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Summary

From Emma Newman, the award-nominated author of Between Two Thorns, comes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity's future might be its undoing....

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi's vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than 22 years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided alone. All that time Ren has worked hard as the colony's 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment and harbouring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart....

Read by Emma Newman.

©2018 Emma Newman (P)2018 Blackstone Audio

What listeners say about Planetfall

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A difficult book to review

This is a difficult book to review, in part because the author discloses in the acknowledgments the fact of profound personal trauma that went on to pervade her writing of it, and in part because - possibly still carrying that trauma or reliving it in the process, she also narrates it. These things seem barely separable and so to say that I found the main character humourless and draining feels like firing an arrow at the writer.

There is a good story here though, albeit told with very little authentic-sounding dialogue. People laugh and joke and they see the funny side of difficulties, it's how we cope, but none of these do. The setting seems simultaneously very futuristic in that space flight to an extra-solar planet appears possible, but also much more near-future in its references to social media and 3D printing. There is also a strong religious element and the ending may satisfy or enrage depending on your view of who should be in charge of these things.

For me, this was a story that might have benefited from the author waiting a while until her own situation became a little more processed and settled, but I also wonder if I may have felt differently about it if I'd read the physical text, skipping the acknowledgements and supplying my own voice for this character. As it was, I was pre-loaded with the emotional weight of the work and then heard the story through a voice that registered somewhere between pain, pained, and panicked. My recommendation - read rather than listen, and skip straight to the story. Sorry Audible!

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not all that it could have been.

Great world building, good dialogue, interesting characters, thin story, predicable twist, poor ending. The telling of it would have benefited from being performed by a professional reader.

1 person found this helpful

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thoughtfully written sci-fi with a soul

thoroughly enjoyed this well written sci-fi story. it's extremely efficient in that it has a limited cast and very few locations. it drives a strong plot through the eyes of a flawed protagonist which slowly reveals the mystery.

I will go on to read Newman's back catalogue on the strength of this

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Secrets and lies

The novel starts with an outsider being rescued by a small group of people from a small colony on a far away planet. The colony appears quite technologically advanced compared to the naif outsider, and its members seem to also be living quite long if simple lives. The novel alternates the narrating character's point of view with flashbacks from her past, and readers slowly realise the huge differences between the ways of life she used to have on earth and those they all have in the colony. Secrets and lies abound, accurately kept and perpetuated both personally by the protagonist, and by a very small group of leaders from the rest of the colony. Rituals that are supposed to renew life and hope among the colonists are revealed to be only a peacekeeping show, and apparent friends are just temporary allies, secret oppressors or hostile bullies. As the story unfolds, death, threats, trauma and mental illness turn out to be at the root of planetfall and still heavily influencing life in the colony, while an attack from unexpected, revengeful enemies threaten their very existence.

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Brilliant narrative and narrator

The story draws you deeper and deeper like the mysterious 'God City', the mystery is both the internal struggle of the protagonist and the group searching for their truth. It ended perfectly. An insightful story I'll come back to again.

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Is this book Lost fanfiction?

Every plot point of this book (except one) occurs in the TV show Lost. That show wasn't as profound as it thought it was, and neither is this book.

Juvenile writing style, with lots of emoting in ways that the narrator seems to think are so unique and interesting, but which I found kind of teenage.

I was more affected by the Acknowledgements, than anything in the story.

1 person found this helpful

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Pitfall?

The story lopes about like a 5 year old child in a sunny meadow and I don’t think was written with a clear beginning or end in mind.

The characters are poorly explored, the technology is poorly explained and
the ending is poorly conceived. If the Author is hoping to write a series and build a world I would ask if she could stop as she will only upset those that unknowingly purchase her books.

The writer narrates and she sounds nice, I think if she fed gone for a non-sci-fi story she would of had more success.

2 people found this helpful

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Not so much sci-fi.

Not so much sci-fi as a story about a mentally disturbed old woman. The location somewhere in outer space is merely a convenient backdrop.