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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.
10 of 12 people found this review helpful
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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful