Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Restoree" by Anne McCaffrey

A Sci-Fi Summer Reading Challenge Pick

If you're a McCaffrey lover like me, you'll probably be expecting a book that, despite its cover, will wow you with a strong heroine, a strange planet, and a variety of alien species. It won't feed into any of the old book stereotypes (i.e. sexism, racism, etc.) because McCaffrey was very ahead of her time, right?

If the above is the case with you, this is not the book you're looking for. This is one of McCaffrey's early works (1967) that shows some of the promise she would eventually live up to, but also includes some things that made me squirm while reading it. There are other books I'd recommend before this one if you're new to McCaffrey, mainly The Rowan, which continues to be my favorite.

The Plot (As Seen on Goodreads):
'Sara had been torn from Earth by a nameless black force and taken to Lothar where she was forced to care for a strange man, who she discovered was the Regent. She escaped in panic, and become a fugitive in a world of multiple evils....'

The above synopsis is misleading, but the gist of the story is Sara gets snatched from Earth by aliens, ends up in a mental recovery center caring for someone who she notices isn't quite as mentally handicapped as his keepers portray him to be. Eventually she finds out that Harlan, the man she's caring for, is one of the men in charge of the planet she's now on. Another thing- her appearance has changed quite drastically.

Sara's appearance changing is one of my main nitpicks with this book. Before with her "awkward" appearance, it was clear no man would ever love her. Because love is always based on appearance. Luckily, the aliens warped her into looking alien (golden skin, but overall human appearance), correcting her nose and "awkward self" so she looked just shy of inhumanly beautiful. It's like an Ugly Duckling story.

To quote the cover, this is what the book is about:

In another body on another world, Sara risked her life for a man of power and for an alien dream!

Really, what it should have said is, "Stay away Litha, stay away- you'll never like this one as much as you have Anne McCaffrey's other books," because that is the case. What I thought would be a fun read ended up being a bit of a disappointment- not because I didn't enjoy some parts, but because I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as her other works.

Restoree just didn't meet my expectations. For a sci-fi romance, it's still a good read, but I had a different idea of what it should be about (more sci-fi action, less romantic). However, if you happen to like heroines who go through Ugly Duckling transformations to meet the man of their dreams on an alien planet, I suppose this one might be for you.

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars for a good sci-fi romance that I don't really recommend.

Content: Ages 16+ for cut-away sex scenes, violence, and shallow mindedness, at points.

Page Count: 256 pages


  1. I was just recommended a McCaffrey book (she's an author I haven't read yet) The Dragonriders of Pern series. Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard was going to do a read-along this fall if enough folks were interested.

    Thanks for your opinion on this early title!

    1. I think I only have the first and a few more of the Dragonriders of Pern series- I had planned to get them all, but they are a bit difficult to collect (it's very hit and miss- I usually see the same books each time). I think my favorite of McCaffrey's is still The Rowan- something about that book just struck a cord with me.
      Thanks for stopping by and telling me about the read-along, Rita!
      ~Litha Nelle

  2. Thanks for the warning. Even if it is still a good book I hate reading story elements that go against what I value in an author. It is like me not wanting to read Go Set a Watchman. :)

    1. Yeah, this only is vaguely reminiscent of the McCaffrey most of us are used to. This is one of the few books of hers that really show their age- I think she was going too heavy on the Ugly Duckling factor.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, La La!
      ~Litha Nelle

  3. Oh wow, this sounds like classic 1960's genre fiction with plenty of eye rolling and snarky snort-laugh moments, LOL! Don't forget to add your review to the link-up :)

    1. This definitely isn't her best, so it was wince worthy for me. I will try and remember to add it to the link up when I return to my desktop computer (my tablet isn't too trustworthy for more than tweeting and commenting).
      Thanks for stopping by and reminding me about the link up, Rachelle!
      ~Litha Nelle


Feel Free to Express Yourself:
Agree? Disagree? Have something to add?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...