Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Review: A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

A Psalm for the Wild-Built
(Monk & Robot #1)
Becky Chamber
Release: July 13, 2021
Goodreads Amazon
Hugo Award-winner Becky Chambers's delightful new series gives us hope for the future.

It's been centuries since the robots of Earth gained self-awareness and laid down their tools.
Centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again.
Centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.

One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered.

But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.
They're going to need to ask it a lot.

Becky Chambers' new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

I've been thinking about this book nonstop since I finished it and I am having trouble coming up with the words to explain how much I loved it. At its heart, A Psalm for the Wild-Built is a hopeful look at what our world and what humanity can become as well as a philosophical and existential look at the meaning of life. I seriously loved everything about this novella except the fact that it ended! 

This story is a slice-of-life following an agender tea monk named Sibling Dex who is feeling a bit lost about what they should do with their life despite being a darn good tea monk. And can I just say that I wish we had tea monks? As soon as I finished, I could help but wish that I could just go to someone who would make a special cup of tea just for me and just listen to me for a minute. Dex feels a bit hollow despite how good their life is and is searching for the answer or the thing that will make them feel complete.

The worldbuilding is topnotch! For those who are new to the subgenre, solarpunk is a genre that looks at what a world would be like if humanity could come together and solve some of our current sustainability challenges like climate change and pollution. And the world that Becky Chambers envisions is a marvel and was an absolute delight to read about! And all of it was spurred on by robots worldwide gaining sentience and laying aside their tools of industry to go explore the wilderness. The solutions that the humans came up with to solve humanity's problems and still honor an agreement with the robots were ingenius and it kind of makes me want to go live in my own little tea wagon and travel the world. Also, can I geek out at how nice it was to read a sci-fi story that could explain the science of ecology correctly?!? The biologist side of my brain was in love!

As awesome as the worldbuilding was, what sold the story for was the the characters! I quickly fell in love with Dex and their search for something more despite having everything they could ever need. That search for something to fill the slight hollowness inside really resonated with me. I won't lie. I would totally go off trail to find adventure. Dex meeting Mosscap was the best damn meet cute ever! Mosscap is so easygoing and down-to-earth! I loved how they took so much joy in their surroundings and their new experiences. And I loved how inclusive Becky Chambers made this story with both the nonhuman characters and the characters of all genders. I think this may be the first story I've read with an agender MC. 

My heart is full and I feel like I had read a hug as soon as I finished. I love Becky Chambers even more for writing this story! This was a heartwarming and thought-provoking novella that I haven't been able to get out of my head. I am seriously looking forward to getting my hands on the sequel as soon as possible. I have my fingers crossed that this series will have a very lengthy run because I just need more of these kind of stories in my life!

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  4.5/ 5 Stars!

My reviews of other books by this author:
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Monday, July 12, 2021

Month in Review: April, May, and June 2021

Y'all! It is officially summer for the Weres! The last part of spring has been busy for us so we forgot to post our monthly wrap ups. Better late than never, right? We're going to combine April, May, and June's wrap ups into one post.

So here's what the Weres have been up to the last few months:


 Soulstar by C.L. Polk
Last Guard by Nalini Singh
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Hold Fast Through the Fire by K.B. Wagers
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