Dragonflight is a “classic” (take that definition as you will) that merits a read, even if that’s just to understand the history of the genre a bit better.
The best part of the book was undoubtedly McCaffrey’s dragon imagery—anything that had to do with the their relationship with their riders, the feeling of them taking flight, or their general mannerisms. I wish I had picked this up in my younger days, as I’m sure the dragons alone would have captivated my fledgling mind, and I would have soaked it all in.
Let’s be honest, dragons are awe-inspiring and pretty fucking cool, so that alone should make you want to read this book.
But I have to say that as far as characters and plot go, I wasn’t particularly impressed. I’ve gotten so used to the character-driven fantasy novels written within the last decade or so that it’s hard for me to digest books like Dragonflight.
It just wasn’t emotional enough for me.
(And not of the cheesy, YA variety, but simply: the give-o-fuck factor of this book was too damn low. I wasn’t invested at all.)
POVs weren’t tight enough for me to care about any character (don’t get me started on how they hopped around willy-nilly within scenes), and the plot moves forward in time so quickly that there was no real opportunity to build any tension.
I enjoyed some of the concepts and the dragons throughout, but I’m sorry to say that I won’t be continuing with this series. 1968 literature is just not for me.
Two minor quirks to end this off. 1. I wish I would have started a count of how many times Lessa was shaken. Poor girl. 2. No offense, Anne McCaffrey, legend that you are, but what kind of evil name is the “Threads?” That doesn’t evoke anything resembling impending doom, I’m sorry.
PS There’s a whole sexism debate I’m not even going to try to get into. For that, check out the discussions on the Sword & Laser group, because Dragonflight is the April 2013 book club pick.