), Matt Hollingsworth (Illustrator)

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Fantasy with a heavy hint of the Wild West and a family struggling and fighting the good fight. Maybe. They might also be traitors to a cause. I was missing backstory and world building, I couldn‘t really make much sense of the story. It was verbose, but explained little. Consequently it did not really engage me and lacked suspense.

Good artwork. Some of the visuals made me think of Star Wars. Or the more outlandish parts of the Marvel universe. Meobius? 

What I liked: Fantastic beasts, dragonlike creatures and flying squid. 

Other graphic novels I read by Rick Remender:

Black Science #1 — ★★☆☆☆ — My review

Low, Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope — ★★☆☆☆ — My review

I think this author might not be my cup of tea. I will avoid him going forward.

Girls just want to have fun…

Unnatural #1 by Mirka Andolfo

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Leslie, the pig girl, hates her job, working at a diner. She lives in a totalitarian society, where nobody is allowed to have „unnatural“ relationships. So, only your own species and the opposite sex. Problems ensue.

I like the artwork well enough. The story of issue #1 was ok, but didn‘t really tempt me to continue.

Rehashed dragons

Nerilka’s Story & The Coelura (The Dragon Books Book 8) by Anne McCaffrey

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Nerilkas’s Story (176 pages)

Nerilka is a minor character in the novel Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern. This is her story, running parallel to the story told in the main book. Same as Moreta, I read this once in the late 80s or 90s and it was not a favourite. I recommend reading Nerilka after Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern, as it really feels like a companion novel and will make a lot more sense like that.

Nerilka tells her story in the first person and at the beginning is at times a fairly unemotional omnipresent narrator, as McCaffrey moves over the main points of the know plot from Moreta‘s book quite quickly. Some dialogue is even taken verbatim from that book, seen from a different point of view and narrator. By Chapter 6, around a third into this novel (novelette?) we finally start to cover more new ground.

Fairly simple, mostly a re-hash, too unemotional. It was ok, but if you are reading this series you can safely give this a pass. You won‘t miss much.


Pern Re-read
I started a re-read of the series in 2020/2021 and plan to read all the available main novels that I have not read yet.
I am deleting, as I progress through the series, mostly in publication order. I am not too fussed about the order for the rereads, so I will diverge where it seems practical…

Publication Order — main novels / next
* 1989 – The Renegades of Pern
* 1991 – All The Weyrs of Pern
* 1994 – The Dolphins of Pern
* 1998 – The Masterharper of Pern
* 2001 – The Skies of Pern
* 2003 – Dragon’s Kin
* 2005 – Dragonsblood
* 2006 – Dragon’s Fire
* 2007 – Dragon Harper
* 2008 – Dragonheart
* 2010 – Dragongirl
* 2011 – Dragon’s Time
* 2012 – Sky Dragons


The Coelura

This novelette is not related to the Dragonriders of Pern. No idea why it was combined with Nerilka‘s Story. I read the start, skimmed a little and read the ending. Not interested at the moment. Maybe I‘ll read it properly another time.

Moreta‘s Ride

Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern (Pern, #7) by Anne McCaffrey

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is the origin story of the ballad of Moreta‘s Ride, known from the books of the main timeline. An epidemic has hit Pern, the death toll is high. The search for a cure if frantic.

I think I have read this book maybe once, back in the late 80s or 90s. Back then I definitely didn‘t pick up on all those gay dragonriders or the family dynamics in the Weyrs. This was first published in 1983 and you can tell that McCaffrey evolved somewhat since the publication of the first book of this series in 1968, Dragonflight

I really enjoyed this. The story flowed nicely, the upbeat beginning at the Gather festival was a good contrast to the later devastation. I liked the relaxed and open attitude towards sex—I don‘t mean that there was a lo of it, but rather that it was portrayed in a very mature fashion, including the accompanying emotions. No eye-roll inducing soppyness and angst, as so often happens in specfic. There are some silly political shenanigans and some of the antagonists are a bit less well fleshed out than the main characters. The personal development of Moreta and Alessan throughout the epidemic was well done. Relationships between rider and dragon are maybe explored a bit more deeply. 

