My rating: 5 of 5 stars
So, when I found _The Waters Rising_ and read it, and was a little surprised at how light it was for a Tepper book…? Having found out that I somehow missed a book by her (AAAAAHHH!) that came out a year or so previously, and snagged a copy of it… heck. My brain is tired after just reading this, of COURSE she’d want to write something lighter afterwards!
I will tell you that I was a little worried at first, because I tend to shy away from books that come with a who’s-who list at the front — I figure that if you can’t write characters differently, you shouldn’t be writing so many characters. But that is something that is integral to this book, having seven main characters who are all very similar; and while I found myself flipping back and forth often from the chapter I was reading to the list of who everyone is and where they’re supposed to be, it didn’t detract overall from the pace of the novel. The pace, by the way, is a little uneven. I was sucked into the first chapter but found my interest waining about half-way through; but when there was about a quarter of the book left I was excited to reach the end (and not just so that it WOULD end; I genuinely wanted to see where Tepper was going).
Like Tepper’s other works, this one relies heavily on the damage we are doing to our planet being spelled out to us in allegory – sort of like an Aesop’s Fables but with alien races instead of animals. Well, sometimes with animals. This doesn’t make it bad, and doesn’t make it redundant, if you like Tepper’s writing already. I wouldn’t necessarily start with this book, though, and if you’ve found other things by her to beat you with the stick of overpopulation and pollution, I might stay away from this one. But personally I am prone to liking her style, and don’t find using the same themes again in other books as redundant as others may.