Planetfall by: Emma Newman
Today's review is for my favorite science fiction novel that I have ever read, Planetfall by: Emma Newman. This book was one that I picked up on a whim and chose to listen to with an audiobook which the author herself narrates. To begin with I will review the narration for the audiobook... Emma Newman is British and it is crystal clear when you listen to her speak, this added an extra layer of adoration to the book for me. I love listening to different accents, however a British accent is soothing and allows me to fully pay attention to the book being read as the accent and story captivated me from the opening line. Emma Newman gave the book a depth of character that I have seldom seen within an audiobook, from depth of emotion to flashbacks all were narrated in a convincing and enjoyable way! Please go to Audible.com and check out the sample of the Planetfall audiobook and you will see what I am speaking about.
Emma Newman suffers from anxiety and she has written her main character to have the same illness. It is not apparent until the midway point of the book that the main character Renata has anxiety, however when you figure this out it allows you to see her side of the story more clearly. Renata is a deeply secluded and private person who only trusts a few people within the entire colony, until Sung Soo arrives at the border of the colony her life is calm and serenely ignored by those in the rest of the colony. Sung Soo is the mysterious character who appears at the border of the colony and throws everything out of the normal circumstances for all in the colony especially Renata. I found that each character within these pages leapt from the page and was actually surrounding me! These characters are flawed and kind in the same line, anxious, and private which is something that I appreciate Newman integrating into the novel as I was able to see bits of myself in each character.
The plot of this book is very interesting, in general it is about a new comer coming to join their interstellar colony and all of the repercussions of that interaction. I will not say much more than that as it would give away major plot points. Though I can discuss the technology that is in this book which I found intriguing and every so plausible with our current technology, this book uses 3D printing to build their homes, and everything that they needed in society including foods. This is scary to me as I feel we are close to creating an edible 3D printing device; though this book also discusses possible issues surrounding the idea such as recycling the building materials to be reused after they serve a purpose. Though the idea of recycling is a very good way to help our planet, I feel that i we were trying to implement something on this scale it would cause even greater problems for our world societal structure.
From religion, food shortages, 3D printing a life to live in, the right to privacy, and friendship are all discussed within this novel to create a luscious world and cast of characters that you will find yourself caring for long after you put the book down! This wonderfully imaginative and succinct novel will pack the emotional and intellectual stimulation punch that we all should be seeking in literature! Emma Newman is an #OwnVoices novelist who I will be sure to read more from in the coming months, I suggest you all give her a chance as well.
Star Rating: 5/5 stars
Writing: Succinct, powerful and impeccably crafted.
Characters: Friends through it all. Fun and endearing, people who I would live to befriend in the real world!
Plot: Philosophical, intriguing, and provocative! I love this plot though it feels more like a character study with ample mysteries to solve for yourself along the way; it was a true delight to experience.