One of the few disadvantages of owning ebooks is that I tend to forget which ones I own. In an attempt to organize the books on my Kindle, I rediscoveOne of the few disadvantages of owning ebooks is that I tend to forget which ones I own. In an attempt to organize the books on my Kindle, I rediscovered Planetfall by Emma Newman. Granted, the e-galley has only been on my Kindle since November (right before it was released).
I read Planetfall in one sitting.
The story starts many years after the crew landed, which they call Planetfall. The handpicked colonists of scientists build their homes at the base of the alien structure. Suh-Mi disappeared into the structure during their initial exploration and the colonists hold a vigil at its entrance for her triumphant return.
Renata is one of the original colonists on a new planet. Lee Suh-Mi, the woman she loved, had a vision of a planet perfect for humanity. Suh-Mi, and her followers escape Earth and its failing resources, overpopulation, and diseases to start over. No one has ever seen this planet but have faith in Suh-Mi’s visions–which includes an alien structure that many believe is a conduit to God.
One morning, an outsider shows up at the colony’s gates. Ren is shocked to learn that Sung-Soo is the Suh-Mi’s grandson. Everyone believed Sung-Soo’s father perished during planetfall. The colony welcomes Sung-Soo with open arms, but Ren doesn’t trust him. Soon he threatens to uncover a secret that will destroy the colony and everything it was built upon.
There’s so many aspects of Planetfall that I loved.
First of all, I love the way Newman builds her world. She weaves details into her characters’ thoughts and interactions. Through Ren’s job, we learn how essential 3-D printers are the colonies. They access patterns from their network to print building materials, clothing, even food. I could easily visualize each person’s home and their roles in the community.
I’m crediting M.R. Carey for getting me out of my worst reading slump ever.
If one could binge listen to a book, then I think that’s what I did with ThI’m crediting M.R. Carey for getting me out of my worst reading slump ever.
If one could binge listen to a book, then I think that’s what I did with The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey. I bumped up the audiobook’s speed to 1.4x because I just had to know what happened next. I’m sure I missed some minor details and nuances, but I’d probably miss those if I were reading a print version. I tried to bump the speed up more, but my brain couldn’t adjust.
Before I get to the review, I have a minor spoiler (which becomes evident to readers early on in the book).
Ready? Spoiler below:
I shall preface that I’m not really into zombie stories, but The Girl With All the Gifts captured my attention because of the humanity portrayed in it. It’s not just the humans, but in Melanie, the girl in the book’s title. She is a zombie.
What makes the story so fascinating is that Melanie doesn’t know that she’s a zombie. She thinks she’s a human child stuck in a metal prison.
At first glance, The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan looks like the perfect book for me. There’s food galore, an independent woman, and aAt first glance, The Restaurant Critic’s Wife by Elizabeth LaBan looks like the perfect book for me. There’s food galore, an independent woman, and a bustling city (Philadelphia in this case). The story of a mother with young kids who attempts to find her new identity is one that I can personally identify with, but the novel’s pacing didn’t work for me. It’s a solid novel, but nothing for me to shout about.
Lila’s husband Sam has relocated their family to Philadelphia for his new job as a restaurant critic. In an attempt to keep his identity a secret, Sam goes a little overboard. Pregnant with their second child, Lila is not allowed to chat with their neighbors, discuss her husband’s job, or become close to anyone in the restaurant industry. In addition to his rules, Lila has a tough time adjusting to life as a stay at home mother.
Slowly, Lila begins to make friends in unexpected places, including a waiter at a fancy restaurant. A former crisis management professional, she secretly begins consulting for her former boss. Sam becomes more obsessed with keeping his identity a secret–to the point of ignoring Lila’s feelings. Eventually everything explodes as someone discovers Sam’s identity and Lila’s consulting work comes to life.
Just writing the above synopsis made me angry at Sam again. He’s selfish and is clueless about how lonely his wife is.
Review: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff Thien-Kim December 30, 2015 Literary Fiction, Reviews 1 Comment Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff The year is almReview: Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff Thien-Kim December 30, 2015 Literary Fiction, Reviews 1 Comment Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff The year is almost over, but I wanted to sneak in one last book review. I’d rather my last post of 2015 NOT to be about a book I didn’t like, but I need to share my thoughts and get it out of my system.
I rarely pick up books just because it’s gotten a ton of awards and critical acclaim. The last time I did that was with The Goldfinch, which I hated. I wanted to see what the fuss was about with Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. Groff’s novel is a National Book Award finalist, was an NPR top pick of 2015, and named best book of the year by Washington Post.
Fates and Furies is a story of a marriage, as told from both sides. The first half of the book is told from the husband Lotto’s point of view, starting from childhood and goes deep into their marriage. The second half is told from the wife Mathilde’s point of view, picking up where Lotto’s story left off. However, there’s plenty of Mathilde flashbacks to fill in the gaps of Lotto’s story.
Here’s my problem with the characters: why should I care about them?