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.
I wasn’t sure about this at first, it took me a while to settle into reading it but once I did I really enjoyed it.
The story kept surprising me, I thought at first that it was going to be daft and not make much sense but it worked really well. It turned out to be a thoughtful and convincing story and I liked how the plants had developed and had wars with each other and tried to subtly control the animals that lived off them.
I liked the development of Sterling, the alien plant intelligence. I was worried that he was going to become an evil dictator type that tries to control the community but it was much more complex than that. Sterling learned, made mistakes and grew along with the community as a whole.
So don’t let the underwhelming blurb fool you, this is an interesting read that is well worth picking up if you enjoy thoughtful sci-fi.