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5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This is a great series by a great writer. Love all her works, Sci-Fi lost a great writer when she died
Published 5 months ago by Lucy Blaker

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate but still suffering the McCaffrey malaise
Of all Anne McCaffrey's books, the "Talent" ones (starting with Pegasus..) competed with the Pern Trilogy, Dragonflight et al, for my favourites, BUT her quality seems to be fluctuating wildly these days.

The Talent series is comparable to the Pern series. I re-read The White Dragon, and immediately followed that with Renegades of Pern, which was ghastly -...
Published on 8 Jun 2007 by C. Stewart


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate but still suffering the McCaffrey malaise, 8 Jun 2007
By 
C. Stewart "The Cat's Whiskers" (Yorkshire/Nottinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Of all Anne McCaffrey's books, the "Talent" ones (starting with Pegasus..) competed with the Pern Trilogy, Dragonflight et al, for my favourites, BUT her quality seems to be fluctuating wildly these days.

The Talent series is comparable to the Pern series. I re-read The White Dragon, and immediately followed that with Renegades of Pern, which was ghastly - turgid verbosity. I was never able to shake off the image of Anne sat in front of her PC writing Renegades with a big black cloud of "contractually obligated to churn out X Pern a year" depression over her head. Then she wrote "all the weyrs" and the magic was back (Skies was ok too, and I liked Todd McCaffrey's sole Pernese effort).

The same thing happened with TT&TH series. Part of the problem is with McCaffrey's proofreader, who wants firing. Leaving aside the blooper that gave us an incestuous relationship by referring to Afra Lyon as Damia's brother not husband, there was also that in The Rowan which gave Rowan parents with entirely different names and occupations barely 10 pages apart. But I did enjoy The Rowan, and Damia, though I felt she got some unfair stick - Rowan and Jeff Raven were simply too career obsessed and selfish to have children at that time and poor Damia was merely unfortunate enough to be a normal baby after they lucked out with 2 "starkids" in Jeran and Cera. (Given Our Author is a mother of 3, one wonders about this portrayal of Damia as a "problem" when she was a perfectly ordinary baby).

I also enjoyed Damia's Children and Lyon's Pride to a certain extent, though again the villain(s) was weak - Sedalla nearly kills Isthian yet gets taken out easily. Likewise when Rojer's Mrdini are murdered by the rogue General, he teleports himself into hiding in anguish, and yet not one of his powerful family of telepaths notices? Or hears his grief? Sorry, but if I were Laria/Thian/Zara and heard my brother mentally scream in anguish I'd have been on that spaceship kicking Dini posterior if I had to teleport across the known galaxy without any "gestalt" backup to do it. of course, the biggest flaw was Dano Kincaid, a relentlessly homosexual politically correct character, who suddenly does a 180 into Laria's lover. Again, I couldn't shake the image of Anne getting to the last chapter and suddenly realising she needed a Love Interest and not being bothered to rewrite the novel properly as she should.

The Tower and The Hive, which I was really looking forward to, has exactly the same problems. Its about the Talents, but, like the most recent "Pegasus" novel, it reads in some places like a High School "dumbed down" textbook on science - and it's not really a coherent narrative, more an anthology/series of vignettes as if McCaffrey had a list of "plot threads" she needed to tie up to finish the series that she just ticked off the list once she'd written a few pages for each. Afra Lyon, who had to leave Capella and his gentle sister Goswina behind because he realised their "Methody" ways were too restrictive, is in TH&TH an interfering Methody father who puts up no resistance to Jeff Raven, who in TH&TH is, bluntly, a sexist bully wanting to turn his children into breeding cattle - a complete reversal of character from the original young, handsome rebel. The Rowan, the tough, sarcastic heroine of the first two books who would never win any mother of the year prizes (remember, she insensitively farmed out her 5 children, Jeran, Cera, Damia, Larak and Ezro onto her mother-in-law Isthia Raven, who had recently lost her husband Josh, several of her 12 children and grandchildren in the first ever Hiver attack) is now a submissive, adoring matron to Jeff's dynastic-ambition obsessed boor.

All 8 of the Lyon kids, plus their cousins (Jeran, Cera and Ezro having churned out dozens of offspring to go with murdered Larak's posthumous son), are slavishly happy to kowtow to Jeff Raven's baby conveyor belt plan to totally dominate Talents forever (and what happened to the powerful Reidinger family?).

The siblings also appear to have none of the normal sibling love for each other or simple pleasure in being with each other - Thian is particularly cold and humourless as the first Naval Prime. The chief villain fades away and then turns white hat, Dano Kincaid gives Laria an insipid, "I'll love you as much as my sexuality allows", at which point any female with the slightest hint of spine would have given him the heave, preferably helped by a sharp-toed stilletto shoe to the ass's ass.

To be honest, given the character reversals and changes, I have to wonder whether this novel was written by Anne McCaffrey at all or whether it was knocked up to meet a contractual obligation by her son Todd who contented himself with getting the "cliff notes" from mum and winged it from there.

