Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi's vision of a world far beyond Earth, a planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.
More than 20 years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided alone. Ren has worked hard as the colony's 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment - and harboring a devastating secret.
For the good of her fellow colonists, Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.
The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden, and its revelation could tear the colony apart.
©2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc. (P)2015 Blackstone Audiobooks
What talent Emma Newman has! To write and narrate with such beauty, she must be an amazing person in real life. The only reason this book does not get 5 stars is the ending. It was too fast and short at the very end. I left wanting just a little bit more to feel satisfied. Otherwise, this story has not been told before. If there was a sequel, that would help fix the abrupt ending.
Watching a watched pot boil.
I would have rather spent my time on a book with an amazing ending. Bad endings can kill any joy saved up in the process.
The fact that so much time and so many words were spend on Ren's psychological condition. In a sci-fi, I want to hear the sci-fi, not all the human insanities that are within us all.
I have not.
Yes. If Planetfall were to have a follow up, maybe I wouldn't be so grumpy with the ending of this one. I was truly disappointed.
I loved the detail given to explaining the workings of the new society. I loved the neural interface, and the 3D printers, and the tone. Up until I didn't.
Sci-Fi by its very nature tends to be at least somewhat derivative; this book, not so much. The world inhabited by narrator Ren is interesting. Due her position in the original expedition and her unusual talent for wielding a 3-D printer, she holds a special place in the community. But she's strange: Why does she have such a hard time forming relationships? What are she and colony leader Mack hiding? What's behind the weird religion on the planet? And why won't Ren let anyone enter her home?
Emma Newman gets points for some interesting world-building. The idea of an economy based on massive recycling and manufacture by 3-D printing makes the rapid development of the colony feasible. Pretty good character development, lots of surprises, awesome ending. There is just enough of "back when we were still on earth" to give insight to what makes Ren tick, as well as what drove the group into space, without over-explaining. When we get to the core of Ren's problems, the treatment of emotional scarring is handled gently and believably.
One gripe: Newman could have cut out at least half of the obscenities. They were unnecessary and distracting.
As for the narration, I don't know how it could be any better. The author/reader doesn't try to "do voices", just gives a straight-forward reading that completely works.
Good book: all the way through, I kept thinking I was going to hate the ending. I thought I had it all figured out. Boy was I wrong, on both counts.
Well written with good story and character development, Planetfall creates a futuristic world where all too normal human conditions are explored.
With interesting plot twists, and no forced revelations, the story develops through stages, introducing the character in her different roles as scientist, engineer, lover, partner in crime, mental illness sufferer and ultimately enlightened human.
It's not a iterate treasure, but a story you get sucked into until the end. In true British fashion, the end comes as the conclusion, perhaps to the dismay of many readers who might want that final plot twist that leaves you hanging. There's no questions left by the ending, but still so many things to explore throughout the story.
The story itself is slow to start and with chapters that seem to add little to the general arc except to point out the main characters flaws.
Once it gets going, towards the latter third of the book, it barrels forward. Think of a rollercoaster with a long, shallow climb, and at the top, a vertical drop down onto pavement.
The ending is abrupt and unsatisfying with no resolution to anything that happens in the story itself. Why did this character do that? What is the significance of this? Why drag out a mysterious back story if the conclusion is already told to us?
With the amount of world building that's done, it feels more like this was supposed to be a larger story, but at the end it was rushed for deadlines or something. It had potential, but unfortunately it seemed to fumble at the end.
This book was a fantastic piece to listen to. The author/narrator has a beautiful voice that infused so much life into the dialogue and fostered a ton of sympathy for the protagonist.
I was a bit wary of downloading this book because of how people reviewed the ending, but I thought it fit well.
Without trying to give too much away, I believe a big theme of the book is the Buddhist idea that "to live is to suffer," and a broken person like Ren is a good person to explore this. She's constantly fleeing from her pain to no effect, and I think the ending works in context. By looking forward she can finally let her suffering pass, rather than looking back as she did for most of the book.
I have to admit I'm torn over this review. The story began with such promise, and mystery, but was caught up in the main character's flaw to a point it was beyond a plot arc to become a distraction. Honestly I had to back up and listen to several chapters to really understand what the hell just happened.
I imagine the author intends to make this into a series with the vague and open end of the story. It's like one of the movies you think ended where it did because the producer ran out of funds for the more film.
Being an author, I'm not a fan of recording my own work for an audio-book but Emma does a pretty good job capturing her character's emotional states down to subtle nuance. I appreciate her narration efforts.
But, as a writer, I found myself wincing at the - far too many - F bombs and S bombs. I felt in the circle of characters Emma has created their IQ would has been high enough to remove the frequency of bad language from the story's culture.
However, having said all of the above, the story did keep me engaged and motivated to hear more, which more than I can say I've been exposed to lately with other more famous authors and their latest works.
I was a more than a bit exasperated at all the needless, annoying, emotional exposition. I understand some of it was helpful conveying the main character's issues, but It was an incredible drag on plot development, and moving the story along. Almost unbearable at times. Definitely not something to be listened to. Reading the old fashioned way probably would have been better.
Wow, this was just plain bad.
The exhaustive introspection of the main character is irritating to say the least. I feel like I have been dragged down into the mind of an anxiety tortured hoarder. I can't think of any reason for the way the character babbles on, agonizing on about every decision she makes. I remember yelling at the speaker - OMG just make a fricking decision. PLEASE! I can't think of a single character in the entire performance that I could give a rip about. I wish the author would have spent more time building the character, and less time gabbering on about her anxieties.
Also, if you're going to write a science fiction at least understand that interstellar travel isn’t measured in miles, get the distances right! I counted four times the character (who’s supposed to be an engineer) talks about traveling millions of miles to go to another planet (Uh, interstellar travel has to be measured in light years because of the distances involved). It’s like saying “I’m going Atlanta, a distance of millions of centimeters”.
I will do my best not to spoil this for those who decide to listen. In the end I found that I didn't care about the fate of anyone in the book. I found them all so flawed and in some cases devoid of any redeeming qualities that I prayed for a giant meteor to crash into the planet and kill them all. There is some solid and interesting science fiction in this story and honestly that was what held me to the end but now that I've listened to it all, I won't think about the experience with anything but sadness. I only gave the stars for the performance which was good and the science which was good. I may have missed something but shouldn't you want to root for someone in a book? When your main character is a lying, self loathing hoarder who shuts out the world and never really comes to grips with or apologizes to anyone for those flaws how can you like them?
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