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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Bertito on 12-26-15
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.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Townsend on 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.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful