The Visitor (Book Synopsis)
by Sheri S. Tepper
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When an asteroid crashed into the Earth hundreds of years ago in
the twenty-first century, much of what was considered civilization was
obliterated. All that remains of that time are paltry fragmented memories of
science and life colored by myth and superstition. The "magic" that once was
America died horribly, along with most of the planet's inhabitants. But a
wasted world is coming back alive -- despite the tyranny and cruel punishments
that the repressive ruling order inflicts daily on a greatly reduced
Dismé Latimer's entire family was lost forever, though not as a
result of global cataclysm. Rather, much more recent and mysterious
circumstances made Dismé an orphan, leaving the gentle, troubled young woman at
the mercy of a cruel stepmother, an abusive stepsister...and a book.
A sacred, unsettling tome written by an ancestor -- the
courageous scientist Nell Latimer, who left a husband and family behind in her
attempt to salvage something of the post-castastrophe world -- Dismé's book
contains disturbing ideas and revelations that are compelling a shy youth to
take bold and dangerous action. But common "wisdom" and lore warn of malevolent
entities out in the world, and advise would-be adventurers to stay where they
are. Yet other myths suggest that the selfless band of planet-repairing
scientists -- including Dismé's brave forebear -- have somehow, miraculously,
survived to this day. And Dismé Latimer will uncover the truth and reclaim a
lost world, whatever and wherever it might be.
Destiny, it seems, has chosen a most improbable defender to lead
an imperiled planet out of the darkness. Perhaps somewhere beyond everything
Dismé has ever known is her true identity -- and, hopefully, others similarly
inclined who will fight alongside her for the common good. But there is evil
also, a malevolence beyond imagining.
And far away, in the depths of the Earth, a gargantuan beast has
roused itself after centuries of slumber. And it has begun to stir...
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