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Fish Tails: A Novel (Plague of Angels series Book 3) Kindle Edition

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Length: 721 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


“Tepper’s themes and messages are cutting, but the anger and sorrow embedded in them are delivered by the author’s enduringly optimistic humanism. This is mastery of science-fiction storytelling that could only be the result of honing over a lifetime.” (Booklist on FISH TAILS)

“One of sf’s most distinctive voices.” (Locus on Sheri S. Tepper)

“Sheri S. Tepper takes the mental risks that are the lifeblood of science fiction and all imaginative fiction.” (Ursula K. Le Guin on Sheri S. Tepper)

“Her novels are the old-fashioned kind, despite their futuristic settings; the kind that wrap you in their embrace, that take over your life, that make the world disappear.” (Village Voice Literary Supplement on Sheri S. Tepper)

“This lyrical, beautifully written novel transcends the sum of its parts to become a parable of survival and hope in hopeless times.” (The Guardian on THE WATERS RISING)

“Tepper balances pointed criticisms of our era with a calamity that appears to owe far more to Genesis than to science...the writing is slick and crafeully crafted, Xulai has plenty of pluck, and her companions possess a nearly ideal mixture of virtues, flaws, and enthusiasm for redemptive sacrifice.” (Publishers Weekly on THE WATERS RISING)

“The Waters Rising delivers a strong, complex story that poses tough questions and demands a new look at the possibilities of the future.” (Wichita Eagle on THE WATERS RISING)

“Tepper has developed a dependable following with works that have an epic fantasy feel but that ultimately reveal logically consistent scientific trappings. This work is no exception, a successful blend of dying-earth fantasy and wicked-witch fable.” (Booklist on THE WATERS RISING)

“The Waters Rising stands as a thoughtful allegory for environmentalism.” (Iron Mountain Daily News on THE WATERS RISING)

“Tepper . . . excell[s] at world-building and at creating strong and independent characters.” (Publishers Weekly on Sheri S. Tepper)

From the Back Cover

In her thirty-fifth novel—a majestic epic rich with beauty and wonder—science fiction legend Sheri S. Tepper boldly weaves together the storylines of eleven of her previous works, from King's Blood Four (1983) to The Waters Rising (2010).

In Fish Tails, two of Tepper's beloved characters—Abasio the Dyer and his royal wife, Xulai—are traveling through the scattered villages of the sparsely populated land of Tingawa. Accompanied by their young children, they seek to warn everyone of the dire ecological changes that will alter their lives and those of their children for generations to come.

The waters are rising, and will eventually inundate their world. Many of those born in the coming century will resemble their son and daughter—sea children who can live without land. Abasio and Xulai hope to find others interested in adopting their sea-dwelling lifestyle. Because before too long, there will be no other choice. A grand summation of a long and illustrious career, Fish Tails displays the extraordinary powers of invention of one of the great voices in contemporary science fiction. Sweeping in scope and vision, full of insights for our own time, it is a masterpiece of imagination, the capstone to a marvelous oeuvre.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2322 KB
  • Print Length: 721 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1473211042
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; Reprint edition (October 21, 2014)
  • Publication Date: October 21, 2014
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,590 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By DanniiM on October 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What a curious mix of emotions.

Where to start with Sheri S. Tepper? As a novelist she’s been around since 1983, when her first book in the True Game series was published. Before creating multiple stories set in one universe was a “thing”, Ms. Tepper was doing it. From “The True Game”, to “Grass” - she crafted tales that stood on their own yet all existed together.

(Interestingly, “The True Game” wasn’t the first book she submitted for publication - the publisher had received and liked her first novel “The Revenants”, but felt it was too confusing for a debut author to lead with. They asked her to write something for the young adult audience at the time which is how we ended up meeting Peter, Jinian, Silkhands the Healer and Mavin Manyshaped.)

Which brings us back to “Fish Tails”; at times I found myself laughing, out loud. Actual laughter.
All at the delight of the absurdity of Ms. Tepper’s storytelling - and then my face was wet with just a few tears as I remembered this is our last outing together. Knowing she’s said this is her last book I’ve both enjoyed at how fast the story moved and sorrowed at how quickly the time passed.

“Fish Tails” picks up at the end of her career while taking us right back to the beginning. Her last cycle of books - “A Plague of Angels”, “The Waters Rising”, and “Fish Tails” loop back into the worlds introduced in the True Game series. (“The True Game”, “The Chronicles of Mavin Manyshaped", “The End of The Game” - The 3 omnibus editions each consisting of 3 books apiece).

Ms. Tepper knows how to write the growing discomfiture of menace; things unseen making their silent arrival. (Her horror books are worth searching out if you enjoy a good scare.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mig Bardsley on January 2, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Hard to rate this one - I would have given it 2 stars except that there's a lot of it I liked. Okay isn't quite right either - parts are as wildly and wonderfully imaginative as anything else Ms Tepper has written and other parts are pedestrian and badly structured.
Over many years, Sheri Tepper has created a universe peopled with a rich and varied cast of characters and races and a fabulous backdrop of worlds and planets illustrating her feminist and conservationist themes with a good deal of humour, compassion and outrage. And she has written a load of great stories with marvellously inventive twists and ideas.
I gather from other reviewers that this is to be her last book and it's a shame that the editing lets it down so badly. Twice I came across whole passages that had been repeated and, more often than that, occasions where people made discoveries or came to understandings that they had already discovered or understood earlier in the book.
I agree with other reviewers that in places there was more repetitious detail than was needed and I felt that the ending was blatantly contrived and fell somewhat flat. The tidying up of plot and characters was a crude and it was very disappointing to have the wonderful character of Mavin Manyshaped (from some much earlier novels) reduced to a strained plot device and a hasty tidying away to some other part of the planet.
Abasio and Xulai somehow never came to life in this book, for me. They seemed tired and jaded and indeed, often said they were. I'm afraid I felt that Ms Tepper felt a bit like that herself when she wrote the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl on February 19, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoy Sherri Tepper stories. Her writing is thought provoking . Unfortunately this book does not appear to have been proof read or edited adequately.

The beginning of Fish Tails is particularly difficult as whole passages are repeated. Throughout this book there are mispellings, references to characters comments when those characters are not present, and unneeded repetition. The story does become more interesting and more like I would expect from Ms Tepper ,but it does not live up to her other books.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marcia Bolton on October 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sheri you have broken my heart.. I have been a devout reader for many years and some of yours are among the few that I re-read. But this one !!!!!! Page after page of boring rants against religion (here you are "singing to the choir") One of my favorite of your themes is the strength of women , but here it is just a rehash - nothing new at all. And the men !!!! To be honest I could not finish it - I was so angered by the simple badness of it that I sent it to the cloud - never to be seen by my eyes again - Think I will go re-read Six Moon Dance...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Fish Tails by Sheri S. Tepper is a highly recommended fantasy novel with a message - alongside notable world building and character development.

Fish Tails, the official third book in The Plague of Angels series, continues several storylines and brings back numerous characters found in many of Tepper's previous novels. Specifically this time the main focus is on Abasio and Xulai and their aquatic enabled children (think merbabies). The earth will be flooded soon and become a water planet. Abasio and Xulai's twins, a boy and girl, Bailai and Gailai, have gills, fins, and a tail for legs. They can breathe air and water - in otherwords they are the hope for the future of the human race after the aquatic apocalypse. There is a way for others to have their future children resemble the twins, thus ensuring the continuation of their bloodlines.

The problem is that Abasio and Xulai need to be careful and cautious when approaching others about the future water-world because there are sects that oppose any alteration of the body (and we are talking alterations as minor as pierced ears, let alone having children resemble merbabies.) Adding to their complications, they end up having two other children traveling with them. And then there is the griffen problem...

Most of this novel seems to be a road novel and consists of the main characters traveling and encountering problems as well as supportive people along the way. Tepper does a good job in her world building and descriptions of various despicable and misogynistic groups they encounter. There are talking animals, creatures that were made by surviving, misguided humans after the Big Kill, and a host of ignorant, unworthy bad guys.
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