I though Jaxom had the personality and mannerisms of a 12 year old, and I thought he was that age, until later on with the fieldgirl. So he is in his late teens, early twenties? I had the impression on Pern that most people grow up and mature rapidly because of the constant threat of Thread. The groaniest, whinest boy gets the smartest dragon of all Pern? I will give him credit for trying to do the right thing without the glory.
Ruth as a dragon was very interesting, and was set apart from the other dragons, who all seem to be very similar in their thoughts and attitudes. I wonder what this will mean for the small eggs in the future? Will they be broken open to be hatched?
I liked the appearance of Menolly, who I thought seemed completely different from the Harper Halls books. And the romantic interest with Robinton? I got kind of weird thoughts thinking about how Menolly came into maturity around a lot of older men and few women. She seemed a lot more forceful and facetious.
The book lost some focus after the plot with the Oldtimers was resolved. The ending was really, really intriguing and I wish they would have explored this more, instead of leading a cliffhanger for the next book.