on 29 November 1999
After reading many science fiction books and becoming bored by the same old routine this book relit my spark of interest.
As a purely impulse buy to widen my knowledge of writers I selected Freedom's Landing and Freedom's Choice.
By the end of the first chapter you feel you know Kris, and Zainal intimately and that the world Barevi is a world you live on.
The characters you meet are interesting and believable - you wouldn't be suprised to meet them walking down the street after you have read this book.
The book allows you to read the story on many levels whether simply taking it at face value or noting the 'equality for all' thread that runs through the book.
In closing as soon as I had finished 'Freedom's Landing' I immediately started 'Freedom's Choice' and I hope to review it soon.
on 13 February 2010
So an old theme - aliens invade earth, humans taken capture.... etc. What makes this sequence enjoyable is the general quality of writing, and the interesting twists.
So without trying to give too much away...
(Oh and if you've read - get of the unicorn - it isn't the quite same story (although very very similar)
Book opens with an earth girl Kris, living out in the jungle of a foreign land, an escaped slave, she ends up saving a catteni, and gets dumped in a transport colony ship for her trouble, and finds herself with many others on a strange planet.
The rest of the books deals with the colonies who were 'droppped' on this planet finding they were not here first,.... (and that's where i can't give too much away or it might ruin the sequence)
Now a series of 5 books - when i first met this sequence it was only 1 book, and I am still enjoying each and every book. Although the viewpoints do get twisted (not Mrs McCaffreys finest work, I admit), but if you enjoyed Powers That Be (Petaybee sequence), and the Crystal Singer Sequence, then you'll probably enjoy this.
on 14 December 2008
The Catteni race have travelled across the universe taking over various worlds and establishing dominion over the people inhabiting them. When they arrived on Earth straight away they removed some of its people taking them to other worlds as slaves and workers, they also stayed on Earth to govern the remaining civilisation with a forceful hand.
Some of the humans taken from Earth and placed on alien worlds are taken again and `upgraded' from slaves and prisoners to lab rats. To find new habitable planets the Catteni take a selection of different species and place then on a prospective new world, they leave them there with the bare essentials and don't interfere, only returning years later to see how the differing life forms have faired. If any have survived the Catteni take control of the planet. One of these humans is Kris, she gets taken along with a Catteni male - Zainal - whilst trying to save his life. She becomes a key player in running the new settlement, whilst trying to survive she must unlock the secrets of Botany and those of Zaniel, the Catteni who she feels drawn to but doesn't understand.
Although there are various troubles and mysteries for the assorted settlers it seems like the perfect Utopia. The planet on which they are placed becomes a symbol for a new way of living, a world that they can name, can shape, can idealise with all the thrills of a new beginning, where different alien races away from the control and distain of the Catteni can live together and make their own civilisation. This civilisation is based around cooperation and agriculture, to survive they must understand and work with the land. What supports this further is the cultivated look of the landscape when they first arrive and the strange presence of silos and farming equipment. The land has clearly been tended too prior to their arrival; the settlers call the life forms behind the phenomenon `The Farmers'. Not terribly subtle but it gives the book a clear sense of self; the author intends for this way of living and the situation the people are in to emphasis the importance of working in harmony with the land you're in and with the races you share it with.
McCaffrey excels at a gentler type of sci-fi akin to Zenna Henderson's writings, where the importance of community, children and the land is enforced, in her work you'll find that utopias can be attained, although the results can sometimes be a little soft. There are quite strong messages here; the theme of freedom against mindless progression, dominion and superior minded prejudice against `the other' is clear, though the depiction of humanity against the other races is at times vaguely annoying; the evils of mans inhumanity towards man and nature is mainly reflected in the actions of the Catteni and Eoshi in comparison the men are somewhat glorified in McCaffrey's narrative in the extent of their resourcefulness and how they take the lead in establishing a community, in comparison the aliens are either evil, stupid or insipid - with the excemption of Zenial - on Botany but the message is still clear, that when you have found and to an extent created a world which embodies a cause, an ideal and a dream worth fighting for, you should with everything you have.
on 23 July 1998
Plots are interesting things. They can kill a good book or make a bad book ok (case in point, The Mandelorian Armor, good plot, bad writing), and this book's plot makes it unique. Said plot is about a woman who is abducted by aliens, and then deposited on a planet that the Cateni (abductors) want to have colonized. The aliens keep dropping more and more humans until they manage to get the planet under control, then they come back and take over again. The humans are given only short knives, ration bars, and some med kits to help them. About 1-2 hundred are dropped at one site, with many sites all over the planet.
One of the guys dropped is an ex military fellow who organizes people, gets them to all do one thing instead of one person trying to get all of the knives, or food, or whatever. Once this is accomplished, and everybody who isn't dead is awake, they start out for some rocks, someplace that would be safer than where they are. After a whole day of marching they ! arive at their destination and find some caves that they use to set up a sort of apartment for everyone to be in. While all this is rather interesting, it gets a little slow when they are marching along, and I began to wonder when they will get to something that will be interesting. Some of the characters at this point are rather annoying, and I find it difficult to not just skim over that part.
