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After Atlas

(Planetfall #2)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  3,186 ratings  ·  534 reviews
Acclaimed author Emma Newman returns to the captivating universe she created in Planetfall with a stunning science fiction mystery where one man’s murder is much more than it seems...

Govcorp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mot
Paperback, 369 pages
Published November 8th 2016 by Roc
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Angela I think this book can stand on it's own, but you will get another layer of knowledge out of having read the previous book.…moreI think this book can stand on it's own, but you will get another layer of knowledge out of having read the previous book.(less)
drippydots There is a queer couple who are minor characters for most of the book but then end up having more substantial roles later on in the book as well as on…moreThere is a queer couple who are minor characters for most of the book but then end up having more substantial roles later on in the book as well as one character who is non binary. The main character doesn't really interact with anyone outside of working on his case very much, a couple of flirtations. He might be fluid/bi/pan?
The first book in this series has a queer main character.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,186 ratings  ·  534 reviews

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Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-sff-faves
This is the second book this year I've given a full five stars to, and it's super well deserved. I really liked Planetfall, the first book set in this universe, but this one takes a fairly different approach and is much more of a police investigation than anything else. Our only real link to Planetfall is the fact that our main character, Carlos, is the son of a woman who left on the Atlas mission that we follow in Planetfall.

Carlos is now a grown up and we follow a bit about his daily life as
Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This one was one rather huge surprise for me. I mean, I liked the exploration bits and the mental disability bits in the first novel. It felt genuine and fascinating.

But this one took on a whole different feel. Cyberpunk, a heavily populated society, massive injustice, social inequality, and institutionalized slavery based on credits and indenture. I loved this aspect. I felt harrowed and despairing even as I railed against it with our main character... who has been S*** upon for 23 years, dream
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

UPDATED: Sci-Fi Month Giveaway (US) for After Atlas running 11/8/16-11/18/16

While After Atlas takes place in the same cosmos as Planetfall, it is more accurate to call it a companion novel than a true sequel. If you were like me and were confused by the ending of the first book, I’m afraid you’ll not find many answers here. There are mentions to previous events, but at best the l
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was excellent!

Like with "Planetfall" the end was a bit rushed, but like "Planetfall" I didn't care.

Emma Newman has the quite unique talent not only to understand people who are 'mentally other', but also the talent to write them in an authentic and relatable fashion that is rare. Very seldom I feel myself being represented in novels, here I feel at home and understood. This alone is worth all the stars for me.

Yet on top of a self-assured hand in character writing and development, Newman al
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I really liked this one. Although technically a sequel to Planetfall, instead of being set on the planet where the events of the last book took place, After Atlas is a crime novel set on Earth 40 years after the colonists of Planetfall departed.

I don't really read many crime novels or murder mysteries, but this one appealed to me. Newman's writing and characterisation are spot on, and captured a definite sense of gritty realism in the dystopian future she has created. As much as I wan
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it


Emma “cool as the underside of the pillow” Newman has crafted this TASTY!! series Planetfall, and this is the SECOND!! in the series.


I HAVE STARTED SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN THE BEGINNING!! (I sometimes do things that don’t make sense)


Cause WAY COOL!! Emma has fashioned this sufficiently as a standalone that it was entertaining by itself. Like TANA FRENCH!! Emma has added to her world building while creating a cool police procedura
Nov 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A detective story in a horrific dystopian future set in the Earth that was left behind by the Atlas in the book Planetfall.

Carlos Moreno is a detective and an indentured slave to the Norope Ministry of Justice. He's also one of the only people ever to leave the Circle, the cult that originated the Atlas spaceship that took off in search of God. Now, many years later, the leader of the Circle is dead and apparently murdered, and Carlos has been put in charge of the politically charged investigati
Allison Hurd
Dec 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
OMG this was good. COMPLETELY different from Planetfall. I think you could likely read this as a standalone, but I think it felt a lot more gutwrenching knowing how that went first. YMMV.

CONTENT WARNING: (view spoiler)

This was a fantastically convoluted far-future police procedural. My one real gripe about Planetfall is that it fell apart in the end. This kept me from doing other thin
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
After Atlas proves that, yes indeed, Emma Newman can do cyberpunk.

