Restoree

Anthony G Williams

Greybeard
Joined
Apr 18, 2007
Messages
1,225
Location
UK
I'd like to put in a word for this one. Pretty well straight SF, with an engaging heroine, an unusual plot, and a light and amusing touch. An easy, feel-good sort of read. It's still hanging on to its place on my bookshelves after over 35 years - in fact, I think it'll soon be time to read it again, to see if it lives up to my memory of it!
 

Talysia

Lady of Autumn
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
4,982
Location
Lincolnshire, UK
I've read a lot of Anne McCaffrey's novels, but for some reason I've missed this one out. If it's as good as you say, I think I'm going to have to find this one and read it.:)
 

Carolyn Hill

Brown Rat, wandering & wondering
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
1,038
Location
California
I reread it every few years. It's SF with a strong romantic thread, so it's comfort-reading for me.
 

Teresa Edgerton

Goblin Princess
Staff member
Supporter
Joined
Nov 1, 2004
Messages
14,559
Location
California
I think it's been over 30 years for me, too. I've thought about rereading it from time to time, but my copy disappeared and it never occurs to me to look for it at the library.
 

Theo

Member
Joined
May 8, 2007
Messages
5
It's one of my favorite McCaffrey books. It's been a few years since I've read it. I need to dig it out too. One of the things I liked best was the comparisons of the differences in technology and how a less technical society can adapt the "tools" of the more complex one.

I read it first when I was more active in anthropology.
 

Toraspanda

Ailurophile Headologist
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
47
Location
Somewhere in the Asteroid belt, occasionally to be
It was the very first book by Anne that I read, shortly after it came out, and it got me firmly hooked. At last, a female sci-fi protagonist, and a believable woman, not just some Warrior's Rest for the macho male characters, or an improbable alien princess with Special Powers....
Thereafter, I regularly scanned shelves in the only local bookshop that stocks books in English, and bought each of the others as they were published. That was before I had internet access; now, of course, I can order any book Î want with a click of the mouse!
 

Talysia

Lady of Autumn
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
4,982
Location
Lincolnshire, UK
That reminds me - I really must have a look for this book. With the way my to-be-read pile has been getting lately, I'd forgotten.
 

Ramoth's Rider

FemmeFatale Dragon of NFF
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
70
I think its a great book! It was one of the first AMC books i bought after previously reading at the library.
It was the start of a neverending love affair with the whole AMC back catalogue
 

Anthony G Williams

Greybeard
Joined
Apr 18, 2007
Messages
1,225
Location
UK
I've now re-read it and reviewed it on my SFF blog:

Anne McCaffrey is of course most famous for writing the award-winning Dragonflight (first published as a novel in 1968) and the long series of sequels which followed it, although she has also written or co-authored several other series. I reviewed Dragonflight on this blog in February 2009 and enjoyed it just as much then as I first had when reading it in 1970 - it is one of the great classics of SFF.

Restoree is that rare thing for this author, a stand-alone novel with no sequels. It appeared in 1967 and was her first complete novel to be published. I still have my 1970 copy on my shelf and recalled enjoying it so I proposed it as one of the monthly reads for the Classic Science Fiction discussion group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClassicScienceFiction/).

The story focuses on Sara, a capable but physically unattractive young woman who is suddenly snatched from Central Park in New York after glimpsing a vast aircraft looming overhead. What follows is so traumatic that it causes her to go into deep shock, from which she slowly recovers with only a general memory of unimaginable agony and horror. She finds herself in an isolated medical clinic, acting as a sort of robotic nurse to a man who is being kept drugged. She gradually realises that she is on an alien planet called Lothar, inhabited by humans. She has been taught enough of the language to follow simple instructions but, like the rest of the nurses, is regarded as a moron. What shocks her more than anything is that her appearance has been transformed - she is now beautiful.

She conceals her recovery and discovers that the man she is looking after, Harlan, is the Regent of the planet. She becomes convinced that those running the clinic are evil, so she surreptitiously sabotages the administration of Harlan's drugs and helps him to escape. The rest of the novel is concerned with countering a political plot to seize control of the government and also with facing up to the deadly threat of the Mil - a spacefaring alien race with a taste for flesh who had hunted the people of Lothar for millennia and who were also responsible for abducting Sara from Earth. During the course of all this, Harlan and Sara fall in love but there are complications, since the Lotharians have a visceral loathing for any captive of the Mil who has been physically restored to health - and Sara is a Restoree.

This is a generally straightforward, fast-paced adventure story but it has its darker aspects, especially the ambigious figure of Monsorlit, the surgeon who knows Sara's secret and keeps reappearing to threaten her. Some US readers may be put off by the fact that the novel seems to have been marketed in that country as a romance (with an appropriately embarrassing cover), but although the developing relationship between Sara and Harlan runs through the story, it is generally dealt with in an amusing way with few slushy moments. Sara is a resourceful and likeable heroine who proves well able to look after herself: in fact, the story was apparently motivated by the author's irritation about the subservient way in which women were usually portrayed in SF.

I enjoyed reading the story again after forty years but I have to admit that was in large part down to nostalgia as there are some issues with the background setting and general credibility by current standards; most obviously, how Lothar came to be populated by humans is blithely ignored. In mitigation, the story is told in the first person by Sara so we get her subjective viewpoint and, given the constant stress she was under, she had other things to think about. It is also worth recalling that this was written at much the same time as the original Star Trek TV series, in which many planets turned out to be inhabited by humans who thought and acted much as we do!

This is a lightweight tale not in the same league as Dragonflight, but it is still an enjoyable story if you can suspend disbelief sufficiently to overlook the flaws.
 

Vertigo

Mad Mountain Man
Supporter
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
7,901
Location
Scottish Highlands
Wow, now that's a blast from the past for me. I don't remember exactly when I read this but it was a long time ago!
 

Solstice

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
11
Location
Science-Fiction and Fantasy addicted Metalhead. Le
I have not read this book yet. But i have it on my shelves. I got it at a savings fair, for a price as ridiculously low as 25c. back in the latest half of the 90's. And, amazingly, it was an English version, not a Portuguese version.

I was reading both Dragonflight and Dragonquest, and also Dinosaur Planet by that time, and wanted to have as many stuff from Anne McCaffrey as i could. But i had so many things to read back then, that i ended up forgetting all about this book.

I'm hoping to be able to finally read it next Summer, then. The review got me curious.
 
Top