And knowing what was coming at the end did not help one little bit. I was ugly crying.


Pern Re-read
I am deleting, as I progress through my re-reads. For now in publication order. However, as the books are still surprisingly pricey and I need to buy them all again, I went with a collection of three novels that follow chronologically (On Dragonwings)… with the re-reads I am not too fussed about the order, so I will diverge where it seems practical…

Publication Order — main novels
* 1984 – Nerilka’s Story
* 1989 – The Renegades of Pern
* 1991 – All The Weyrs of Pern
* 1994 – The Dolphins of Pern
* 1998 – The Masterharper of Pern
* 2001 – The Skies of Pern
* 2003 – Dragon’s Kin
* 2005 – Dragonsblood
* 2006 – Dragon’s Fire
* 2007 – Dragon Harper
* 2008 – Dragonheart
* 2010 – Dragongirl
* 2011 – Dragon’s Time
* 2012 – Sky Dragons

Top Ten Tuesday — Adjective In the Title

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/top-ten-tuesday/

This week‘s topic / March 22: Books With an Adjective In the Title

Tricky topic. Lets see what I can did up on my shelf. For variety‘s sake I‘ll start with the books I added to my shelves last and work backwards…

Under Fortunate Stars by Ren Hutchings — my latest NetGalley addition: Two Ships. One Chance To Save The Future. Fleeing the final days of the generations-long war with the alien Felen, smuggler Jereth Keeven’s freighter the Jonah breaks down in a strange rift in deep space

The Art of Cursive Penmanship: A Personal Handwriting Program for Adults by Michael R. Sull — A practice guide to improve one‘s handwriting. We start with a discourse on the history and technicalities of handwriting. There is instructions on the correct sitting posture, how to place the paper, how to use your writing implement, on fountain pens and so on. Chapter 5 is the beginning of the practical part. That‘s roughly where I am right now. Haven‘t started with the exercises yet…

Ancestral Night (White Space, #1) by Elizabeth Bear — not quite sure why I added this one to my stack: A space salvager and her partner make the discovery of a lifetime that just might change the universe in this wild, big-ideas space opera from multi award-winning author Elizabeth Bear.

Dying Earths: Sixteen Stories from the Ends of Times by Sue Burke and others — sounds depressing, but I want to read Sue Burke‘s story: The writers and contributors to the little corner of the web called SFFWorld.com have brought together a collection of stories about a dying Earth. 

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes — this was a buddy read that I skipped. Everybody really liked it, so I got it after all: Titanic meets The Shining in S.A. Barnes’ Dead Silence, a SF horror novel in which a woman and her crew board a decades-lost luxury cruiser and find the wreckage of a nightmare that hasn’t yet ended.

An Easy Job by Carrie Vaughn — short story, read it already… Carrie Vaughn is worth mentioning again.

The Black Coast (The God-King Chronicles, #1) by Mike Brooks — another buddy read that I skipped and my reading buddies all loved it: When the citizens of Black Keep see ships on the horizon, terror takes them because they know who is coming: for generations, the keep has been raided by the fearsome clanspeople of Tjakorsha. Saddling their war dragons, Black Keep’s warriors rush to defend their home only to discover that the clanspeople have not come to pillage at all. Driven from their own land by a daemonic despot who prophesises the end of the world, the raiders come in search of a new home . . .

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim — I like the original fairytale and the cover is pretty, so I couldn‘t resist: Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control.

Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days by Alastair Reynolds — two novelettes set in Revelation Space. And the blurb of one of them is something aquatic. I had to get it: In the seas of Turquoise live the Pattern Jugglers, the amorphous, aquatic organisms capable of preserving the memories of any human swimmer who joins their collective consciousness. Naqi Okpik devoted her life to studying these creatures—and paid a high price for swimming among them. 

