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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Singer from the Sea by Sheri S. Tepper. New York : Avon Eos, 1999. ISBN: 0380974800

Sheri Tepper is a science fiction author well worth reading. All of her books that I've read, and that's quite a few, have definitely been rewarding. She has exceptional vision that produces truly unique ideas, infused with a strong element of feminism of the best kind. By which I mean that her major characters are strong women, and that the concerns of women are generally central to the story.

The settings and worlds she creates for her stories are intriguing, and draw you in, making you eager to learn more about them. In this case, a map of the world, placed opposite the first page of the text, with its two small continents surrounded by a much vaster ocean, practically does the trick all by itself.

In this book, the plot is too complicated for easy outlining, but suffice it to say that it is strongly ecological in nature (pun intended). It involves the notion of a rare life-prolonging drug obtained through truly horrific means, and doled out to the planetary elite, all men, while a sisterhood of women with secret knowledge passed down from mother to daughter work to discover and expose the evil of the rulers.

My only disappointment in the book was the ending. All of the business about world spirits, and a Polynesian connection were really unnecessary, and, in my opinion, actually detracted from the book's strong overall plot.

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