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Publisher's Summary

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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Made me think about the theme for a while. .

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Townsend
  • Pearland, TX, United States
  • 11-09-15

You want different? Here it is!

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.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent unique story. Love the reader as well

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly original

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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Berlin, MA, United States
  • 11-01-17

Great World-Building, Great Characters, Whip-sawed

I'm afraid the ending of this novel caught me so far off-guard, I had (and still have) trouble connecting it with the rest of the story. It left way too many loose ends for my taste.

This all could have been "fixed" with an epilog; I do not disagree with where Newman took the plot at the last minute. Indeed many aspects of it were foreshadowed. But after spending hours getting to know and care about several brilliantly rounded characters, they and I were left in the lurch.

This is the best I can do without spoilers. There was enough in this book to adore that I'll be looking for more from Newman.

As she also narrated her own writing, I should say that she skillfully gave distinct voices to her characters, and carried us through the protagonist's head-space very well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Simply amazing!

This was the best book I've heard in a long time. The character development was superb. And the way the story unfolded was masterful. I feel so fulfilled!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful

Really enjoyed this one, I was pulled right in and I don't think I've ever felt like I was in a character's head this viscerally. Very intriguing mystery and wonderful characters,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • BRKyle
  • Leesburg, VA United States
  • 08-13-16

Fabulous character. Fascinating world. Abrupt end.

The narration is top notch. Worldbuilding original and engaging. Main character interesting. Ending felt like getting to the top of the stairs one step early.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mesmerizing setting, irritatingly human narrator

The world Ms. Newman portrays is breathtaking and engaging and gripping; it is beautifully envisioned and thoroughly developed. Pace, however is irritating due to her narrator's drawn out self reflection and annoying tendency to hide major plot points too obviously from the reader.

Emma Newman's delivery of her own work is beautiful though, and vividly breathes life into the internal dialogue of Renata.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Sci-Fi with a twist

Emma Newman has written a story about people who happen to be on a faraway planet, but this book could be set in a different time and place. The writing is suspenseful and engaging. The ending seems to come about a bit suddenly. It's very different from most sci-fi in the way the story is told. There is a bit of a twist in the middle, or maybe more than one. Emma Newman is also a professional audiobook reader, so it only makes sense that she would narrate her own work. If you are a sci-fi fan or if you are curious about sci-fi and love a good story, it's for you. I love that a woman wrote this story, it's refreshing to read sci-fi written by women.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful