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The Dolphins of Pern (Dragonriders of Pern Series) Hardcover – September 6, 1994

152 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this latest addition to McCaffrey's popular Pern series (Chronicles of Pern: First Fall, etc.), the humans of Pern are reunited, after eons of noncontact, with the intelligent dolphins who had originally settled the planet with them. When a boy, Readis, is rescued by "shipfish" and realizes that they can talk, he develops a lifelong obsession with the fascinating creatures. But, though his interest is shared by the young dragonrider T'Lion and his dragon, Gadareth, it is forbidden by his mother, who has feared the unusual ever since she was kidnapped by outlaws because of her ability to hear and talk with dragons. Readis pursues his briney friendships nonetheless, reporting his findings to the computer, Aivas, which is attempting to guide the humans to a new era by freeing Pern forever from the devastating, life-consuming Thread. Meanwhile, the leading dragonriders and holdlords must act to contain the lust for land and power of Toric, Lord Holder of the South. Expanding upon events related in All the Weyrs of Pern, McCaffrey here adds yet another dimension to her colorful and vivid saga by focusing on the attractive dolphins and their highly believable society.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Rescued from drowning by a pair of dolphins, a young boy embarks on a lifelong mission to reestablish ties with the third most intelligent species on the planet Pern. This latest installment of McCaffrey's most popular series (The Chronicles of Pern, LJ 10/15/93) features a resourceful and determined human hero as well as a host of appealing dolphins as the supporting characters. The author's unnecessary reliance on parental opposition as a stumbling block to the fulfillment of her protagonist's dream is the only weak point in an otherwise solid contribution to the growing literature of Pern. Demand will be considerable for this title.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st ed edition (September 6, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345368940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345368942
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,733,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on November 1, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Dolphins of Pern" is one in author Anne McCaffrey's series of novels that take place on Pern: a world where the descendants of human colonists live together with huge, winged creatures called "dragons." The dragons of Pern have some similarities to the mythical creatures of ancient Earth, but McCaffrey throws in some science fiction twists. "Dolphins," as the title suggests, adds a new element to the culture and history of Pern.
As McCaffrey explains in the book's prologue, the spacefaring humans who first settled Pern brought with them dolphins who had been endowed with the ability to speak human language. But over the course of time, the hostile environment of Pern caused the dolphin and human communities to gradually lose touch with each other. This book is the story of the attempts to rediscover and reestablish the ancient ties between the two species.
To the cynical, the concept of this book might seem like a "gimmick" to bring a new element to the Pern series. But believe me, "Dolphins" is no gimmick: this is one of the best in the entire series. McCaffrey creates a rich and moving portrait of the dolphin community -- a community with a compelling culture and history. This is also a beautiful "coming of age" story that focuses on Readis, a boy of Pern who has a remarkable bond to the dolphins. McCaffrey superbly weaves the dolphins' history and Readis' very personal story into the epic story of Pern's humans and dragons. I recommend this book to both Pern fans as well as to newcomers to the series.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Cybele A. Baker VINE VOICE on August 1, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love the Pern books! Ever since I was a young girl in school and found Dragonsong in the 1970's.
I really enjoyed this book I love how Anne is filling in the gaps for us about folks from other books like Jayge, Aramina and Readis as well a the Dolphins from Dragonsdawn.
But here is what I think would help folks a lot in their enjoyment of this book and some of the other books.
I think some of these later books don't work as well on their own because they truely aren't stand alone novels like Dragonflight, Dragonquest etc.. You absolutly HAVE to have read Renegades of Pern, All the Weyrs of Pern and Drangonsdawn for this book to make sense to you!
I think it would be a smart decision to integrate this book and possibly some of the other later books into the novels they companion.
Take Dolphins for example: I think the plot would have been better recieved had it been combined with "All the Weyrs", yes it would have added another subplot but they also could have eliminated all the parellel "All the Weyrs" plot synopsis. And it would have prevented any major errors such as the Lord Holder death issue someone mentions here. I have to check my books at home I don't know if that reveiwer is correct or not.
The timeline jumps around but I have no problem with that it happened in Dragonsdawn and other Pern books so what's the big deal?
In the end I enjoyed this book but I believe it would have been better received as part of the "All the Weyrs" story than a separate novel.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A. Ryan on February 20, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have to agree with several of the reviews that noted how Anne McCaffrey's later works about Pern seem to have lost something that she did so well in her earlier ones. I am a loyal McCaffrey fan, so please don't take this as some kind of "Anne-bashing"--but, The Dolphins of Pern just wasn't up to par with the first two trilogies. While the concept of the friendly, talking dolphins is appealing, the storyline goes all over the place, jumping over years in Readis' and other characters' lives, losing focus and generally feeling less like a plot than an ongoing report on the amazing new dolphins. I hope Anne isn't just writing in response to pressures from fans and her publisher, but I have a bad feeling that she became bored with Pern years ago. Read this book only if you are a Pern fanatic.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By David Zampino VINE VOICE on January 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
. . . but certainly not the best of the Pern series.

The concept of dolphins who could communicate with humans was introduced in "Dragonsdawn" and the notion of seemingly intelligent "shipfish" have been seen in several Pern stories.

Now, in "The Dolphins of Pern", the relationship between humans, dragons, and dolphins on Pern is re-established. The book could be viewed as a sequel to "The Renegades of Pern", as much of the action surrounds Jayge, his wife Aramina (the girl who heard dragons) and their son Readis. The book also runs concurrent with many of the events in "All the Weyrs of Pern".

Why only three stars? Because, frankly, the character development is, frankly, unbelievable. Jayge, Aramina, and Readis have all, at different times, been rescued from probable death by dolphins. Readis -- probably twice. Why then are his parents (especially his mother) so against the boy's interest in them? This seems forced to me. (Especially since most of the rest of the Pernese leadership -- including persons whom Jayge and Aramina greatly respect -- and owe much to -- are inclined to permit Readis to pursue his interest to the benefit of all Pern?

Also, once the Oldtimers, the Renegades, the Red Star, etc. have all been dealt with, where do we go for a villain? We've got to invent one, of course! Toric, now Lord Toric of Southern Hold -- who has in other novels been a character on the fringe of trouble -- is now the new designated "bad guy".

Overall, the story seemed too contrived. NOT the best book in the series -- NOT by a long way.
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