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Freedom's Ransom (Freedom Series, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – January 28, 2003

Book 4 of 4 in the A Freedom Novel Series

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Freedom's Ransom (Freedom Series, Book 4) + Freedom's Challenge (Freedom Series: Book 3) + Freedom's Choice (Freedom Series, Book 2)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (January 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441010202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441010202
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Freedom's Ransom is the fourth novel in Anne McCaffrey's Freedom series, also known as the Catteni Sequence. The sequel to Freedom's Landing, Freedom's Choice, and Freedom's Challenge, Freedom's Ransom will please some fans of this star-spanning science fiction series, but others will find the book slow-paced, talky, and lacking in action. Freedom's Ransom ends conclusively, with no major unresolved plot lines, yet leaves space for at least one sequel.

The planet Botany was settled by a mixed group of humans and aliens, slaves of the alien Catteni and their alien masters, the Eosi. But one Catteni was dropped on Botany with the slaves: Zainal, who helped them win their independence. Now Botany must establish trade with other planets in order to survive. But the other worlds have been ravaged by the Catteni, and once-proud Earth has been reduced to primitive poverty, its technology stolen by corrupt Barevi merchants. To save Botany, Zainal and Kris Bjornsen, his human lover, must find a way to help all the worlds.

While the preface of Freedom's Ransom crisply summarizes the preceding books, this series has so many characters, races, and planets that newcomers should start with the first book, Freedom's Landing. Sophisticated SF readers aren't likely to enjoy the series, but it should hook young adults; if you're looking to broaden a child's reading beyond Harry Potter, try Anne McCaffrey's Freedom series and Dragonriders of Pern series. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Coffee, not oil, becomes black gold in this eagerly awaited fourth volume in McCaffrey's intriguing Catteni/Freedom series (Freedom's Landing, etc.), which focuses on the business side of revolution. On Earth and the planets Barevi and Botany in the not-so-distant future, the traditional gold standard has fallen and coffee, fresh bread and meat become more valuable than diamonds when trading for the technological parts stolen by greedy Catteni mercenaries for the evil Eosi. These vital aerospace supplies will aid Terrans and Botany colonists seeking independence from the Eosi, whose barbaric routine of loot, pillage and destroy includes removing entire urban populations and selling them to other Catteni worlds as slaves. "I dropped. I stay," is the rallying cry of Zainal, a rebel Catteni who's taken from a prison on Barevi, a trading center for the Catteni Empire, and "dropped" with other slaves of assorted species on Botany, owned by the mysterious Farmers. Zainal becomes a reluctant leader of the other slaves and becomes mate to Terran Kris Bjornsen. Zainal and his team ultimately undertake two missions one to Earth, to acquire coffee beans and dental equipment for Dr. Eric Sachs, Botany colonist and former Manhattanite, and one to Barevi, to barter the beans and dentistry, turning this installment into an entertaining lesson on supply and demand. The visit to a bleak Manhattan after the Eosian looting is as disturbing, touching and humorous as the trading in the Barevian market. awards, McCaffrey was the recipient of the American Library Association's 1999 Margaret A. Edwards Life Achievement Award.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

This is another Great book by Anne McCaffrey.
Steve
I enjoyed the first three books in this series too much to be impressed by this fourth installment.
Scott Strenger, MD, FACS, CPE
Her stories are always entertaining, and her characters are developed very well.
Lynda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 28, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book to be very inconsistent with McCaffrey's other writing. Not only was it a much more plodding book, with a ill-defined story line, but it did not continue the series well. Some characters just dropped out of sight. A couple of new characters were introduced for no apparent reason. The characters who continued from previous books didn't have the same voices and went from interesting, unique people to flat charicatures. References to the Eosi who plagued Botany in the first books suddenly had a different name -- an inconsistency that is rather unusual for McCaffrey. I was extremely disappointed and have a hard time believing that this was written by the talented author of the other Freedom books, the Dragonrider books, and all the other wonderful books she's written. She's never told a story so poorly, that I've read.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Altogirl on June 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a big McCaffrey fan, I had looked forward to this one. Unfortunately, it lacks the depth and character development of the earlier books in the series, and the plot is all over the place and boring at the same time. I found this the most disappointing of any book I have read by this author, and I've read all her SF.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 30, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the first three books in the Freedom series and while they weren't on par with the Pern or Ship series, they were solid enough to keep me moving on to the next book...up until I came to Freedom's Ransom. It was dragging along so slow that I decided to check here and see whether it picked towards the end. Unfortunately, it appears most of the reviewers agree with me -- this is not a very good book.
I've been reading all of Anne McCafferey's books for a good 15 years now, and I suppose that everyone has to eventually produce a dud. If I were to sum up the plot of the book after 204 of 287 pages, I would only need 2 words: Coffee and teeth. That's it. After everything that's happened so far in this series, that's an awful long plunge back into reality. Sure, there's going to be rebuilding, but this doesn't offer anything in the way of intrigue, excitement, interesting characters...nuthin. Thankfully I got this series at the library instead of spending money on it, but if there is a 5th book in the series I may be hard pressed to check that one out unless I hear glowing reviews first based on number four falling flat.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By fluffysmygem on July 16, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was pretty disappointed in the fourth book in the Freedom series. For one, it seems like the plot of almost the entire book (obtaining valuables in order to ransom Earth's goods back) is cancelled toward the end with the execution of an audacious and hasty scheme.

