The Waters Rising Review

The Waters Rising, Tepper. NoYes. Tepper has for years been one of my old reliables: if she wrote it, I wanted to read it. Sure, it was preachy; sure, there was a bunch of justice ex machina required for her thesis not to fall completely apart; sure, her villains never really had any depth; but her writing was always solid, her stories held my interest, and her non-villan characters were usually well-drawn.
This time, though, while the writing was mechanically sound, and all the usually positive features were present, the book was lumbered with an astounding amount of exposition and explanation. There is a stretch, far enough into the book that the plot has at least picked up a little momentum, where there are ten consecutive pages of nothing but exposition and history. I thought for sure she was starting a multi-book series, with the amount of who’s descended from whom and centuries-ago political struggles recounted, but this was a stand-alone novel. So, between the tremendous volume of telling (not showing) and the eye-rolling quantities of the usual negative features, I would gladly have given this one a miss.
In the two weeks between composing this review and posting it, my feelings about the book haven’t changed, but I’ve found myself selectively remembering bits of the story that I enjoyed, so I have had to revise my recommendation, but not my review.