I’ve been away from Pern for a while – it was one of my favorite series when I was a teenager, and I’d left off with The Dolphins of Pern – where Thread was seemingly eradicated, and Pern was learning to live with that reality. It seemed a natural enough stopping point, but there were more books written. It seems rather bittersweet that I got my hands on this book right around the time that Anne McCaffrey passed away. I think this read was my mini tribute to her.
With the threat of Thread slowing diminishing, soon to be gone for good, the Weyrs of Pern are facing the fact that they will need to find new crafts, and new ways of staying relevant in this new Thread-free world. F’lessan, the son of the Benden Weyrleaders, has made it his mission to restore the ancient Honshu Hold, and the telescope that was built there. When a comet hits the Western Ocean, and causes a tsunami that impacts many of the coastal holdings, F’lessan and the other riders find sudden inspiration for how they can remain relevant, and still protect the skies of their planet.
There’s also a sub-plot about the Abominators – people reacting against the new technologies rolling out in Pern since the discovery of the computer that controlled the Ancient’s knowledge that was brought over in the colony ships. It’s a rather apt issue relating to real life today.
I have to say, I did read this book with a bit of sadness, knowing that the author is now gone. I know that her son is continuing the Pern series, but the continuations are never quite the same as the originals. I’m definitely grateful for the wonderful hours of reading that Ms. McCaffrey gave me, and I’ll miss her for sure.