Reviews

Grass by Sheri S. Tepper

krayfuse's review against another edition

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4.0

After the disaster of KPS, I needed a cleanser. And I got one. Grass, by Sheri S. Tepper, is nothing less than an impressive and enthralling exercise in science fiction worldbuilding. From the very first page, Tepper has a way of painting an ethereal, disturbing picture- Something so beautiful you really can’t look away from, even though there’s a voice in the back of your head screaming for you to run. There’s a creeping anxiety underneath every line of prose, with a sense of worldbuilding clearly inspired by Dune- And with similarities to A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s almost as if I’ve accidentally stumbled across the spiritual mother of my favourite book series.


It’s a staunchly feminist book, confidently unsubtle with it’s themes and unafraid of displaying the crushing power dynamics in family and religion under which women struggle to feel understood and struggle to feel affection. Tepper’s exploration of these ideas aren’t novel in 2023, but in 1989 I can imagine they were bold for the science fiction audience- Composed almost entirely of men. Under that gaze, she becomes a bold author acting in defiance and carving a path into a male-dominated genre. Her skill at writing manages to engage in a sort of purple prose without ever feeling gratuitous.


I would wax on about this, but I think it makes for a far better reading unexplored. Though I will say that it grows weaker in the latter two thirds, but only because it’s first third is genuinely some of the best stuff I’ve read. I cannot emphasize how potent the subtle intricacies of fear are in this work, and as the mystery unravels the fear is replaced with genuine interest in how it all ends up.


For anybody who’s a fan of Dune, ASoIaF, or science-fiction in general, I consider this a must read.

ultan_library's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

nyarasha's review against another edition

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5.0

Such a pleasant read, start to finish. Interesting world-building, characterization, and character development. I fell into the world quickly, which hadn't happened to me in a while. Sheri hooked me in and kept pulling. Some interesting ideas were explored - nothing world-shattering, but I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent in the world.

mpclemens's review against another edition

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4.0

Very much a page-turner the first time through, with Tepper carefully withholding the secrets of the planet Grass and its occupants until absolutely necessary. The mystery of the world unfortunately is far more compelling those that lived upon it -- past and present. The main characters spend more time simply existing than growing, and although the universe she has created is rich and complex, the main characters are less so, finding their one note and holding it for the duration. Only when the plot and circumstances reach their utmost breaking point do people truly change.

jmoses's review against another edition

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3.0

This was...weird. I struggled to get through it, even though it was interesting. At the start, there was this wonderful feeling of a monster hiding in the dark, but it kind of....fell flat. I mean,
Spoilerthere *was* a monster, after all, but it felt anticlimactic.


The ending felt kind of rushed and disconnected from the rest of the story, as well. There was this pretty decent build up, and it just petered out. I liked it, but I'm not gonna read it again, or more in the series.

bookymcbookshelf's review against another edition

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adventurous dark mysterious
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

mosesp's review against another edition

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4.0

Starts off as awesome as Dune in the world-making department, but gets over-complicated by the end. The last hundred pages read like a screenplay, which is not a good thing. Would love to see her write more in this world.

lukre's review against another edition

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4.0

There are some issues here, especially towards the end, but man does Sheri have an awesome imagination. I LOVED the worldbuilding, the politics/religion interplay, the new species. All of it was really cool. And the book reads reall easily. It keeps you in suspense when it comes to the hunts and the animals and the plague. 
This book was "given" to me to read in a Secret Santa exchange, and all I can say is Great job, secret Santa! and I'll be checking out more of her works in the near future. That is for sure.

hank's review against another edition

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3.0

I am not sure why this was a miss for me. Somewhat the language Tepper used reminded me too much of 1950s lingo, somewhat it was the religious and aristocratic bad guy setups, bad enough that they irritated me, not bad enough that I cared. There were times that the book felt like a play with lots of overacting and others where it was flat and emotionless. All of that contributed to me not really getting into the book. I could definitely appreciate the world building and ulitmate resolution but the story did not grab me.

mastben11's review against another edition

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3.0

The ecological and religious focus of Herbert's Dune plus the human-alien sex and relations of Butler's Xenogenesis. Smart and interesting but not always a very believable world.