There are a few things all truly great Science Fiction novels have in common:
— First, they have a unique world populated with remarkable characters. It must be different from our own but with enough parallels that you could imagine us eventually getting there.
— Second, they have an intriguing storyline, something that grabs you and quickly carries you through the story.
— Third, and this is the toughest one to do well, they leave a commentary on the state of our world without necessarily drawing attention to it. Whether it be politics, humanity, nature, etc, there’s always a message subtly drafted and hidden in great sci-fi works.
Rising Tide, by T.L. Zalecki, succeeds in all three areas. I expected this to be a typical YA novel, full of icing and cake but without a lot of meat. Instead, there is a depth to this work that completely caught off guard. We enter a world where the ocean levels have risen to cover over 90% of the earth’s topography, where a corporation is the new world government and where religion is the feel-good sentiments of a MLM scheme.
I loved the idea of this erbium drug that is a cure-all, yet the masses are unable to ever receive any. So much in this story mirrors what really goes on in our world yet is hidden behind a well placed curtain. The world of these Sirens was equally as interesting as was the dynamic of the relationships between our cast of characters.
A great start to a new series, this is one I’d definitely recommend. Looking forward to the sequel.