My thoughts:This book was strange, but wondrous strange. But then all Tepper books I have read have been like that, she takes in things and turns into something utterly amazing and weird.First, yes it is book two, but book 1 does not have to be read to understand this book. The only person from book 1 around is the hero Abasio. But here is he is all new and a bit different. I do not know how much time has gone by, and it takes place in a new land. It is a new book and it was published almost 20 years after book 1. I thought book 1 gave me answers what might have happened to our earth, but here I finally found out what The Big Kill, and the Time when no one moved around was. This our earth, which we destroyed and in its wake technology was no more. Which makes this a futuristic sci-fi book in a fantasy world. She explains it well at one time, how people when they do not understand something makes it into magic. There are a few things left over from the old times, and some do know things. Like when the baddie, Alicia curses someone. Some say it is magic, some know better. She took the pattern of that person and sent a cloud. Yes DNA and virus. The mix works so well, because what would happen if 99% died out? If machines were destroyed? And like that was not enough, now the waters are rising and even the highest mountain will be under water. Can humankind be saved? And do we deserve to be saved?It's a book to read slowly because now and then something new comes along and everything slowly dawns on me. It's a good book, it is a strange story and I can't believe that this used to be earth. There are talking animals, the Kraken, a lovestory, and wicked witches. There is also a child's journey and the question why she is so important?Conclusion:Tepper needs to be read to be understand. I do not think I can make her world justice. But when you step in to her world you will be quite enchanted with it.