After all the exciting things happen--after the settlers land on Pern, and are nearly destroyed by Thread, and discover dragons, and set up Weyrs and Holds and Halls, all the while devolving into a sexist&rigidly hierarchal medieval society, and eventually Jaxom bonds with Ruth, and Menolly finds her firelizards and transforms Harpers, and they rediscover their computer and figure out how to end Thread-fall once and for all, and all manner of social changes start being forced through--after all that, this incredibly prosaic, boring little story takes place.
A number of people realize (practically simultaneously) that the "shipfish" of Pern are actually dolphins who travelled from Earth with the first settlers. They were engineered to have human speech and increased intellects, and even generations after humans stopped remembering them, they still remember humans. They're thrilled to have contact with humans again. One boy, Readis, runs away from home to form a Dolphin Hall. Meanwhile, a Holder is plotting to settle the Southern Continent against the Weyr-leaders' advice. And there's a big storm that doesn't actually do anything. That's pretty much it! Even famous characters like Leesa, Menolly, Mirrim or Jaxom are colorless and personality-free here.
This was easily the most boring Pern book I have ever read in my life. I would much rather read another book about the brave-flame-haired-fiesty-girl fighting against sexist-evil-old-dude and psychically bonding with a dragon; as trite and wish-fullfillment-y as that is, at least there's something there
. This was just empty of all inspiration, emotion, plot, or character.