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Reviewed by J. Aislynn d'Merricksson for Readers' Favorite
Katy Haye’s Rising Tides tells the story of Liberty 'Libby’ Marchmont, a citizen of City, one of the last bastions of known humanity in a flooded world. City floats atop the sea, cobbled together from remnants of the Time Before. Libby’s dad is City’s doctor, and she is training to follow in his footsteps. Things go sideways for Libby when a stranger from the Wastes, a reamer named Cosimo, shows up on their doorstep, requesting a specialised procedure requiring a licence to have performed. This procedure is something Liberty’s dad excels at - the making of a nautilus man by placing implants to function like gills when they go underwater. Following this illicit procedure, Liberty and her father are forced to flee with their patient. This is the first time Libby has been so far from home. She learns much of her dad’s past, and gets a lesson in humility and cultural acceptance when she must rely upon Cosimo for help in this vast new world. For his part, Cosimo is determined to find the land of sun and roses, believed to be a distant dry land beyond the vast floating garbage dump of the Waste.
Libby’s story hooked me from the start, and kept me reading far into the wee morning hours. I just couldn't put it down! The pacing is swift and engaging. I love the bickering between Libby and Cosimo when they were fleeing City. Each from such different socio-cultural backgrounds, taught to despise the other culture from an early age, and having to let that conditioning go in the face of reality. Waterworld came to mind often. I love that movie. There’s a bit less of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome than is present in Waterworld. City, at least, maintains a higher quality veneer of civility. I really enjoyed the concept of the nautilus men. They sound fascinating! It would be so neat to breathe safely underwater. If you enjoy post-apocalyptic/ELE stories of a grim and distant future, if you enjoyed Waterworld or Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, I highly recommend reading Rising Tides by Katy Haye.