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Publisher's Summary

A new hero emerges in a divided world as one of sci-fi’s most beloved series - Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern - relaunches with this original adventure from Anne’s daughter, Gigi McCaffrey.

In honor of the fiftieth anniversary of the Dragonriders of Pern series, Gigi does her mother proud, adding to the family tradition of spinning unputdownable tales that recount the adventures of the brave inhabitants of a distant planet who battle the pitiless adversary known as Thread.

The last time Thread attacked Pern, the world was unprepared for the fight - until the Oldtimers appeared. These courageous dragonriders arrived from the past, traveling four hundred years to help their descendants survive. But the collision of past and present took its toll. While most of the displaced rescuers adapted to their new reality, others could not abide the jarring change and found themselves in soul-crushing exile, where unhappiness and resentment seethed.

Piemur, a journeyman harper, also feels displaced, cast adrift by the loss of his spectacular boyhood voice and uncertain of his future. But when the Masterharper of Pern sees promise in the young man and sends him undercover among the exiled Oldtimers, Piemur senses the looming catastrophe that threatens the balance of power between the Weyrs and Holds of Pern.

When the unthinkable happens, Piemur must rise to the challenge to avert disaster and restore honor to the dragons and dragonriders of Pern. Because now, in a world already beset by Thread, another, more insidious danger looms: For the first time in living memory, dragons may be on the verge of fighting dragons.

©2018 Georgeanne Kennedy (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Dragon's Code: Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern

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Profile Image for Mary Beth
  • Mary Beth
  • 31-10-2018

Good for a single read

First, I've been a fan since the 1970s and have every story, novella, and short story written by Anne McCaffrey about this wonderful world. I also have every audiobook available. Second, I'm probably one of those fans writers dread as 'nit-pickers' since I suspect I know Pern's history better than that of my own country. Saying this, I'm quite willing to cut slack for someone who writes with respect about this beloved world, and makes a good faith effort to broaden our knowledge and provide new insights into well-known characters. Unlike other reviews, it didn't bother me that Gigi picked established characters and events to write about. In fact, I greatly enjoyed the idea of looking deeper into the cracks left open during the events of The White Dragon. The very fair critique I've seen others make that there was a lot of 'talking about instead of showing' is true, but bearable as this is a first book (see 'cutting slack' above). I also quite enjoyed the hatching of the stolen queen egg as seen through Piemur's eyes.

So, what didn't I like? The liberties taken with established canon, such as casual nicknames which were never used in the canon books, and which seem just grossly out of character for such a formal society. I cringed every time Piemur was addressed as 'Pie," and calling Menolly by the shortened 'Nol' was equally cringeworthy. And while six-legged Pernese mammals might make biologic sense given the dragons physical appearance, NEVER did Anne McCaffrey describe the runner beasts as such. Having one character describe the dragons as 'designed' for their job well before this was known according to Anne's timeline is just sloppy. These are mistakes that are expected in fan fiction, but not acceptable in stories that are being put forth as cannon. A good proof-reader familiar with the original stories would have pointed things like this out in a heartbeat.

What is much more difficult to overlook is the flat characterization. Robinton is boring, Sebell is bland, and Toric was NEVER nice. Piemur is more-or-less as described in the Harper Hall series, and any differences can be chalked up to adolescence and young adulthood changes. The plot itself is adequate, but very thin, and would have been much better served in a novella, as in novel length the events of the story drag on and on and on... And the dragons! The very thing that makes Pern so beloved was where this book, for me, fell completely flat. For all Gigi has her characters recite how important the dragons are for fighting thread and for Pern's very survival, the dragons themselves on their rare appearances are uninteresting, one-dimensional creatures.

The narrator was serviceable, but did not add anything to the story. He certainly did not add any drama to what should have been intense scenes involving Sebell, Piemur and the events in Nabol.

I'm willing to read Gigi's next Pern book (if there is one) and give her storytelling another chance as it is clear to me that she respects the world her mother created. I just hope she can recapture some of the magic that her mother spun, otherwise I'll just keep rereading my well-worn, but oh-so-magical and beloved Anne McCaffrey stories.

52 people found this helpful

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  • Jessica McCormick
  • 28-04-2019

Pern in title around

I hate giving one-star reviews, but I think Gigi could have done better. She may be a fine storyteller, and writing for this Pass, with familiar characters, may have just been a poor decision. After all, I fully enjoyed her brother's addition to the universe, and I should be glad to give her own timeline a fair try. Unfortunately, I must judge this against the standards of the Ninth Pass, so here goes...

There are, perhaps, schools of thoughts that would disagree with me, but I feel the title of a book should give the reader some idea of what the story holds. "Dragonflight" felt symbolic, as well as practical. The protagonists were grounded by those who held power over them, and come into their own when Lessa triumphantly tells F'lar, "Queens can, too, fly," and he replies, "Of course they can; that's why they have wings!"

