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Singer from the Sea
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Singer from the Sea

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,363 ratings  ·  46 reviews
A good and proper aristocrat on the isolated, seemingly backward planet of Haven, Genevieve has been carefully instructed in the Covenants -- the ancient, inflexible laws governing the women of her class. She knows what is expected of her: marriage in her mid-twenties to a groom of her father's choosing, childbirth at age thirty. And then soon afterwards -- as has been the...more
ebook, 544 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,061)
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Melissa
A fairly conventional sci-fi story of a colony world seeking to save itself and redeem its inhabitants. Haven is an interesting world, earth-like enough to attract sympathy and foreign enough to be mysterious. There are some entertaining characters, too, though mostly they fall into typical categories - lonely heroine, selfish bastard father, corrupt politicians, kooky minor characters who keep the plot going forward. While I enjoy considering the philosophical questions these types of stories r...more
hurtstotouchfire
Ms. Tepper is starting to repeat herself, but I couldn't possibly care. Her bizarre, post-apocalyptic feminism is my lullaby.
Tracy
I read this book last summer, at the beginning of June. I felt I deserved a moment's rest, and I wanted to return to some of Tepper's novels.
This book was much better than many of her works.
It takes the same form I'd seen in Grass and Gate to Women's Country. It's a science fiction novel and yet it is a mystery. The setting is the distant future on a world surrounded by water, and a mystery drives the action and the characters.
One of the reasons why I like to read Tepper is that she challenges...more
Althea Ann
The classic horror tale, "Good Lady Ducayne" meets "Whale Rider." On an alien planet.
Yep, that about sums it up!

This was a re-read - I couldn't remember if I'd read it before, but it'd been long enough that it was still very enjoyable. This is Sheri Tepper, so, as one might expect, planets have sentient spirits, women are oppressed in creepy and disturbing ways by evil and powerful men, and a heroine fights for social justice and the environment.

If you enjoy stories that have vampires and mermai...more
Brigid
Jul 25, 2007 Brigid rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: eco-feminists
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
I enjoyed this one, especially the first parts. The end is a little tidy, but I sympathize with where she's coming from. Julie, you may find this one annoying, at least as it progresses. But before that, there's a fair amount of mystery - what exactly is happening to the women in this icky patriarchal system? you know it's something sordid, but it's creepy as you wait to find out exactly what.
Lindig
Very very clever, as is usual with Tepper's books. Also, too long and too languid in its pacing, which is why I got bored waiting for something to happen, started dipping around, got the idea, read the last two chapters, and closed the book.
Mary Frances
A good enough read, but Tepper's books have not really evolved as feminist sci-fi should have evolved. I hadn't read her in some years and found this book far too,similar to her other books. I still consider The Gate to Women's Country an excellent book, and this one cannot compare. I will probably not revisit her work again. This book was too much a blend of Atwood's classic The Handmaid's Tale and Card's Speaker for the Dead with a dose of Octavia Butler- old school feminism and unreal genetic...more
MB
Reread 9/23/13: I really enjoy the ocean element in this book and kind of wish Teller had included more of Haven's future.
Noel Fagerhaugh
Sep 26, 2008 Noel Fagerhaugh rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Tepper
Recommended to Noel by: Daniel
Again, not asgood as Grass, but better than Raising the Stones.
C.
This was a bit of a disappointment, because Tepper has written two genuinely good books: Beauty, which has a real spark of originality, and The Gate to Women's Country, which is actually tremendously interesting. Singer from the Sea isn't a bad book, but it lacks anything special.

Mostly, it reminded me of Grass, which is another of Tepper's not-so-good books. An interesting, fairly well-conceived world, with some big unsolved mystery that literally makes the world go around. This was worse writt...more
Richard
The Adobe e-Pub e-book version of this Science Fiction novel is rife with editing errors. The most common are the words "Ufe" and "Uves" instead of the words "life" and "lives." This indicates to me that the book was carelessly transcribed from longhand, or (more likely) that it was copied using a scanner and an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system, and then not subsequently proof-read. In addition, there are a few spelling errors. Almost 100 editing errors were noted, and they greatly det...more
Connie
Good news! I read a book during the semester. Bad news--it was this one.

I was having a hard time starting a book, and so decided I was just going to pick something off my shelf and read it. Period. This had been sitting on my shelf for (literally) about 10 years, so I decided to finally give it a go.

Turns out that a) the kinds of books that I bought 10 years ago are (unsurprisingly) not quite the same things that I would buy today, and b) I also read it 10 years ago, and it was unmemorable enoug...more
Naomi
A friend gave me a bunch of her epub files and this was one of the books. I had never heard of Sheri Tepper and so came to the book with little or no expectations. This book had a really slow start but something in it kept me reading, despite not really being engaged for the first few chapters. Eventually though it started to really interest me. Tepper's development of the idea of how a society develops, how ideals become corrupted and a few wrestle power was well portrayed. The language used an...more
Marjorie
While this book was not as good as Grass or The Companions, it did have a strong, dark-skinned female protagonist. Science fiction and fantasy novels with intelligent women who have opinions and speak their mind--Tepper's Genevieve calls it "spouting"--are what made me into the reader and writer I am today.

