"A sci-fi retelling of the Cinderella tale"
Her older stepsister Rashel, who cares nothing about
her except to insure she does not get in her way, raises (a
loose verb for Cinderella-like slavery) Disme Latimer
following the strange deaths of family members. As Rashel
becomes conservator of a renowned Museum, Disme finds a
book written by an ancestor that explains the "magic" that
followed the asteroid catastrophe that destroyed the
planet. The book hints that her distant relative Nell,
author of the tome, still miraculously lives.
Disme knows she must hide this book from Rashel who
would turn her and her book in to the authorities to
further her own career. The youth begins to learn the
ancient magic. If the government finds out what she is
doing, they would "bottle" her away and her relative would
gladly turn her in. However, THE VISITOR who caused the
pandemic destruction in the long ago twenty-first century
is apparently returning. The world needs a hero, but could
that person be a so young, too frightened, and clearly all
alone female hiding her activities from her guardian?
THE VISITOR is science fiction at its bleakest best as
Sheri S. Tepper paints a dark panorama of a distant future
filled with repression and gloom. The story line is as
complex and furnished with intelligent concepts as much as
any genre novel contains yet THE VISITOR is also loaded
with action and deeply drawn characters. As Zager and
Evans break into song, readers will agree that Ms. Tepper
has written a tale that will be on everyone's short list as
a candidate for the genre's book of the year.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 4, 2002