Planetfall: Emma Newman

Book style: Science-fiction/fantasy

Beer style: Forgot – sorry – mind slip

I apologize for not picking a beer to pair. Things have been a little nuts around here. I’ve still been able to get my reading in, which I try to make a priority. When things are crazy, you still need to hold onto something you care about doing, not just getting all the necessaries. For me, I love to read. I also like volunteering at the local library but my first time volunteering at this library didn’t go so well, so I”m playing with other ideas.

Back to the book. Planetfall was picked up after I had seen a newer Planetfall book called After Atlas. It was in the “new books” section. I saw that another book had been written previously, so I found it in the aisles and picked them both up (I love it when that happens). I didn’t read the description in detail so I didn’t really know much about either. The jacket cover actually intrigued me the most.

It’s how I pick my wines too.

Planetfall

Planetfall is about a group of people who have settled on a new planet after Lee Suh-Mi stated that this was where God lived. She created a lot of controversy on their home planet and broke a lot of families apart. Some people thought she was a prophet and some thought she was whacked out of her mind. When the group took the trip and arrived on the other planet, they landed near an alien structure, and deemed it God’s City.

The book starts a few decades after the group landed and settled. For the most part, everything seems almost Utopian. Most everything that they use is created from the land and is recyclable. For instance, the beds are made out of special fungus that keeps its shape for years. They’ve mastered 3-D printing, and the materials are centralized from a Masher that is filled from people’s recyclings. But of course, it wouldn’t be a book without some twists, turns, and troubles.

Ren and Mack, two of the founders, see a man coming from outside of their village. When they greet him, he is worn and ragged. They help him get food and water, and nurse him to health. They also find out that this man, Sung-Soo, is actually Lee Suh-Mi’s grandson. Ren, our main protagonist is caught off guard, and is suspicious of him, but no one else seems to mind. He starts to fit in well with everyone else, so there is nothing that Ren can do or say about it.

Throughout the book, as you start to get to know all of the characters, you also get bits and pieces of how the original settlers arrived. From Ren’s recollections, you can infer that not all is right. That she harbors a secret that’s been eating her up for years, and one that she won’t be able to hold onto for much longer.

The book kept me intrigued the whole time. I really enjoyed the characters, and I thought it was refreshing that Ren, the protagonist, was far from perfect. She harbored her own personal darkness, besides holding onto other people’s secrets, which made her personable. She seemed real to me. There were a lot of good twists in the book that I didn’t quite see coming.

My only real negative (possibly two), was that I had a hard time visualizing the “vaults” that were described. They were somehow connected to this mysterious God’s City. The settlers were not allowed to go in there, but Ren had found a secret way in. The author described some of the vaults as moving around and twisting, so I got confused as to what they really looked like. Sometimes it sounded like they were covered in some sort of goopy material as well, but I was never sure. I kept picturing the land of Oz under a glass cover. The other thing is that I hope there is a sequel to this. I was left wondering what would happen next at the end. When I picked up After Atlas, I realized that these books, although sort of related, are not truly in series. After Atlas has to do with a detective on Atlas following a murder. I think the detective’s mother went along on the trip to find God’s City but that’s the only relation so far. Hopefully her next one possibly starts putting it all together? I don’t know.

One can only hope. Overall though, despite the couple of “negatives”, I thought the book was well written and intriguing. I will definitely keep seeking out more books by this author as she continues to write them. Off to After Atlas next!

Overall rating: 8.5/10

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