Halfway through "Dragon's Code", I still couldn't tell you what the title is meant to convey. A dragonrider's moral obligation to protect Pern? The dragon's inherent loyalty to its rider? Perhaps it would be easier to parse if this weren't an oddly placed Harper Hall installation, a couple years after "Dragondrums".

This story follows Piemur as he continues his surveillance of the Southern Continent. Sort of. I think we're taking a detour? He was desolate when his voice broke in the previous book, but found purpose in his skills and talent outside of singing by the conclusion. This story reads like the author couldn't believe that a young adult could possibly come to terms with their situation as maturely as Piemur did, and so we're treated to an onslaught of continuous sulking. You want to tell him, "Just talk to your mentors, already!"

Herein lies my greatest grievance of this book. Yes, even greater than the retconned nicknames, mislabeled characters, six-legged runner beasts, and Piemur being in a persistent state of awe with everything around him. My main problem with this story is that Robinton, the Master Harper of Pern, is a short-tempered idiot.

When we finally reconnect with this beloved character, he fails to see that Piemur is suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion, and shows visible signs of anger when a concussed Piemur tries to coherently give a report before collapsing. In past stories of Pern, multiple characters feared disappointing Robinton, not because of his ire, but because of how fair-minded he is. In "Dragon's Code", it feels as though people need to tread carefully in his presence, especially if Sebell isn't around to point out the obvious for him.

14 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 24-01-2019

Revisionist

I've delayed writing this because I was so disappointed and I didn't want to write while the disappointment was fresh. So many others have detailed a lot of what I had issue with but I haven't seen anyone pick up on what I did.
First... I was SOOOOO excited to have a new author putting their hand ing, and Gigi certainly has the provenance! second who doesn't love Piemur.... i was really looking forward to delving more in to his story. There are so many gaps in the other books that its a natural story to write.
so where was my heart broken? Again, similar to a lot of the folks so i don't need to beat a dead wherry...What really rankled me is Piemurs attitude toward the Old Timers. In fact everything about this story seems to be apologizing for Old Timers. I get that we have a lot to thank them for, and they have been thanked. However how they continued to treat everyone, stealing the Queen egg... why are we saying "poor poor old timers... awwwww we should just feel bad for them and excuse their behaviour.
It wasn't all Old Timers that failed to reintegrate back in to life in 'modern' Pern... It was a small subset.. What, wasn't something like 270 dragons who went south? So. thats what irked me. The attitude towards Old Timers was radically different from the trilogys, even from All the Weyrs...
thats my take...

12 people found this helpful

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  • Shellie
  • 26-08-2019

I should have listened to the negative reviews

I just can't make it through this book. Wish I could return it. I think it's a combination of mediocre writing mixed with mediocre reading, but the book feels very juvenile to me. Character movements are described in ways that make no sense, and the matter of fact reading style doesn't add any feeling or depth, which the writing is already lacking.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Julia Fedorov
  • 11-01-2019

Eh.

While I didn't mind the use of existing characters, and the storyline chosen was interesting enough, I don't think I'll be relistening. Maybe it's because I had such high expectations after Anne and Todd's work, but this one felt...young. The writing was immature, more like a talented teenager's first novel. A little too much explanation throughout the book of unnecessary things, and while the action was done well, the dialogue was awkward, stilted and didn't flow like conversation. The plot also unfolded without any real subtlety- more like bashed you over the head with LOOK AT HOW CLEVER THIS IS. I don't know, I was just a bit let down.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-10-2018

Shouldn't have

Sorry Gigi but you should never have tried to write Anne's characters, I can read Todd's contributions as he either wrote with Anne or was in a different time line for his stand alones so was not trying to write Anne's characters. You could never write the Master Harper correct no matter how you tried. You got Toric wrong, he is not solicitous or hospitable to the Master Harper nor dragon riders and he would have never been anything but scathing to Piemur not to mention he would never have knowledge of Piemur's activities as he is one of Piemur's prime targets to watch. Then there is all the blather in lecture form about how the 3 men who beat the hell out of Sebell while planning to kill Jaxom shouldn't be punished but given a slap on the hand because they had it hard under their previous Lord...really????? I stopped listening at that point, which reminds me, Mr. Narrator you should learn how to say the place names of such an iconic world before you attempt to narrate the story. It's eye-gen (Igen Weyr) not ee-gen

16 people found this helpful

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  • Bear Hardin
  • 05-09-2020

Did she actually READ any of her mother’s PERN books?!?

Since when do Runnerbeasts have SIX LEGS?!? They are decended from ova of Terran HORSES the colonists brought with them; 4 legged, NOT SIX!
And MASTER SHONAGAR is NEVER seen in the dining room as he is FAR too obese to even leave his quarters!! He ALSO has a DEEP, RICH voice, and ALWAYS speaks with deliberation, as well as eloquence! (So, at least we KNOW the unknown imposter seen in the dining hall could NOT have been HE!!)
And, the not-so-subtle rewrite of Piemur’s history in the Southern Continent was just WRONG. Also, SINCE WHEN HAS ANYONE, (except a dolphin,) EVER USED A NICKNAME FOR Menolly, OR Piemur?!?! I MIGHT have believed it if his old Foster Mother had had a ‘pet name’ for him, but otherwise, NO!
The story wasn’t bad, although to be so suddenly introduced to a hitherto unknown WING SECOND of N’TON’S was a bit disconcerting, to say the least.
And the narrator could not seem to make ANYONE sound like their previously well described selves, including MasterHarper Robinton’s rich Baritone!NOT what I was expecting; I was extremely disappointed.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Vicki Moss
  • 26-11-2019

Disappointed

Have to agree with others, although I was hoping for better. Story line was weak, the reader left much to be desired. Pronunciation of names and use of nicknames made the story less inviting.

Love Pern books, was looking forward to a return to Pern yet most of the story was redundant.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kim S.
  • 06-04-2021

McCaffery never disapoints!

Anne and her daughter are a great collaboration. The characters come alive. The story further develops for the southern were. as always action from start to finish. And a lesson to learn.

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  • Stephanie Miller
  • 29-03-2021

Writing legacy worth reading!!

I loved the book, the story, and the reminder of a great McCaffrey writing legacy! <3 The reason for 4 instead of 5 is the recording is old...and sounds old...a new recording would make it an easy 5 star!!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-10-2018

Incredibly well done

Gigi must have really thought about this one and couldn't have really found a better point to continue her families legacy from. In my opinion this book continues on from the wonderful Harper trilogy and should be placed straight after that in reading order. The dragon on the beautiful front cover is a bit misleading but only a bit, as this story follows one of Anne's beloved characters, Piemur the once darling of the Harper's guild, who lost his own sense of identity when he lost his voice. By following the boys adventures in the little known south, Gigi weaves a wonderful new story for this favoured series, that works with the plots and beloved characters from Anne's world.

It took me a little while to get into the narration. I find most of the voice actors chosen to narrate the Pern stories a bit dry but he does an incredible job with the character voice and always follows the author's cues about their depth and tone. I found myself wondering why he'd chosen such a distinctive voice for a character only to find that it matched a latter description perfectly and the production team had obviously put some real effort into bringing the world to life. I'd definitely buy more books with this narrator.

While there's a summary of events leading to this book, that's actually most helpful for returning listeners like myself to get reacquainted with the story after so many years. Pern is simply one of the greatest fantasy worlds ever written and if you haven't read/listened to it yet, I strongly suggest you do. That being said, I think you can get away with just catching up on the Harper trilogy and listening to the others as prequels latter, if you wish to do things that way but I would not try this as a standalone, without understanding where the characters came from and the history of the world, you won't emphasise with them in the same way and Gigi has not wasted time recovering old ground.

I really admire what Gigi has done here. So many authors get hold of a favourite series and decide to put their own stamp on it, ruining much of what the readers loved. This subtle and far more sympathetic touch, is far harder to do and I've only ever seen it done as well with The Wheel Of Time Series.

***unless you prefer abridged books I strongly recommend you don't just buy these books as they appear in series order from Audible U.K. because there seems to be no set pattern on if it will show the abridged or unabridged version. At the time of writing this review I have found many that are available in an unabridged so I would recommend doing a quick search.***

5 people found this helpful

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  • alison
  • 01-08-2020

Boooooring!

3/4 of the book is stilled as the author tries to intergrate it with the original books. The few times she writes about original stuff shows promise, though the ending just doesn’t blend with what we know from previous books. As for Piemur, he’s mostly unrecognisable from the previous books that include him. Very disappointed

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  • A Scott
  • 11-07-2019

Missing parts ecplained

I've always loved the Pern books. So nice to hear a book I've not read before. beautiful. Please can we have more on the books done in audio!

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  • Jensen
  • 16-06-2019

Pie and Noll?

For the most part this is as good as the best of Anne’s Pern books, what ruined it was a strange feeling of reading fanfiction, suddenly Piemur is Pie and Menolly is Noll or something like that, just, NO.
So, most likely never trying another Pern book from Gigi, should she write one.

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  • Adrian Mudd
  • 03-05-2019

a great insert into a gap in the ouuvre


once more we find out what happened between 'whens' , and fill in missing formative events in the life of a character we thought been knew.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • C Carey
  • 02-05-2019

Watch the narrator

Another lovely episode following the Pernese people and their dragons.
sadly I felt the narrator was was lacking kn his knowledge of the story.
Since this is a newly released book I felt it would have been a good idea for him to listen to some of the other books already released. His pronunciation of the characters names and the dragon names was different to the other audible books. I understand that each person sounds them out differently as they read them but in this case a precedent had been set by 2 different narrators, it would have been good to have a continuation of the same pronunciation.

Other wise the story had the same flow as if written by Anne MCCaffrey herself

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