It does take them a while to actually start doing things that are interesting, like exploring, making their cave convenient, establishing who else is on the planet and things of that nature. While it does take close to half the book to really draw me in, I was pleasently suprised until the end, where it pretty much just cut off and ended. It was rather annoying. However, I can't wait to read the sequel. Maybe it wil get interesting earlier than the middle of the book.
on 9 August 1996
Ms. McCaffrey has once again delighted us with outstanding
Science Fiction in the vein of her earlier "Powers that Be"
and "Ship" series. The entire adventure utilizes good plot
and character schemes without over-aweing the reader with
scientific jargon and explanations. Even in a genre so
overpopulated with titles, Anne McCaffrey has even managed
to add a few new twists to the plot.
This new novel will surely become the pilot of a new series
and I look forward to the next installment.
The stage is set, Earth has been enslaved and, as a show of
force, the populations of several large cities have been
captured and carted off to be slave labor to the masters,
the Catteni. One captured Terran is bent on escape but got
a bit more than she bargained for in gaining her freedom.
"Dropped" on a hostile planet with (over time) several
thousand other Terrans and a variety of alien races the
group must band together and struggle for survival, they
think. The exiles quickly learn that the planet provides
for them well, but they also learn that the entire planet
looks like someone's garden. Survival now depends on
avoiding the "gardeners" (both organic and mechanical) left
behind by the previous owners, and learning just who would
set up an entire planet to be a self-maintaining food
on 21 February 2000
I first read this book in 1997 and started to enjoy it immediately. I had never picked up any 'Sci-fi' before and this was a plesant surprise. It encouraged me to choose more books of different genres to my usual read. Im glad the sequential books are here because I really want to carry on where I left off.
This book has something for everyone. You have the adventure (appeals to lads) but written as a female (and what do all women like! A hint of romance!) so you have a classic versatile book! Enjoy it!
on 23 October 2004
Before reading this book I was daunted by the prospect of science fiction. Fantasy I've always found easy to get into, without being too demanding or intellectual, but I'd always expected sci-fi to be pure cerebral hell. This completely changed my expectations of the genre.
You've got the Ray Mear's style of survival going on- only in an utterly alien landscape, a great central character in Kris who's never anything other than compelling and a very unique set-up for exploring the fraught relationships between strangers forced to depend on each other.
This was also my first experience of this author and I couldn't help but be stunned by her remarkable ideas and by their execution- never have characters and a setting been so evocative, you can see it all in your mind as you read- very impressive. Anne McCaffrey has an excellent understanding of human nature and deftly manipulates her characters, so we as readers get to see the best and worst of all they can be.
You don't need to be a fan of sci-fi, fantasy or any genre at all to appreciate 'Freedom's Landing', you just have to enjoy reading about people. There's no question you'll be devouring this and the following 3 books in the series in double-quick time in order to find out how these people get on, the only question is...how long you'll be able to wait between books.
on 28 May 1999
Anne McCaffreys, Freedom's Landing was a very hard book to put down. I would recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in a thrilling, mind boggling, exciting, novel with a little spicy romance. Kris Bjorsen was just a normal, average college girl in a normal average college. Or so thats what she thought. Up until the day that she and thousands of others were "abducted" by mysteriuos, smelly, Catteni spaceships. On the planet Barevi, they were basicly used as slaves. Then one day or shall I say night, Kris stole a Catteni spaceship and flew out into the jungle. She stayed out there for 5 weeks before encountering a Catteni that is wanted dead for killing another Catteni. She decides it's worth the risk of helping this Catteni. She does and then ends up clobbering him and nocking him unconsious. He wanted to repay her for saving his life, which he ends up doing later in the story. Well now shes got a body that she has to lug back to the city and drop. In the mist of doing so she gets caught and soon finds herself in a holding cell full of others. After she arouses she is given a shower, new clothes and drugged soup. She is then shoved onto a spaceship. What will happen next, I'm not going to tell, your just going to have to find out the rest for yourself.
on 26 November 2012
First in series of 3 books, great story line and well writen. sci fi fantasy. kidnapped for slavery on allien worlds. The earthlings and some others become more trouble than they are worth, so they are dropped on an apparently empty planet. The book tells the story of survival, then of greater ambitions. loved these books so did the wife and daughter. 2nd time ive read this set.
on 6 June 1999
Anne McCaffrey has moved on from Pern and now has a group dropped down (unwilling) on a new planet, Botany. Unfortunately, the book has the characteristics of a book rushed into print by an established author for her publisher. The story starts out well but then goes downhill. The involuntary colonists, dropped down into a hostile environment, magically accomplish things in weeks that would take normal people years. This seems to be another case of an author that has lost all sense of time (perhaps bored with a slow pace and rushing to move on). The story is left unfinished, leading into another book to be written. I read what must have been the first printing of the hard cover edition and the editing, in places, was atrocious. Don't publishers edit for basic grammar anymore?