Saturday 20 March 2021

The Talent Series by Anne McCaffrey (Books 6-11 /52 books in 52 Weeks)

 It always amazes me how quickly time dissappears!  It's been six weeks since I last posted and added to my read 52 books in 52 weeks challenge.  I got a little behind and then had a minor surgery which required two weeks of bed rest.  This in turn was a blessing in disguise as what is a better way of spending bed rest than reading one of your favourite authors or genres!  

I decided to reaqaint myself with Anne McCaffrey better known as the Mother of Science Fiction.  I ended up reading two serries: Talents and Tower and Hive. Damia made the New York Best Selling list. All of these books are in the top 150,000 book best sellers on Book Depository and are all still in print.

Talents Series

  1. To Ride Pegasus  (1973)
  2. Pegasus in Flight (1990)
  3. Pegaus in Space (2000)

To Ride Pegasus

  • Format Paperback | 288 pages 
  • Dimensions 110 x 178 x 17mm | 156g 
  • Publisher Transworld Publishers Ltd 
  • Language English 
  • ISBN10 0552162809 
  • ISBN13 9780552162807  

From Book Depository: "They were people whose gifts were unique. For years - centuries - they had not even understood just what they could do with their minds. They had sometimes become astrologers, clairvoyants, or healers, but their Talents were undeveloped and untrained. Henry Darrow was the first to explore the huge wealth of psychic gifts hidden amongst mankind, and it was he who formed the first Parapsychic Centre where Talents could train and be used to revolutionise the world. But their powers set them apart, made them feared, then threatened by the un-Talented. And when dangerous freak 'wild' Talents began to wreak havoc in the outside world, it took all their combined Talented efforts to save themselves."

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed reading this prequel to the Talent Series which I had read years and years ago.   

Pegasus in Flight

  • Format Paperback | 416 pages 
  • Dimensions 106 x 178 x 24mm | 213g 
  • Publisher Transworld Publishers Ltd 
  • Language English 
  •  ISBN10 0552163767 
  • ISBN13 9780552163767  

From Book Depository "Earth was at bursting point, in spite of the birth restrictions of only one child to each couple. Extra children existed in a sub-cultured world or were rounded up into slavery. The only hope was the space platform -- the jumping-off point for the colonization of other worlds. But more Talents were needed to build and operate those platforms.

Rhyssa Owen was the one responsible, both for finding Talents and training them. And when she felt the first encroachment of a mind reaching out to her, she knew it was exceptional -- a fourteen-year-old boy with incredibly powerful kinetic ability. And in the seamy underworld of near-criminal children was another brilliant mind in danger from a ruthless group of child kidnappers.

Rhyssa knew she had to find the two children and train them for the survival of earth."

I need to find this book to read.  


Pegasus in Space

  • Format Paperback | 448 pages 
  • Dimensions 107 x 177 x 31mm | 227g 
  • Publisher Random House USA Inc 
  •  Language English Edition 
  • ISBN10 0345434676
  •  ISBN13 9780345434678

From Penguin "Peter Reidinger was the most brilliant and powerful telepath and telekinetic yet discovered on earth.He was also barely fifteen years old and a paraplegic who ‘moved’ his body through kinesis.When the telepaths of earth suspected a plot to take over Padrugoi, the newly manned space station, they realised they needed his unique gifts to foil the insane plans of Barchenka, the space construction manager, but even they didn’t realise how strong were his abilities to ‘read’ the minds of those about him and move heavy loads over vast distances.

As his career progressed, so his talents increased beyond the dreams of those trying to reach out into space.Peter Reidinger was going to be the salvation of man’s exploration of the stars.

And even as he became the most important man on earth, so his friendship with the tiny orphan girl found in the floods of Bangladesh grew and flourished.For Amariyah too had psychic gifts which no-one, at first, could define.But these ‘special’ people were constantly at risk – hated and feared by the avaricious, the evil and the ignorant, whose constant ambition was to destroy Peter Reidinger and those like him."

