Ahoy there me mateys! I received this sci-fi eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here be me honest musings . . .
semiosis (Sue Burke)
Author: Sue Burke
Publication Date: Tomorrow!! (hardback/ebook)
Well mateys. I learned a new word from this novel. Semiosis. Cool sounding word. Wasn’t sure of it’s exact meaning. So I be sharing with me hearties:
semiosis : a process in which something functions as a sign to an organism source.
Yup, this book was indeed all about that. A bunch of folk from Earth have dreams of creating a new space colony dedicated to being in harmony with nature. The colony is called Pax for the peaceful civilization of their dreams. Only when they wake up, they find that the ship has sent them to a different planet than they expected. With little choice, they decide to make the best of it. But what happens when nature has a mind of its own?
Well, interestingly weird things happen. Plants, animals, weather – nothing is like the humans planned for. In fact one of the best things about this novel is how the human planning goes all wrong – especially in the beginning. Humans do survive but with interesting consequences. Another fun thing about this novel is that the story is told over 5 generations and 107 years with different narrators for each chapter. So the reader gets to see the ramifications of earlier choices as well as get some of the distortion of truth as time goes by.
Me favourite thing about the book is the relationships formed between the humans and the natural inhabitants of the planet. The signs and communication between lifeforms is the theme and highlight of the book. I loved the way language was used and the various forms it took. If I could have some of the animals as me life companions then I would certainly want a kat, which I picture as a cuddly miniature kangaroo that plays leapfrog and digs holes . The characters were individualized and well portrayed. I thought the plot was solid if somewhat plodding. But the concepts of utopias, mutualism, first contact, culture, and co-existence made this a very enjoyable read.
So lastly . . .
Thank you Macmillian-Tor/Forge!
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel:
In this character driven novel of first contact by debut author Sue Burke, human survival hinges on an bizarre alliance.
Only mutual communication can forge an alliance with the planet’s sentient species and prove that mammals are more than tools.
Forced to land on a planet they aren’t prepared for, human colonists rely on their limited resources to survive. The planet provides a lush but inexplicable landscape–trees offer edible, addictive fruit one day and poison the next, while the ruins of an alien race are found entwined in the roots of a strange plant. Conflicts between generations arise as they struggle to understand one another and grapple with an unknowable alien intellect.
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