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4.7 out of 5 stars26
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 September 1998
The Merro Tree is on my Top Ten List of Best Books Ever. It has the makings of everything you want in a good story: begin with a protagonist we can identify and grow with, mix in a truly beautiful love story that crosses species and gender, add a message about the dangers of censorship for spice, and above all, infuse it with a sense of wonder, and you'll have this book. A sparkling new voice in the otherwise dull miasma of the genre, Katie Waitman is definitely one author to watch and wait for.
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on 13 July 1999
An absolutely gorgeous book. I barely made it though the day at work until I could get home and finish it. Ms. Waitman has a lyrical power that will leave you stunned, gasping and yearning for more. The only thing I regret is that this is her first book and I can't read more of her work immediately.
Please go out and expand your horizons by reading this book, you won't be sorry.
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on 4 August 1999
I need to add my voice to those of the others here who have sung this book's praises. This is a wonderful book, full of gentleness and compassion, humor and strong message. I hope Ms. Waitman hasn't spent all her craft on her first offering, because I want to read whatever else her imagination is preparing for us. Highly recommended.
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on 2 March 1998
Actually, my full review appears in The Monthly Aspectarian in my sf review column (usually posted at [...] the May '98 issue. However, in brief, the subject matter of this novel is near and dear to my heart and the writing style gives it that extra something that glues me to the page and fires my imagination.
I also have (as those who've read my own novels know) an affinity for human/alien love stories, and this book contains one of the best I've seen in a very long time.
Much of the enjoyment of this 'good read' depends on the suspense developed so don't read too many reviews before you read the book.
If you like Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels, I think you'll probably like Katie Waitman's work -- but for entirely different reasons. Ostensibly, they're complete opposites, but they carry much the same kind of appeal for me. (and Waitman has no vampire or supernatural elements at all here!)
Live Long and Prosper, Jacqueline Lichtenberg
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on 10 April 1998
I guess I come at whatever I read from a different angle, because I'm an English major. At one level, I loved _The_Merro_Tree_ because it's a good story. It's complex, but easy to follow. The attention to detail is amazing, but it doesn't slow down the plot.
At another level, Waitman's done something very special, beyond just a good story, here. One of my lit teachers refers to it as the balance of profit and prophet: storytelling and preaching. She's managed to create a balance where preaching doesn't interfere with storytelling--but if you're looking for a message, you'll find one, and if even if you analyze literature as well as read it, you won't find anything to complain about.
This is one of the best books I've ever read, hands down. And the others are _Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land_, _The_Summer_Queen_, and _Nineteen_Eight-Four_, if that means anything to you.
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on 4 August 1998
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The characters are incredible, the story is interesting, and I could not put it down. Mikk's journey through life is engrossing, and all parts of the book are excellent. This is now my favorite book!
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on 27 January 1998
This is the tale of Mikk, from his beginnings as an apparently talentless student of the performing arts, to his triumph as the universally reknowned performance master. Throughout the book, there are two stories which unfold. In the present, Mikk is in jail, up against the Council for defying a ban on his performing a certain dance. As this story develops, the reader also learns of his growing up, his evolution to performance master and how he came to be on trial. Between the lines, there are messages about tolerance of inter-race relationships and same-gender relationships, and freedom of speech. In all, this is a fantastic story, where the technology of sci-fi does not disturb the telling.
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on 15 October 2008
A brilliant book. I started to read a few casual pages when it arrived, just to see if the good reviews were correct and I haven't put it down since. It gives insight not just on performing arts and censorship but also on difficulties faced by those who are 'gifted/talented' but are seen as 'odd', 'different'. It shows the horrors of child abuse in 2 chapters where others take several volumes. And it finishes with a demonstation that love and friendship have greater power than hatred does. I disagree with the reviewers who complain that it's not Science fiction. The author's ability to draw you into seeing from the point of view of a variety of lifeforms is nearly as good as Azimov's.
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on 4 March 1998
This gentle tale of Mikk's journey from awkward child to performance master and the conflict of art vs. censorship at the hands of the galactic-powers-that-be was an unexpected pleasure. The resolution of Mikk's fate and Waitman's intriguing cast of alien races held me throughout the whole entertaining ride. This book is a breath of fresh air in a marketplace of bloated, pedestrian SF tomes. Folks expecting sweeping space battles or a hard science fix may come away from Merro Tree wanting. Most everyone else should be prepared to sit back and enjoy this impressive first novel. It will be interesting to see whether Waitman takes as much care with her next book.
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on 1 February 1999
I love a writer who CARES. I've had a bad few years, but "The Merro Tree" just gave me, for the length of the book, a respite from my woes. She writes about things that are important to me---and she writes about the most WONDERFUL PEOPLE! To my delight, "people" includes Thissizz---someone I wish I could take home with me. When I read "The Merro Tree" I could feel his warmth and hear his sweet song. Many thanks, Katie Waitman, for your lovely work... And, by the way, I'me expecting at least one book a year from you from now on & never mind all those lawyers you work for! Cheers, Janet Kagan
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