cover image Planetfall


Emma Newman. Roc, $15 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-425-28239-7

This heartbreaking adventure is a tragedy of science and faith. Renata “Ren” Ghali followed her lover, Lee Suh-Mi, on a voyage to the stars with 1,000 other colonists. They found a new world, but Suh-Mi went into the alien structure known as God’s City, and she never came back. In the 22 years since, Ren has contented herself with her work as a technician. She lives at the foot of God’s City and seeks balance between her secret torments and the colony’s needs. That delicate collection of compromises is shattered by the arrival of Suh-Mi’s grandson, whose existence could reveal the web of lies that has held the colony together. Newman (The Split Worlds) begins with the high stakes of a new colony and raises the risk to every human life as events unfold. She carefully manages her pacing until events make each revelation as inevitable as it is destructive. The unfurling of God’s City’s reason for summoning the interstellar travelers is heightened by the illogic and desperation that threatens the colonists from the start. Ren is obsessed with repairing every broken object. The first thing God’s City breaks is promises, leaving Ren responsible for solving a mystery that has only borne regret and death as its alien fruit. Agent: Jennifer Udden, Donald Maass Literary. (Nov.)