My thoughts: From it's opening page to the last page I could not put this book down.  I read it in one day.  I especially enjoyed understanding where the talent Primes came from as well as the faction that so heatedly resisted them.   

Tower and Hive Series

  1. The Rowan (1990)
  2. Damia (1991)
  3. Damia's Children (1993)
  4. Lyon's Pride  (1994)
  5. The Tower and The Hive (1999)

The Rowan

  • Format Paperback | 328 pages 
  • Dimensions 114 x 178 x 23.11mm | 159g 
  • Publisher Penguin Putnam Inc 
  • Language English Edition 
  • ISBN10 0441735762 
  • ISBN13 9780441735761

 From Penguin: "The Talents were the elite of the Nine Star League. Their gifts were many and varied, ranging from the gently telepathic, to the rare and extremely valued Primes. On the Primes rested the entire economic wealth and communications systems of the civilised worlds. But Primes were scarce - only very rarely was a new one born. And now, on the planet Altair, in a small mining colony on the western mountain range, a new Prime existed, a three-year-old girl - trapped in a giant mud slide that had wiped out the rest of the Rowan mining community. Every Altarian who was even mildly talented could 'hear' the child crying for help, but no one knew where she was buried. Every resource on the planet was centred into finding 'The Rowan' - the new Prime, the first ever to be born on Altair, an exceptionally unique Prime, more talented, more powerful, more agoraphobic, more lonely, than any other Prime yet known in the Nine Star league."

From Book Depository: "The Rowan was destined to become the greatest Prime Talent in human history, facing a lonely existence of servitude. Until she receives a telepathic plea from across the stars from a Prime named Jeff Raven-and falls in love with him." 

My Thoughts - Oh my this is the book that started my love affair with science fiction books.  It was so good to re-read and become reqqainted with old friends.  Anne McCaffrey has such a fabulous way of drawing you into the Talent universe and helping you to experience the depth of the characters and the bredth of the story.


  • Format Paperback | 341 pages 
  •  Dimensions 114 x 166 x 24mm | 172g 
  • Publication date 28 Feb 2012 
  • Publisher Penguin Putnam Inc 
  • Language English Edition 
  •  ISBN10 0441135560 
  • ISBN13 9780441135561 

From Book Depository - "Damia is the daughter of Prime Talents The Rowan and Jeff Raven. Her own telepathic and telekinetic abilities manifested at an early age, unimaginable powers even greater than her parents', challenging to wield much less control. As willful as her mother ever was, Damia defies her family's attempts to tame and train her--only to bond with Afra Lyon, a Talent who serves The Rowan, and who becomes the object of her affection. When she comes of age, Damia learns that a Prime of her capabilities and temperament has no time for love. Assigned to serve the farthest human colonized world from Earth, Damia leads a lonely existence until she telepathically connects with an alien presence in another galaxy--a potential threat not only to Damia, but to the love Afra wants to share with her..."

 From Penguin - "Of all the Rowan's children, Damia was the most brilliant, the most difficult, the loneliest, and the one who had inherited the greatest Talent. It was obvious from childhood that she was going to be a Prime, with all the honours, burdens and strains of that elite class. Her one friend was Afra -- older, wiser, Talented in his own way, but 'belonging' almost exclusively to the Rowan and the workings of Callisto Station.

As Damia grew up, her Talent became almost too strong to control, and the solution was separation -- from her parents, from Callisto, from her beloved Afra. Sent to the distant planet of Deneb, to her strange and gifted grandmother, Damia began the training necessary to turn her into a Prime of extraordinary gifts -- a Prime who could contact the minds of approaching aliens through space, some of whom threatened to totally destroy the worlds of the Nine Star League."

My Thoughts - This book had me sitting on the end of my chair in anticipation.  It was as good to read the second time as it had been the first time I read it nearly three decades ago.    

