It all started with a seed.
Planetfall reminded me in some ways of Annihilation, but less weird and more human. Ren is a 3D-printer engineer on a colony at the base of a mysterious alien structure called God’s City. Twenty-two year’s prior, Lee Suh-Mi led her faithful followers into space to find a new future for humanity.
Then a stranger walks up to colony, claiming to be the son of one of the survivors from planetfall. They believed all the others were dead, how could this happen?
It’s a slow reveal kind of story, and bit by bit, the pieces start to come together. I did find it a little slow to get into because there were a lot of terms to get to grips with, but one I was in, I was hooked. There is a constant feeling that there’s something being hidden, a secret at the heart of the community, and the stranger puts that all at risk.
That scared me more than anything, sometimes; the noise of my thoughts, the sense that even the space inside myself wasn’t safe.
Suh-Mi entered God’s City and never returned, believed to be living there. Once a year, she offers the alien seed to one person from the colony, so they can become enlightened. There is a cult-like feeling around the whole thing.
The story follows Ren, who knew Suh-Mi during her student days back on Earth. her past is filled in through flashbacks. In the present (future) she is suffering from anxiety and an a severe hoarding obsession. She holds onto possessions as if they hold her memories, she tells herself she will fix things. They don’t need to fix things, they have 3D printers to recycle everything.
What happened to make her like this? Is it just the consequences of living on an alien planet? There is a traumatic scene for Ren, which made me so angry at the other characters. It turns out that their behaviour is incredibly relevant, but my heart breaks that Ren’s illness wasn’t handled carefully.
I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.
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Book Source: Purchased