Throughout most of this book, I thought it was great.
The milieu is an innovative and effective blend of post-apocalypse, straight-out horror, and science fiction. It's a complicated world, and Tepper does an amazing job of showing-not-telling, revealing elements of the situation she's created gradually...
The protagonist, Disme, is shown to progress from her repressed situation where she is terrorized by her stepmother and her even-worse stepsister, gradually finding the ability to express her identity and to seek out the truth about her society...
And her current society (strongly influenced by religious fanatics after a disastrous asteroid collision with Earth) is very effectively realized, in a way that reflects upon our world today...
However, as the book progresses, the supernatural elements become more pronounced, in a way that, for me, compromised the internal believability of the story...
And then, at the very end, AAGH! What happened? It was like Tepper suddenly doubted herself, and said, "Wait! I bet my readers won't GET what I've been writing about for the last 400 pages! I'd better spell it all out!" And suddenly we get a long, boring dialogue with god. Yikes. It's an ending that's both pedantic and absurd. Very disappointing - because the first part of the book really is excellent (and disturbing!).
I did like this book. I found myself reading it while stirring a pot on the stove, and "rescheduling" a trip to town so that I could stay at home with the book.
The "bad guys" were really icky. The author was a little preachy toward the end (though I've read other reviews that indicate this is normal for her).
There was a lot of build up, the book was engrossing, but it seemed like the good vs. evil battle was tied up a little too easily and neatly. The whole denouement didn't take nearly as many pages as I would have expected.
This was a good twist on a post catastrophic/apocalyptic America. Very different than other post-apocalyptic books that I have read. I liked the mix of superstition/mysticism and technology. The characters were likable, and I related to quite a few of them.
I was, however, slightly disappointed by the ending. The book fell apart, for me, at the end. I thought there would be some really exciting revelations, something huge. But ... it was just some pseudo-spiritual/alien explanation. Which I didn't like. I was hoping for something else ... not sure what, lol, but something grander. Bigger. Even more adventurous. Also, I'd like to have known more detail about the beings on earth, as well as those communing with humans from beyond earth.
Still, it was a very good read. I read it in less than 2 days, and I'd recommend it to others.
Really interesting world here. Quick read, engaging. Spine creases but very good shape.
Another enjoyable story from Tepper. Her views on feminism, organized religion and the differences between the sexes have always intrigued me.
One of the great science fiction writers.
Centuries after asteroid crashes onto the earth and causes massive destruction and eventually the rule of a repressive order, Disme Latimer seeks to lead her people out of darkness.
This was my first by this author, and I will be looking for more by her. Beautifully written.