Gary's Reviews > Planetfall

Planetfall by Emma Newman
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Planetfall is generally a good novel, but was also a frustrating read for me. I liked the novel's protagonist and narrator, Renata Ghali, and the way she interacts with her environment while managing a severe anxiety disorder is engrossing.

But Planetfall is also a mystery story, and this is where I have problems. The novel is set in a distant space colony, and the main mystery revolves around what happened during the titular event years before. Something went wrong, people died. A complex lie was constructed around it. All of which is fine, except that our protagonist is one of the architects of that lie, and the coy way she indulges in flashbacks and reminiscences from before planetfall while dancing around any actual revelations is annoying and off-putting.

It may be a personal preference, but I like the kind of mystery that reveals its secrets while opening up new ones, leading you toward the essential revelation that you never saw coming. Planetfall is the kind of mystery that just strings you along by withholding a crucial piece of information that you already knew you needed at the beginning - the long tease. It's like the difference between having a lover that keeps finding new ways to surprise you, or having one that is selfish and guarded to the point that even telling you they love you is a form of abuse.

The final revelation is nonetheless powerful, and the resolution satisfying enough to make the trip worth it if you focus on the novel's positive attributes. For me, Planetfall - taken as a whole - is a mixed bag.
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Reading Progress

May 2, 2015 – Shelved
May 2, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
November 30, 2015 – Started Reading
November 30, 2015 –
page 243
72.32%
December 4, 2015 – Finished Reading

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