Similar to many Tepper books in themes of environmentalism, feminism/humanism, and very future consequences of modern society. Her extrapolations are always fascinating, and horrifically, seem somewhat possible. Occasionally The Waters Rising is heavy-handed in message, but I found it to be less so than some of her other books. It also dwells less on the evils people commit, which I have found to be overwhelming at time. I made up my mind early on to ignore some of the geographical details, reading everything else closely, so I think I avoided some of the "bogged down" details other reviewers mentioned. I particularly liked her development of tension between characters, their occasionally flawed or imperfect natures, and the underlying mysteries driving them; after the first third of the book, I found it hard to put down.