Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shocked... Totally and Completely Shocked

Title: Nerilka's Story
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Format: Paperback
Pages: 182
Genre: Fantasy
Date Started: August 11, 2009
Date Finished: August 11, 2009
Borrowed from Library: August 11
Returned to Library: August 12

Rating: F (my first)

Description (from Barnes & Noble): A deadly epidemic was sweeping across Pern. Nerilka's father refused to share Fort Hold's bounty with the other Holds. Ashamed of her family and determined to do her part, Nerilka packed up medicines and supplies and sneaked off to aid her people. She had no idea that her new path would change the course of her life forever!

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I really wanted to like this book. It's by Anne McCaffrey, one of my favorite authors; it's a love story, and I'm a sucker for those; and this is my first McCaffrey review. But there's no way I could have written a good review for this. This book was beyond disappointing. It just sucked, plain and simple. There's really no better way to say it. The characters were either wooden and undeveloped, or they were melodramatic. I couldn't connect with any of them, not even the main character. The story itself was useful in filling in gaps from the other Pern books and providing the holder's perspective, rather than the dragonriders', but that's about all this book was good for. As far as entertainment value is concerned, this book was a flop. Especially the ending. It was such a forced happy ending, it made me physically cringe.

What makes this book so disappointing (besides being so badly written) is that Anne McCaffrey is capable of so much more. I love her Dragonriders of Pern series; they're well-written, exciting, full of adventure and believable, likable characters. This book was just so poorly done, it makes me question what McCaffrey was thinking when she wrote it. And what the critics were thinking when they reviewed it. They stated that although the book was "a weak entry in the Pern saga", it should satisfy "McCaffrey's legions of fans" and said legions "should enjoy it." Well, I am a part of those "legions," and this book was not enjoyable and terribly unsatisfying.

I wouldn't recommend this ever, to anyone, especially not to a die-hard McCaffrey fan. It will only make them wonder, as I did, why the very talented author even wrote this book, and why her copy-editor didn't make her rewrite it. Badly done, McCaffrey. Badly done. F

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