Review: To Ride Pegasus by Anne McCaffrey

I like Anne McCaffrey’s works because of her straightforward, no-nonsense writing style, and To Ride Pegasus definitely met my expectations. The four short stories included in To Ride Pegasus are very fast-paced and driven by the storyline, and McCaffrey created clear-cut protagonists and antagonists that are very likable and hateable, respectively. This collection was a light, simple read that (presumably) sets the scene for the next few books of the series, and I was happy to not have experienced any angst and ALL THE FEELS moments.

Title: To Ride Pegasus
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Series: The Talent #1
Publication Date: August, 1973
Category: (Adult Fiction) Science Fiction

To Ride Pegasus is a collection of four short stories that take place during the installment of the North and East American Parapsychic Centers. In the first story, To Ride Pegasus, Henry Darrow, an astrologer, meets Molly Mahony, a nurse at the hospital where Henry landed after getting into a car accident. By chance (or destiny?), both of them happen to be aware that they have mind-based super powers, which could be detected by the hospital’s “Goosegg”, the latest high-tech super-sensitive EEG machine. They realize that there are probably other people in the world who have super powers too, so they set forth to establish the first Center for the Talented: the North American Parapsychic Center. A Womanly Talent moves forward in time as Daffyd (Dave) op Owen, the director of the now-established East American Parapsychic Center, tries to get a bill passed in order to get professional immunity for Talents registered with the Center. The last two stories, Apple and A Bridle for Pegasus, continue with Dave’s excursions and the new Talents he finds.

I was seriously captivated from page one – To Ride Pegasus hits the ground running and starts right at Henry’s car accident, and the quick pace continues throughout the book. The only thing that felt a bit rushed (or maybe brushed aside) is the romance, but I was too busy reading an action-packed sci-fi book, you know? Each of the four stories centers around a particular goal or problem; if I had to draw a plot diagram, I’d draw four little mountains because these stories have proper action, climax, and resolution components, with none of that cliffhanger stuff.

From the reader’s point of view, the characters in all four stories are very much interpreted by their actions. The third-person is kind of like watching a movie in that I can’t get into Henry or Molly or Dave’s head… but even though there’s not a whole lot of introspection on the characters’ parts, I still ended up having feelings (of like or dislike) for all the characters because they’re simple to understand and easy to categorize as good or evil.

The concepts used throughout To Ride Pegasus were also interesting and predictably science-fiction-esque, from the Goosegg to the symbol of Pegasus for the Talented. I enjoyed the whole premise of mind-based powers, the formation of a society, and the realistic backlash from the unTalented; I think anything with that premise will bring out the super-power rebel in all of us!

“The Talented form their own society and that’s as it should be: birds of a feather. No, not birds. Winged horses! Ha! Yes, indeed. Pegasus . . . the poetic winged horse of flights of fancy. A bloody good symbol for us. You’d see a lot from the back of a winged horse . . .”

If you don’t want to invest too much emotion into a book and are in the mood for fast-paced stories and #romancewhatromance science-fiction, you should give To Ride Pegasus a try! If you’ve ever dreamed of having useful telepathic powers (like I have, when I squirrel-watch), this book has it all!


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