Rating: 4 / 5
AFTER ATLAS by Emma Newman was one of the books I pulled for a recent poll in my bookstagram stories for what space themed book I should read for one of Jar of TBR prompts. It wasn’t chosen, but while I had it off the shelf anyway I figured I might as well give it a read!
AFTER ATLAS is book two in the Planetfall series by Emma Newman. With a second book in a series this is normally where I would say it is hard to summarize a sequel without spoilers, but in this case there really isn’t much danger of that. Though linked to the first book, this one is completely viable as a standalone book, with a different cast of characters on a complete different planet.
In the first book PLANETFALL a group individuals have left Earth to seek out God on a distant planet. We are meeting them twenty years after their departure. In AFTER ATLAS we are following Carlos Moreno who was a baby when Atlas left earth with his mother on board. With the loss of his mother Carlos’ father fell apart and Carlos wound up first a part of a religious cult who believe in Atlas’ mission and then in a training system which left him in impossible debt. Forty years after Atlas’ departure Carlos is now an indentured servant, working off his contract as a detective for Govcorp.
The world is full of advanced technology and the cult with which Carlos was once entangled is known to oppose all technology. Carlos is approached when the leader of this cult, in town for unknown purposes, is found dead in his hotel room. Though their past relationship was complicated Carlos must now set that aside to investigate.
This book was very different from the first book and I found that I actually engaged with this one a bit more. It still blended themes of religion and technology, but I really enjoyed the investigation aspect and the immersive environments the author created. Similar to that which we saw in PLANETFALL, this world is extremely advanced with printers creating everything from buildings and machines to food and clothing. Carlos’ character was interesting because he relied on the technology heavily in his work and his free time, but he also craved real food grown by real people.
The differences between the first two books have me very curious as to where this series is headed in book three, so I will be looking to pick that up hopefully soon!