Thursday, November 12, 2015

Planetfall by Emma Newman + a Giveaway

When Suh awoke from a coma with coordinates to a planet she said was their destiny, Ren was on board. She loved Suh, after all, and believed wholeheartedly in her plan. 

Two decades after the Planetfall their colony is thriving. Seated at the base of God's City, a strange structure that was present when they arrived on the planet, Ren and the rest of Suh's followers have built a community that lives in harmony with their new home planet. Ren - an engineer and genetics expert - spends her time fixing and maintaining the colony's 3-D printers, a technological advancement that has made it possible for the colonists to build everything they could possibly need. And while Suh communes with "God" in the structure above, her followers wait patiently for her message and her eventual return. 

But then a stranger arrives at the colony's gates. A stranger who reminds the colonists of their own losses. A stranger who claims to be Suh's own grandchild, something even Ren can't deny. And with his arrival, Ren's rigidly built life begins to crumble. 

Planetfall is sci-fi with a psychological twist. In two regards. First, there's the secret Ren and one other member of the original Planetfall have been hiding. Something that ties directly to Suh's mission. Second, there's Ren herself. A psychologically complex character who's been lying to those around her for over twenty years now. She's an anxious character, but exactly how that anxiety manifests isn't clear until about halfway through the story.

I loved everything about this book! I've been making a serious effort to fit more science fiction into my reading schedule. It's an effort because I had a bit of a rough experience with the genre way back there and have had to bounce back a bit. I've noted before that it often feels like sci-fi books go right over my head. Like there's some genre primer I've missed out on and everyone but me knows what the author is talking about. Fortunately, and the wonderful book community online has helped with this, I've been able to find more and more accessible genre reads that work for me! Planetfall was one of these books. Honestly, as much as I've struggled with some titles in the genre, I read Planetfall in one night.

There are two main reasons this is such an easy and fabulous read: world building and Ren.

Newman builds the world fabulously. It's easy to follow Ren through the community and the mission that brought her there. Every necessary detail (I say necessary because in all honesty there's much of the Planetfall world that isn't really explored - because the colonists themselves don't seem to be all that interested) makes it that much easier to visualize this alien world and the ways in which the colonists have made it their new home. And even the technological bits are easy for a lay person to digest!

And as for Ren herself, in her Emma Newman has created a character who is both intriguing and, in my opinion, pretty impossible not to like. She's so clearly drawn and so human. She's brilliant but flawed. She's a nervous wreck and we don't really know why.

Now I know I may not be an authority on sci-fi but from a regular old reader standpoint (an exceptional reader standpoint?), Planetfall is a great book. So whether you're a die hard genre fan or a fringe reader working up to more (like me), I consider Newman's latest a must - 'cause, you know, a great story can be enjoyed by anyone!

Rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher I get to give away a copy of this fabulous read! To get your name in the hat, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below before Monday, November 23. US only and no PO boxes please.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


traveler said...

Fascinating feature and giveaway. Thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

Planetfall sounds amazing.

Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!