The Tower and the Hive
Novel by Anne McCaffrey
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons
© 1999
ISBN 0-399-14501-X

This novel is the latest of the Talent books, which started with The Rowan and was continued by Damia, Damia's Children, and Lyon's Pride. It is meant as a culmination and ending to the popular series.

Honestly, it's about time. Anne McCaffrey has been steadily slipping with her writing style and subject matter, failing in proper character development, and instead of improving with age and experience, she has degraded to near unreadability.

Her prose is bland an uninteresting, her characters are developed but self similar, as if she is stuck in a rut and has gotten inordinately comfortable with one or two character templates. She seems to try to give her people different traits via description, but then backtracks whenever they open their mouths. They are all equally witty (ha!) and one would be unable to tell who was speaking if the character names were not noted.

This book not only fails in character development, but in plot. Nothing new or interesting happens, and one can only bear to read one or two pages before stopping for a nap.

This sort of thing is yet another example of a depressing trend in McCaffrey's progression as an author. In her early years, she wrote some fantastic books and stories. Her characters were differentiated and believable, her stories entertaining, and her subject matter compelling. Nowadays, particularly after the Acorna (the unicorn girl) series (if you want to call it that), she has taken a serious turn for the worse. I don't know whether it's old age, or her publishers pushing her to produce more, and more quickly, than ever before. But the fact of the matter is that Anne McCaffrey, after being a leading star in the Science Fiction universe has fallen to earth, and left only a smoking crater.

Other books by Anne McCaffrey
The Rowan
Damia's Children
Lyon's Pride

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