As always, the Botanists luck out a little too much, a little too often to reflect reality and Murphy's Law. Rarely does even a small thing go wrong in the execution of their grandiose plans. Minor and annoying inconsistencies seem to get worse with this book, and the characters did not seem the same at all. Even their speech seemed different. As others have noted, the constant focus on teeth and coffee got very old, very fast! In some places, I felt like I was reading a coffee ad.

Showing how Earth and Botany functioned after the end of Eosi domination was a good idea, in my opinion, but it could easily have been done in a concise, interesting chapter or two. Instead, the series just won't die and continues on in a repetitive, shopping-list fashion.

The series overall is pretty good for a light read when one has some time to kill. There are some winning aspects that, for the most part, outweigh the negative aspects, such as the generally believeable characters, an imaginative planet, the creative ETs, and the ingenuity and resiliency of humans. However, if you liked the first three books, just skip this one and let your imagination wrap up the series.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anne McCaffrey's Freedom series is a delight, but much of the action culminated in the third book, leaving this one more of an epilogue than a whole other installment. I enjoyed visiting with Kris and Zainal again, and I was intrigued by their visit to Earth and liked seeing how "we" were doing post-Catteni--but I still liked the first three books better. It was worth the reading, though, as Ms. McCaffrey's books almost always are.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As much as I enjoyed the previous Freedom series books (particulary the first book, Freedom's Landing), this one read like a junior high school essay of "How I Spent My Summer Vacation." Very little plot, almost no conflict or character development. Description was lacking as well-- I felt as if I were listening to a bunch of "talking heads." There wasn't even much between Zainal and Kris, which to me was one of the highlights of the previous books. And the beginning, where the characters were discussing what they were going to do-- ARRGH! It's bad enough to have to attend meetings, much less read about them! I think Ms. McCaffrey could have done with less research on coffee growing and dental procedures and spent her attention on what has made her such a great storyteller.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Judah on May 25, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Worst book written by McCaffery, if she actually wrote it and the publisher didn't sub-contract. Reminds me of mass market pulp SF written in the 1950's. Botany has many high level leaders of Earth nations, but they exert no influence on their respective roots. Earth could care less about the colony trying to 'help', which makes no sense (Botany has cool alien tech!). Instead the colony goes into the coffee business with a dental sideline (don't ask). As in transporting coffee beans across interstellar distances because not one supra-advanced alien race can grow or synthesize their own caffeinated drinks.

The vocabulary of the main characters consists of the phrase 'I drop, I stay' whenever a tense situation comes by, which admittedly isn't often. Lots of fluff, slice of life, meetings, and no characterization. Conflict is solved by sending people elsewhere. Events which happened earlier are retconned to be different (or the author gets her own details wrong), plus jarring perspective changes between paragraphs with no reader warning.

A great book to MST3K in your head, just unbelievable in terms of construction (both of science and characters). Needed editing, fact-checking, and additional drafts. Without McCaffery's name, would have been thrown away.
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More About the Author

Anne McCaffrey, the Hugo Award-winning author of the bestselling Dragonriders of Pern® novels, is one of science fiction's most popular authors. With Elizabeth Ann Scarborough she co-authored Changelings and Maelstrom, Books One and Two of The Twins of Petaybee. McCaffrey lives in a house of her own design, Dragonhold-Underhill, in County Wicklow, Ireland.

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Freedom's Ransom (Freedom Series, Book 4)
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