24. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey

3 Aug

I admit it, I was looking for a short book that I could post quickly on my blog, since my other reading project at the moment is Infinite Jest, for the third time, consumed on my iPhone (makes the footnotes so easy!). And I re-read Anne McCaffrey’s best known trilogy, Dragonsinger, Dragonsong, Dragondrums recently and had a positive impression.

So I don’t know what changed but this was nearly unreadable. Sloppy, cliche, boring, obvious, badly plotted and terribly written. Whole paragraphs of conversations between people called F’lar and F’noc and F’nor and C’thon or whatever till it’s like a bad joke. And the heroine of the other series, Menolly, is kind of plucky and interested in playing music and not so much into boys. Whereas Lessa in this one is a classic fantasy-romance novel heroine, whose specialness is due to a magical power or other fuzzy, innate quality that comes across as largely passive and kind of fits into the young girl fantasy that she’s going to be somehow *discovered* (i.e. a man will fall in love with her). She got the requisite makeover and has a big cloud of silky hair that causes her delight. Ugh. I have no patience for that shit.

Also, the way the dragon-impression works is that when the dragons mate with each other, so do their human owners. So when Lessa’s gold queen and weyrleader F’lar’s brown dragon mate, so does Lessa with F’lar…. creepily glossed over in a soaring of dragon wings and pulsing of firey breath that would leave your average 12-year-old reader (the target audience) with a vague sense that something super-romantic and special happened involving destiny and powerful beasts with hot skin that love you forever.

I think I prefer our Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girls and more graphic but relatively literal and sensible tween entertainment of today.

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