Tor. Feb. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780765391353. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765391377. SF
OrangeReviewStarDEBUT As environmental collapse is seemingly imminent, 50 colonists from Earth undertake a journey to save humanity from complete destruction. However, when their ship runs into trouble, the group is forced to land on a different, unexpected planet, which becomes Pax, their new home. Generations of humans are born here, evolving to adapt to the special environment, as do the native plants, creating an unusual, sometimes troubling, symbiotic relationship that grows through the years. The colonists work to thrive in their new society and other life forms watch the progress, waiting for their own moment to thrive. Told from an unusual perspective (each chapter follows a member of a succeeding generation), this first-contact tale is extraordinary.
VERDICT Burke's riveting debut offers a compelling look into communication and sentience on a world where humanity is not the highest on the food chain nor in actual control of their environment. The unusual landscape and range of characters through the years show that evolution affects all.
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