20 July 2010

The Waters Rising; Sheri S. Tepper

The Waters RisingThe Waters Rising by Sheri S. Tepper
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Initially, this book seems to be set in a different era, in a place that could possibly have been the world we know. There is little technology, clothing seems to be vaguely medieval, there's belief in curses and soul bearers, and there are dynastic issues regarding who rules what. I've never read a Tepper book before, and I truly enjoyed this side of it. The mentions of a Before Time and a Big Kill, of knowledge lost and waters rising were interesting, as was the adventure of getting from the Wold to Merhaven without attracting too much attention.

Xulai's meeting Abasio and finding (being found by?) Fisher start off the trek, and getting to know them and Precious Wind, Bear and the others was somewhat slow going but still interesting. Ditto the intrigue in the Abbey, and Alicia/Mirami/Old Man plotting regarding Norland.

Where the book lost me was the grinding halt that came as the backstory, one of suicide killers and nuclear weapons and sectarian hatreds and global warming, was introduced. Suddenly I felt as though I was reading another book entirely, as manipulated as Xulai was regarding the genetic manipulation and climate change issues. When the Sea King essentially says that the only way humans will be allowed to survive is as another species capable of less harm, my interest in the book's ending ended; the final "battle" with the Old Dark Man seemed tacked on. The two themes are (IMVHO) clumsily tied together, which lessens the whole

ARC provided by publisher.

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