Digital Divide (Rachel Peng, #1) by K.B. Spangler — not quite sure why I picked this one. Genre bender with cyborgs: Rachel Peng misses the Army. Her old life in Criminal Investigation Command hadn’t been easy, but she had enjoyed it. Now, as the first cyborg liaison to the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police, Rachel is usually either bored senseless or is fighting off harassment from her coworkers.

Yes, not 100% certain that those are all adjectives… *shrugs*

What interesting reads have you added to your shelves recently?

There is no I in team and not everything is as it seems

Ham Helsing #1: Vampire Hunter by Rich Moyer

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ham Helsing comes from a long line of unsuccessful vampire hunters, killing themselves with crazy inventions. Apparently stupid runs in the family. Ham seems to be the odd one out…. Maybe? Anyway…

Written for young readers (8-12 years), this charmed me right away and made me laugh. It‘s all about not being bogged down by assumptions, being a good and sometimes selfless person, working as a team… There is humour, sarcasm, adventure, scary spiders, an evil chicken and other funny characters. It‘s a very simple story, but it is very well done.

Talking about team…

I might read issue #2 at some point…

Not harvesting my soul…

Jova’s Harvest #1 Comic Book by Steve Uy

Rating: 3 out of 5.

2nd time reading this, as it popped up again in my comiXology app after the shop merger with Amazon in February 2022 (thanks for doing a really bad job of that, Amazon!). During my first round I made it to page 34 of 44 before abandoning this.

Artwork: Interesting, almost natural looking textures. Main characters look like children. Is this maybe emulating Manga?

Story: Very stilted dialogue in a weird, Shakespeare-like style.

Probably not bad, if you‘re in the mood for it, but not doing it for me. DNF on page 16, around 30% into it.

https://www.steveuy.com/jova

They only eat people sometimes

Ogres by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It’s always idyllic in the village until the landlord comes to call. Because the landlord is an Ogre. And Ogres rule the world, with their size and strength and appetites. It’s always been that way. It’s the natural order of the world. And they only eat people sometimes.

From the book blurb

The POV of this novella is very smartly done. We experience everything from the eyes of a main character that has a very narrow field of vision and knowledge of the world he lives in. So we also know very little at first of this seemingly pastoral and feudal world of humans in a society governed by ogres. We take every step of discovery with him. And it’s quite a stunning list of discoveries for him. Very little of what he believes to be true turns out to be real. 

I missed emotional expressions. The inner landscape of our main character was laid out in a pretty sterile fashion. I made no real connection to him and found it hard to like or emphasize with him, even during the truly horrible events of his life. Nothing seemed to have a real impact on him. However, the story as such was a very smart one.

The final head twister is a real bummer. Nicely done, Mr. Tchaikovsky!

PS: 2nd person narrative, ugh. I am not a fan of that. But I got over it.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher or author through NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.

You see, the hate they give is senseless…

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark (Author), Channie Waites (Narrator)

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Let‘s call it alternate history with a strong horror element. Three African-American women hunt Klu Kluxes, aka monsters disguised as Klu Klux Klan members. The story is set in Georgia in 1922. 

I liked the beginning quite a bit. Nice set-up, speedy beginning, interesting monsters. However, when the more supernatural elements entered and the focus shifted towards the characters, I started to drift off. The plot seemed to disappear into almost nothing and I lost interest in what went on. I never really connected with the main characters or the story.

The audio was ok at first. I struggle a bit with the Gullah accent of one of the characters. The narrator was too over the top with her vocalisations and her high tones eventually really grated on me.

I finished, but it was a close call and I barely paid attention at the end. Yes, the social commentary is very, very relevant, but if you‘re not telling me a gripping story, I find it hard to care.

I did like the aunties. Could they have been a version of the Three Fates? I looked up the Night Doctors, the Klu Klux Klan, Stone Mountain, D.W. Griffith and his movie, what a ring shout is and I wondered about Rhode Island. H.P. Lovecraft, maybe? So, this novella was not a complete loss for me.