Damia's Children

  • Format Paperback | 325 pages 
  • Dimensions 107 x 173 x 29mm | 159g 
  • Publication date 29 May 2012 
  • Publisher Penguin Putnam Inc 
  • Language English Edition S
  •  ISBN10 044100007X 
  • ISBN13 9780441000074

 From Book Depository - "They inherited their mother's legendary powers of telepathy. But Damia's children will need more than psionic Talent to face the enemy's children--an alien race more insect than human..."

From Penguin - "A classic story from one of the masters of the genre

Damia and Afra-Raven-Lyon had reared their children in a brilliant and unorthodox way. All their young had been 'paired' when six months old with the furry, one-eyed Mrdinis, the only other sentient beings in the Alliance, who could communicate with humans by their 'dream messages'. Together, Man and Mrdini worked to create prosperous worlds and guard against the terrible threat of the annihilating Hivers.

And now, in the deeps of Space, Mrdini scouts had crossed the path of three Hive ships -- ships that were giant hulks of cell units, bearing the queens and workers out into space, to breed and multiply and destroy wherever they found a viable planet.

It was the four elder children of Damia -- Laria, Thian, Rojer and Zara -- all uniquely talented in their various ways, who were to play their part, helped by their life-long Dini friends, in the conquering and investigation of the Alien threat of the Hivers."

My Thoughts - I enjoyed seeing the love story of Damia and Afra grow and see how the Mrdini influence the track of the story of the Hive invaders.  Each of the characters are powerful in their own right. They challenge themselves and those around them to go deeper and stretch beyond comfort zones.  

Lyon's Pride 

  • Format Paperback | 352 pages 
  • Dimensions 110 x 178 x 22mm | 189g 
  • Publication date 01 May 2012 
  • Publisher Transworld Publishers Ltd 
  • Language English 
  • ISBN10 0552167312 
  • ISBN13 9780552167314  

From Book Depository- "The survival technique of the Hivers was terrifying -- and brilliant. Their huge Sphere ships, controlled by the Many Mind of ten to sixteen queens, surged out into space. When an appropriate planet was found, the Hivers destroyed any and every variety of indigenous life, the queens propagated, and when the new world was full, more ships were sent out. the colonization was repeated until no planet, no species, least of all Man and Mrdini, was safe.

The furry and courageous Mrdini had fought the Hivers for centuries, many dying bravely in an attempt to save their own worlds. Now Mrdini and Man combined to form the Alliance -- and Humankind had their own weapons to offer -- the power and might of the Talents who could not only communicate silently with each other, but could project cargoes, ships and themselves across the deeps of space.

The four children of Damia -- Laria, Thian, Rojer and Zara -- were Primes amongst the Talents, and all their skills were desperately needed, for the Hivers' terrible Sphere ships were still thrusting through space, unfathomable, impenetrable, and carrying death in their labyrinthine depths."

My Thoughts - This one had me hooked from the start. I enjoyed the journeys of Damia and Afra's children and the expansion of the story.

The Tower and the Hive

  • Format Paperback | 315 pages 

    Dimensions 83 x 171 x 23.11mm | 159g 

    Publication date 25 May 2000 

    Publisher Penguin Putnam Inc 

    Language English 

    ISBN10 0441007201 

    ISBN13 9780441007202

From Penguin - Concluding her magnificent five-book sequence begun in The Rowan. In this, the fifth book in the Tower and the Hive series, the children of Damia and Afra Lyon take up new and demanding responsibilities - trying to discover the whereabouts of all the Hiver-occupied worlds. For the Hivers are still a terrible threat and can bring total annihilation to both humans and their furry allies the Mrdini unless the remaining Hiver Queens can be prevented from further colonization. And a startling additional problem has arisen with the Mrdini. No longer dying as drastically as they once had in their ceaseless struggle against the Hivers, they face a serious population explosion and need the help of the Medical Prime Zara Lyon.  

Whew if you made it to the end of that list I'm impressed.  Thank you for your patience in letting me share my binge read recently.  I'm quite happy now that I've caught up and can continue my 52 Books in 52 Weeks Challenge.

What's on your reading pile ?


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