Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Release Day Review: A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy
(Monk & Robot #2)
Becky Chambers
Release: July 12, 2022
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After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.

They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.

Becky Chambers's new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?

I've said it before and I will say it again. Reading a Becky Chambers book is like getting a warm hug in book form and A Prayer for the Crown-Shy was a much needed hug. One of my favorite books of 2021 was A Psalm for the Wild-Built and I am so happy that I can say that its sequel will be one of my favorites of 2022. I absolutely adored this book!

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is full of hope and comfort like the best slice-of-life fanfic and it was everything I wanted for this book and more. Honestly, I had no idea about what to expect when I started this. The story picks up immediately after the events of the first book and we get to see Sibling Dex and Mosscap transition from acquaintances to companions as they travel across Panga in search of the answer to Mosscap's question. We got to meet a dazzling mix of individuals in this story and I loved seeing Dex and Mosscap interact with them. But their interactions with each other are what really make this story special! They had me laughing out loud one moment and thinking deeply the next. Becky Chambers has such a knack of writing such fully formed characters and their emotions while still including hard science.

This book was an absolute delight! Someone please tell me we're getting more novellas in this series!?! Our knowledge and view of Panga was expanded upon and we got to see so much more of this intriguing solarpunk world. Each chapter features Mosscap and Dex traveling together to new places and to many towns so Mosscap can ask and learn what people need as they travel to the City. Getting to read about Mosscap interacting with the villagers with whom they were delighted to meet and who were delighted to meet the robot in turn. Mosscap's curiosity and wonder in discovering the new things each region had and learning about the human experience warmed my heart. And Dex learning how to navigate this new experience while watching over Mosscap and searching for their own answers was heartwarming in its own way too.

This novella wasn't just a travel diary though. It also continued to expound on some of the struggles that Dex was having in book one. They are still learning how to deal with burnout and what it really means to rest. They are still struggling to not equate their value to how productive or helpful they are. And boy! Did that really strike a cord with me especially in our current world. The way that Becky Chambers wrote Dex's struggles with their mental health were so refreshing and so needed. One of my favorite things about her books (besides how fantastically queer they are) is the social commentary and the philosophical questions that get asked. I truly haven't been able to stop thinking about this story since I finished it and I don't think that will be changing any time soon.

Y'all. I'm not sure if I can truly convey how much I adored this book. To me, the story reads as unfinished so I'm hoping we get more books in this series. I could read the adventures of Dex and Mosscap forever. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed for more but I am also content with how this book ended. And hopefully if we get more we'll also get more robots in these two's future adventures.

ARC provided by the Publisher via Netgalley.

  5 / 5 Stars

My reviews of other books in this series:
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

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