Rating: 3.5 / 5
Emma Newman’s PLANETFALL was the July pick for the Deep Dark Reads buddy read on Instagram. I went into this book knowing nothing more than that and that it had a great cover!
Ren Ghali is one of a group of people who followed the vision of Lee Suh-Mi which promised a new planet to travel to, far from Earth where humans would find a better life. The book picks up with the colonists having been settled on the planet for 20+ years. They are a very technically advanced community, running 3D printers to meet all their needs, recycling and creating structures out of natural materials that keep their living completely zero-impact on the environment. Their society resides at the base of a structure known as God’s City which is surrounded by mystery.
We know from very early on that there is a major secret being kept from the community as a whole and that Ren is one of the few people in the know. Ren is also a very private person, keeping secrets of her own. These secrets are teased out and slowly revealed as the novel proceeds.
With no other life on the planet, the colony is surprised at the arrival of a stranger, one who bears a striking resemblance to the woman who led them to this planet. There is mystery around who he is and how he relates to the colony itself.
The world being developed by Emma Newman was very interesting to read about. They are very advanced in their technology, their bio-engineering, manufacturing and medical services. She puts forth some very unique structures which are alive, built in such a way that waste is eliminated without even leaving the building. I would have enjoyed even more information on how this was developed, but it was largely presented as known quantity in this world.
This is the first book in a series and while it is a self-contained novel, the focus really is on Ren and her perspective as part of the colony. She is a very interesting character with a lot to delve into, but that does leave me feeling like there is a lot more to learn about the colony that just wasn’t explored in this novel. I am interested in picking up more in this series to learn more!