I began with books like the Ordinary Princess and Changeling and later progressed to Madeline L'Engle's novels and The Dragonriders of Pern, eventually arriving at the Avalon series by Marion...more
Kathleen Lamb
Great concept, well constructed world but the characters were boring (what's with the endless, pointless drivel about Genevieve and Aufors love affair) and the story moved too slowly to be satisfying.
Isabel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carla
probably my favorite of Tepper's ecofeminist works by far.
Erica
I read most of the book while staying in an isolated guesthouse while hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge. I left it there in the hope that it will relive someones boredom - there is absolutely nothing to do in the evening as it is so quiet out of season.

I enjoyed the story. It is kind like a mix of Jane Austin and a medieval fantasy story. I did get sucked into the story and liked the characters. Don't want to give anything away but didn't like how the 'issue' was resolved - mystical powers seem like a...more
Delicious Strawberry
This was the second Tepper book I read, and it remains in my head as one of her more solid achievements. The story is engaging and like in all of her other books, there are commentaries on religion, society, and what not (which is not surprising to a Tepper fan) but I like this one best, along with Sideshow and Fresco. This book has a more coherent plot and style, and while not without its plot twists, made more sense than some of her other work like 'Gibbon's Decline and Fall' and 'The Visitor'...more
Brian Palmer
I enjoyed this quite a bit once I got into it. It felt like a cover of _Snow Queen_ by Joan D Vinge -- more focus on Maori myths, and a somewhat cartoonish patriarchy aimed at keeping the current political system intact and cut off from the broader galaxy of worlds. It has more mystical elements, but made sure most of it stayed within science fiction's bounds, for readers who prefer a distinction between fantasy and science fiction.
Amanda
Right up there with Tepper's best. She hits all themes she's known for in a story that's intriguing and exciting. One of the things that I particularly like about Sheri Tepper is that she doesn't feel like she needs to overexplain or baby you through understanding the society/worldview of her worlds. She starts telling a great story and lets you pick up the threads and make the connections yourself.
Rachel
I've read a few books by Tepper and aside from Gate to Women's Country, I don't think they're particularly great. They start out *wonderfully*. Decent mystery, great characters, well-developed world, etc. Then it just falls and the last third of the book is exposition and the characters are suddenly whiny and irritating. It's almost as though Tepper is getting as annoyed by the book as I am.
Dana King
I almost didn't make it through this one. Mostly it was tedious and lived "down" to my idea about what bad ecofeminist writing would be like. Some of the ideas might have made a good children's book. Every once in a while there was a line or an idea that was interesting enough to keep me from quitting. Sometimes I get what I pay for when I buy a 99 cent book.
Amy
I had a difficult time connecting to this book, and in general it has a feeling of distance between the characters. I could not feel much emotion between Genevieve and Aufors, and I was not fond of the author's method of explaining other worlds by randomly throwing in a chapter that felt very disconnected from the rest of the story.
Kate
Oct 17, 2008 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who think they won't like sci-fi
Shelves: book-club
Not being a fan of sci-fi, I actually enjoyed this book very much. The story was entertaining, the characters were interesting, even though it was somewhat predictable. The ending was a little weird and left one with more questions than answers, but at the same time it felt as though it went on longer than it should have.
MotherMagic
I think the cover and title of this book originally attracted me (shamelessly judging a book by it's cover, I guess!)... and thought it is a complex and deliberate read, it's one of those that settled deeply into my bones and has gone down as one of my favorite novels, making Tepper a favorite author with ecofeminist overtones.
Kendra
This author continues to amaze me. Her books for some reason are hard for me to just pick up, but once I do and get in to them, they pack a serious punch, and I devour them. Excellent thinkers, and poignant to our times. I definitely agree with the ecological-feminist comments I've read by others.
Jessica
Women oppressed by religion and men; woman who is "not like the others" saves the planet. Pretty much like every other plot she writes.

Her world-building is wonderful, as usual, though.

Not sure she noticed, but she re-used pretty much the exact same plot in "The Waters Rising"
Derek (Guilty of thoughtcrime)
Everything you expect from Tepper - a smattering of science, a little mysticism, some cultural appropriation, and rebellion against patriarchal societies. As always it's well written, and intended to make you think about our relationships to each other and to our planet.
Michelle
I almost always enjoy Tepper's books and this was no exception. She came up with another interesting world and culture with a good female lead. The plot was intriguing and this is definitely one I will read again.
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20560
Sheri Stewart Tepper is a prolific American author of science fiction, horror and mystery novels; she is particularly known as a feminist science fiction writer, often with an ecofeminist slant.

Born near Littleton, Colorado, for most of her career (1962-1986) she worked for Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, where she eventually became Executive Director. She has two children and is married to Gen...more
More about Sheri S. Tepper...
The Gate to Women's Country Grass (Arbai, #1) Beauty The Family Tree Raising the Stones

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