Good news: although it takes place in the same world as Newman's earlier novel, After Atlas can be read without Planetfall, and if the idea of a discussion of agency wrapped around a police procedural taking place in a world remade by gov-corps sounds appealing while an exploration of OCD on an alien planet does not, then I'd definitely recommend jumping straight ahead to After Atlas. You'll miss a certain amount of dramatic irony
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Everybody is on a leash. Some are more obvious than others."

Just finished the book and I’m still reeling… Newman’s writing style is just so compelling. Once more, I was completely immersed in this world of hers, with its horrendous socio-political landscape and fascinating technology.

While Planetfall dealt with the religious travellers’ space expedition to find God and Meaning, After Atlas shows us the Earth they left, one in a pitiable state where resources, both natural and human, have nearl
4.5 stars. I almost decided not to continue with this series and I am glad I didn't. A scary but almost too realistic near future world looming in the background, while the main plot basically a detective story. I can't help but comparing this with Asimov's Robot series, but Carlos was a far more interesting (and sympathetic) figure than Elijah. What I loved most about this book are the little details of world building that played organically within the story and actively added to the tension ri ...more
Carlos Moreno, abandoned by his parents as a child, is owned by Govcorp. He works for them as a detective. His contract has decades left....with time added for any sort of an infraction or mistake. Even simple needs like a decent meal or new clothes can add time onto his servitude. He looks forward to the day when he will be free...but most likely that day will never come. His parents left Earth 40 years before on a spaceship named Atlas with other members of a religious cult dedicated to findin ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, science-fiction
Let’s not bury the lede here: Emma Newman’s After Atlas is brilliant, you should all read it and I nominated it for a Hugo. Done. Everyone can go about their day. Or you can read on and find out why I loved this book so much.

As stated many times before, Emma Newman is one of my absolutely favourite authors. She can write fun and fluffy, she can write dark and deep and everything in between and have it be great—she’s that talented. After having loved her previous novel Planetfall , I came to A
Rachel (Kalanadi)
There MUST be a direct sequel coming!! This can't just be it! ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This author knows how to write an ending! I had been told I could read these our of order and this is so different from the first novel, Planetfall. This is on Earth and is more of a murder mystery in an era of great scarcity, corporate slavery, and magnified artificial intelligence linking people and working as assistants. Carlos is the son of the ship captain who led the trip off the planet but to survive is indebted to a corporation. Luckily he is a skilled investigator. There are some pieces ...more
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
3.5 Stars
Emma Newman is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. Like in her other Planetfall novels, the characters in this story were complex and well developed with realistic quirks and imperfections. I particularly loved the main characters obsession with eating real food (rather than replicated nutrients). Likewise, the world building in this novel was fantastic. The technology introduced in the novel, like artificial personal assistants, felt plausible and interesting. Of thePlanetfal
Brianne Reeves
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I just...This can't possibly be the end! What happens next?! ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Newman crafts a fascinating, dark near future world where corporations have supplanted nations, slavery in the form of indentured servitude has returned, and personal privacy is a thing of the past due to overly invasive and pervasive technology.

This incredible world building however seemingly takes a backseat for much of the book, as a murder mystery / crime procedural story becomes the focus. Newman has seemingly taken inspiration from Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel, putting a murder invest
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This was even better than I hoped. I enjoyed Planetfall but it takes a couple of very odd turns so I was a tiny bit wary of this one.

This is a dystopian detective sci-fi with a likable and sympathetic protagonist. It takes place on Earth 40 years after the Atlas, whose story is told in Planetfall took off looking for God. Carlos is a man who fled a cult at the age of 16 and has gone through some truly horrific experiences in the meantime and is now owned by the Ministry of Justice. Yes, I d
Otavio Galileu
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Uhm... I won't be forgetting this end (or this phenomenal book, for that matter) anytime soon. Speechless. ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! Truly extraordinary 5+ stars. Read this now!

(Note: Reading the first book, Planetfall, is advised but not necessary for After Atlas to be clear and fully understood. Personally, I always try to read series books in order. Book #1 Planetfall is an outstanding 5-Stars. My review.)

