As so often recently, McCaffrey decks out a romance plot with science-fictional trappings, this time without the pseudo-medieval atmosphere of her best-selling ""Dragonriders of Pern"" series. The Rowan is a child orphaned by a disaster in a mining colony on Altair IV, and rescued when her mental-distress calls flood the telepathic spectrum. Her psychic talent makes her a valued asset to her planet, to be trained as one of the new telepathic elite inhuman society. We see her childhood and adolescence, watch her first experiences in love and adventure. Assigned to an important position on Callisto, she makes unexpected mental contact with a man named Jeff Raven, whose psychic powers are a match for her own. They fall instantly in love, fend off an invasion of insect-like aliens, marry, have children, and defeat a second invasion. The abrupt conclusion suggests that the author has sequels in mind. It is hard to imagine many readers wanting more of the same. A perfunctory effort by McCaffrey, with almost none of the magic that still occasionally surfaces in the ""Pern"" novels.