A gateway drug for girls?

The Rowan by Anne McCaffreyThe Rowan by Anne McCaffrey is the first of my keeper recommendations. It was the first novel I ever read that I could not put down. I read it straight through cover to cover. I do that fairly often these days, but at the time it was an event that rocked my world. I once heard a male sci-fi author call McCaffrey’s books a gateway drug for getting girls into sci-fi, but for me this book clued me in on what was missing from the sci-fi books I’d already been reading—romance. The Rowan catapulted to the top of my all time favorites list and here’s why….

What I love about the heroine:

Rowan is a lonely young woman, with incredible psychic gifts, who takes herself too seriously at times. Doesn’t sound like heroine material right? But it makes her very relatable. Trust me on this. She also has courage, always manages to rise above events, and steps up to the plate to save the world and her hero.

What I love about the hero:

Jeff Raven is a mystery man who calls out to his heroine across space. He matches her for psychic abilities and courage with a touch of charming arrogance added in. Besides, he is struggling desperately to save his people, what could be more heroic?

Other cool stuff I like about this story:

The psychics in this book are charged with making space travel happen. They push cargo and passenger vessels through space with their minds. Cool!

Sensuality level: Sensual

Genre: SciFi with strong romance elements

Primary format: Print

Publication date: 1990

If you haven’t read this one yet, I recommend giving it a try. If you’ve already found this gem, what was your favorite thing about it?

18 thoughts on “A gateway drug for girls?

  1. Wow. I haven’t read The Rowan yet, probably because I can’t get it on my Kindle. 😦 But it sounds like I might just have to break down and buy the paperback.

    Thanks for the great recommendation!

  2. Hi Mary! You should also be able to find this one at the library. Libraries seem to like McCaffrey, though her Dragon Riders of Pern is the more popular series. Did I forget to mention this book launched a series about the Raven family. All great stuff. Oooh, also forgot to mention the psychic cats. They don’t talk or anything cheesy, but they add lots of fun.

  3. Charlie,

    I’ve had several friends recommend McCaffrey to me. The only sci-fi I’ve read is Katherine Allred’s work, and she’d probably tell me to go read McCaffrey next. LOL. I might have to look into this amazingly popular author.

  4. Excellent blog post! You’ve captured my attention and described The Rowan in such a way that even I’d want to read it! LOL You may turn me into a Sci-Fi reader, yet. 🙂

  5. I’ve never read any Anne McCaffrey books, but after reading your recommendation, I may have to give The Rowan a try. Sounds like a good book.


  6. Love this Charlie! Great format for a review – I’m tempted to stick my toe in the sci-fi water…. after I get through my own ms.

    I’m adding you to my favorites!


    • I’ve got a week of reccomendations planned, with book from all parts of the scifi-romance spectrum. Maybe something will grab you. Thanks for making the blog a favorite!

  7. I love to read what people’s all-time favorite genre books are! So fun. You did a great job of explaining why you like this one, Charlie. My favorite romance novel is Once and Always by Judith McNaught.

    • I love Judith McNaught. Both her historicals and her contemporaries. I haven’t seen as many books from her lately. Am I just missing her or is she publishing less?

  8. Charlie,

    Thanks so much for starting this blog. I love classic SF, and I’m looking forward to learning about new books, especially those that have HEA romances. As for Anne McCaffrey, my absolute favorite is ‘The Ship Who Sang’.

    • The Ship Who Sang is a great McCaffrey book. I also highly reccomend The Powers That Be and the Petaybee series. Great love story.

      Glad you found the blog!

  9. This was one Anne McCaffrey book that I never finished. And now, I can no longer remember why. I think I couldn’t connect to the Rowan. Maybe I need to try it again; I’ve finished every other McCaffrey book I’ve ever tried.

    • Hi Tia!

      The book does follow her through her early life when she is very isolated and struggling. That sort of pacing might have put you off before the cool stuff kicked in.

      What was your favorite of hers?

  10. I loved The Rowan, but I must have loaned it out because there’s a gap between my Madeline L’Engles and my Lord of the Rings originals. I loved her psychic powers, and like you, this book hardwired me into sci-fi even more than McCaffery’s Pern books.

  11. Hm, am I the only guy posting in here? :uhoh:

    I have to admit I like The Rowan along with the entire Tower series. My favorites are probably the ones focusing on Damia’s children. I like how McCaffrey tells a good scifi story without overdoing the romance elements. Definitely a good series. 🙂

    • Guys are welcome here so long as you like SciFi and smart girls!

      Damia’s story is also one of my favorites. Anne McCaffrey is an amazing master of the craft.

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