Ms. Newman has a terrific gift, and her prose, pacing and plotting are extraordinary. Quite wonderful!

After Atlas is a truly wonderful experience. It's really two parts: The tip of the iceberg, and the huge iceberg
Nov 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Actually very close to five stars

Wow! This kept me turning the pages and guessing up till the end. It's a stand alone book but refers to Planetfall. While both books are character studies (and perhaps Planetfall is somewhat more believable) After Atlas handles the political details and mystery very very well. Very glad someone in the Buddy Reads group recommended this!
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
A fast paced entertaining read. If you didn't read the first book (or don't remember it), you'll be fine with this one. It touches on very broad events from book 1, but not in anyway that will matter. The main character was really interesting, and the murder mystery kept me flipping pages. I definitely recommend this one. ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm reading this superb series in such a strange order - 1 (Planetfall), 3 (Before Mars) and now 2. Not that this matters as each novel is connected but separate. After Atlas is different again. It's a brilliant detective novel that is as black as night and, at times, very disturbing, as we witness what our detective Carlos Moreno must endure in this future world. Carlos' mother left on the starship Atlas forty years ago and she left him behind, a baby. This is hard for Carlos to deal with and i ...more
David Harris
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Emma Newman continues to impress me with her smart, slightly twisted takes on SF - in this case, she asks "what about those left behind?"

The earlier book, Planetfall, set in the same universe as After Atlas, focussed on human settlers to a new world some 20 years in. It showed how they had been drawn there by almost religious fervour, and what happened next - with a startling twist. The concept reminded me of classic Star Trek except for the deep, empathetic portrayal of the main character and h
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in the Planetfall series by Emma Newman, and I certainly hope more books are coming in the future. In Planetfall, a group of explorers lead by their religious leader called the "Pathfinder" strike out to find a new planet which is believed to be the seat of god. After Atlas takes the series in a totally different direction and focuses on the lives of those left behind on Earth. As such, events and characters in the two books are completely separate and the novels may be r ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it

That's one powerful ending. I have a penchant for SFF police procedurals/mysteries, so this was a good fit for me. Like Newman's Planetfall, After Atlas has an interesting and multi-faceted protagonist, and a nicely developed world that was easy to imagine. Whereas Planetfall was outer-planet scifi, this was almost cyberpunk, set in a bleak future Earth.

I liked how Newman included this dystopian view of work life in the future – where things might go with many modern governments' excitement
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm rating this 4 stars because the majority of the book was a 4-star read for me, but the last couple chapters were absolutely 5-star-worthy. Wow. This is a dark, gripping book, and it really never lets up. I waited a while between reading Planetfall and reading this, but I already have Before Mars on hold. ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emma Newman keeps getting better and better. I liked the first book in this series. “Planetfall” a lot, but this is even better.

I won’t talk about the story much to avoid spoilers. I’ll just give a brief outline.

SDCI (Special Detective Chief Inspector) Carlos Moreno was a baby in Spain when his mother abandoned him and his father to leave earth on a spaceship called Atlas. (The story appears to take place in an indefinite year in the near future, in which most people have implanted chips for in
Mal Warwick
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
In Planetfall, published in 2015, British science fiction author Emma Newman introduced us to the Earth-like planet where a massive starship had delivered 1,000 people many years earlier. The ship was called Atlas. The following year, Newman brought out a sequel, After Atlas, which portrayed life on Earth for the billions who remained behind. It's a grim picture of society in what appears to be sometime in the 22nd century.

This is a world you or I wouldn't want to live in. Only the wealthiest ca
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Sequel but stand-alone story 1 17 Jan 28, 2016 08:34AM  

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Emma Newman writes dark short stories and science fiction and urban fantasy novels.

'Between Two Thorns', the first book in Emma's Split Worlds urban fantasy series, was shortlisted for the BFS Best Novel and Best Newcomer awards.

Emma's latest book, Planetfall, is a standalone science fiction novel published by Roc.

Emma is a professional audiobook narrator and also co-writes and hosts the Hugo-no

Other books in the series

Planetfall (4 books)
  • Planetfall (Planetfall, #1)
  • Before Mars (Planetfall, #3)
  • Atlas Alone (Planetfall #4)

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