Planetfall by Emma Newman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What struck me most about this traditional SF novel was the level of personal experience worked onto the page. Personal tragedy was used so well as to ring a strong measure of emotional immediacy, even anguish, into what would have been a normally decent and workmanlike novel of societal deceit and colonialism, even extreme isolationalism.
When she goes deep into the loss of her loved one, it was strong, but it became almost alien, at least to me, when the ethos of hoarding meets the needs of the society. This was definitely a character novel, but the worldbuilding was very sound and the reveals and surprises were quietly desperate and interesting.
I liked this novel quite a bit, but it was slightly slow for my tastes. That isn't to say I was ever bored.
I think the foreword to the novel went a very, very long way to charm me before I even began reading the novel. For good or ill, that knowledge probably went a very long way toward being generous, but I don't care. This level of honesty deserves a lot of praise and respect.
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