Given all the cash Ms McCaffrey had made from her writing, if she really can't find that spark that gave us the gems that are The Rowan and The White Dragon, then I would suggest it be better if she retired. Either that or write Number 6 in the Talent series, in which: Laria gets a backbone and dumps Dano when she meets (a possibly alien?) real male with some testosterone, Rojer teaches his brother Thian and his family about showing affection and care for your siblings (possibly by attempting suicide when nobody realises he's depressed?) Rowan gets her personality back, Jeff Raven apologises for turning sexist, and one of the Raven kids decides against becoming a baby making machine. Since I'm a writer whose hobby is fan-fiction writing, I may have to fix all the above mistakes myself, but why should I have to? I suggest Ms McCaffrey puts her imagination and her writing on a strict diet of David Eddings and Lois McMaster Bujold, with an exercise regime of Christine Feehan and Suzanne Brockmann and Chris Stasheff before she writes her next book, because quite frankly at the moment her imagination is obviously a McFood munching couch potato grown flabby and out of condition from long-term commercial success which means it hasn't had to make an effort.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tying up loose ends in Anne McCaffrey's Talent series, 9 July 2004
By 
Lawrance M. Bernabo (The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Tower and the Hive (Hardcover)
When I was reading "The Tower and the Hive" I did not know it was intended to be the last volume in Anne McCaffrey's Talent series. Ideally I like to read a book without looking at what is on the dust jacket or hearing too much publicity; this is not always possible, granted, but I had picked up McCaffrey's book because it was part of the series and finally got around to reading it without hearing this was the end. Ironically, my primary feeling while reading "The Tower and the Hive" was not that McCaffrey was wrapping things up, but rather that she was setting something up for down the road. My mistake.
The Humans and their Mrdini allies are still trying to find a way to deal with the Hiver menace. At the center of this effort are the Talented members of Federation Teleport and Telepath, especially those belonging to the Gwyn-Raven dynasty founded by the Rowan (of whom there is far too little). McCaffrey provides an introduction, "What Has Gone On Before," that will serve as an involved reminder for those who have been following the series but which will undoubtedly confuse newcomers who stumble on the book by accident, not knowing it is part of a series. I resisted the idea that "The Tower and the Hive" was about solving the Hiver problem, although the title is certainly a big clue in that direction. In retrospect, this book is essentially a collection of sub-plots involving "Lyon's Pride" the children of Afra Lyon and Damia, the Rowan's daughter: Laria finds love, Zara deals with the problem of Mrdini reproduction, and Thian is out with the fleet investigating strange Hiver worlds. At one point I thought the character of Vagrian Beliakin was going to shake-up things big time, but that proved not to be the case, and I am wondering if there is some subtle message to someone with the pivotal role played by Pierre Laney's unique talent in the novel's climax.
Ultimately, I think the value of "The Tower and the Hive" is not as a culmination to the Talent Saga, but how the book stands in contrast to other noted science fiction sagas dealing with bug aliens, specifically Robert Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" and Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game." Whether this is intentional or not on the part of the author, the comparisons seem both inevitable and fruitful. McCaffrey has always showed a talent for creative problem solving, which is one of the key elements at the heart of both the Talent and Pern series, so I would not dismiss her biological solution to interstellar warfare as mere pacifism. We should be mindful of the author's intended message when we notice that this series ends not with a big bang, but with a gentle fall of rain.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 23 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Tower And The Hive (The Tower & Hive Sequence) (Kindle Edition)
This is a great series by a great writer. Love all her works, Sci-Fi lost a great writer when she died
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5.0 out of 5 stars this is a seven book story.and should be read in sequence to fully appreciate it., 14 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Tower And The Hive (The Tower & Hive Sequence) (Kindle Edition)
I discovered Anne McCaffrey when i began reading her sertes of pern books.although i enjoyed the stories i dont think
would readc twice.
the tower and the hive series i would certainly do so at some later date.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Tower and The Hive, 27 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Tower And The Hive (The Tower & Hive Sequence) (Kindle Edition)
This book was brilliant. It ties up all the loose ends from the previous books. I am a huge fan of Anne McCaffrey and have read alot of her books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Tower & the Hive, 2 Jun 2013
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This book completes my collection of the Tower series, the story starts with the Pegasus Trilogy and Finishes with the Gwynn-Raven's fight to halt the Hive's attempt to over run the Nine Star League and destroy Humanity
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5.0 out of 5 stars the tower and the hive, 14 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Tower And The Hive (The Tower & Hive Sequence) (Kindle Edition)
Anne mccaffrey is a must for all sf readers. This series is a look into the possible future of mankind and I would love to inhabit this reality.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Tower and the Hive, 26 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Tower And The Hive (The Tower & Hive Sequence) (Kindle Edition)
A wonderful end to this series and I can't wait for more Anne McCaffrey books I can't get enough of them
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3.0 out of 5 stars To end an otherwise good series...., 10 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Tower and the Hive (Hardcover)
Hmm, not my favorite, but a worthwhile read to tidy up the series. I did prefer the earlier novels, and certainly the beginning of 'Rowan' is a world away from this final installment. Sure, loose-ends were tied up, but I was annoyed that the tension, and rebellion of the likes of the prejudiced Talents didn't go further. The romance of Kincaid and Laria was unexpected, and so not exactly believable. For me, the romance in almost any McCaffery book goes back to the age-old idea that a pair who hate each other at the start are sure to be together by the end. Bits of it seemed also to be montonus, almost boring, especially the continuing mention of rebellion or mis-trust of those at the height of FT&T's heirarchy, and yet nothing was actually effectivly done about it. That could be a lie, as I was stunned by the assasination attempts on Jeff Raven and the Rowan, particularly when Thain or Rojer gave a demonstration of what would happen if anyone tried anything with the Earth Prime. Huh, I also am unsure what makes them think the Hivers are gone for good.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not up to the usual McCaffrey standard, 11 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Tower and the Hive (Hardcover)
I have been reading Ms McCaffrey's books for ages now and own copies of several which I re-read occasionally and enjoy as much each time.
The Tower and The Hive though left me totally disappointed. What a shame. I found it lightweight and contrived, with too many threads lightly touched upon but no substance to any of them. For the first time EVER, I was bored by an Anne McCaffrey book!
Please can we go back to the super days of Dragonquest et al?
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