The Rowan

Written by:
Anne McCaffrey
Narrated by:
Jean Reed Bahle

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
January 2007
9 hours 50 minutes
Told in the timeless style of Anne McCaffrey, The Rowan is the first installment in a wonderful trilogy. This is sci-fi at its best: a contemporary love story as well as an engrossing view of our world in the future.

The kinetically gifted, trained in mind/machine gestalt, are the most valued citizens of the Nine Star League. Using mental powers alone, these few Prime Talents transport ships, cargo and people between Earth's Moon, Mars' Demos and Jupiter's Callisto.

An orphaned young girl, simply called The Rowan, is discovered to have superior telepathic potential and is trained to become Prime Talent on Callisto. After years of self-sacrificing dedication to her position, The Rowan intercepts an urgent mental call from Jeff Raven, a young Prime Talent on distant Deneb. She convinces the other Primes to merge their powers with hers to help fight off an attack by invading aliens. Her growing relationship with Jeff gives her the courage to break her status-imposed isolation, and choose the more rewarding world of love and family.

Horrible narration couldn't get into the story, stopped listening after about 10 minutes.

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Bunty Ong

Good. Very futuristic. Narration is good. Like Mercedes Lackey's books.

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Riley W.

Most of this book is bad. Some of it is good, some of it is even great, but most of it is bad. The plot is built up and then done away with until the very end of the book. Much of this story supposedly about god-like powers, an interstellar human society, and conflict of a scale and style never before seen is really just a niche office drama and not even an especially dramatic one most of the time. Character development is disregarded after the first part, conflicts are trivial or nonexistent, and McAffrey makes a sudden attempt at the very end to undo the damage she's done that ultimately comes off as out of place and half baked. All that said, the parts of this book that really shine make me hopeful for the quality of this author's other work, further supported by the reviews I've read explicitly stating that her general body of work is quite good and this is an outlier. I'll be listening to more McAffrey in the future, and I expect I'll enjoy it next time. The narrator is good, if hard at times to discern which character she's speaking for. I like how they pronounce "leviathan."

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Sarah H

Love Anne McCaffrey and have read, reread and listened to everything she wrote. The narrator however is a real challenge to deal with. Strident and punching out those adverbs in a way that drags me out of the story. Also the super cheesy way of making the mental voices echo is not good.

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Horrible sounding narration. Very robotic and nasal. Not a pleasant noise.

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