Psalm for the Wild–Built by Becky Chambers
**We received an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. We’d like to thank Becky and Tor for the opportunity. This book comes out on July 13th and you can get it here or at your local independent bookstore**
Reviewed by GGGinny
What I drank: Prosecco. I did a thing with friends last week where we ordered a box of fancy cocktail stuff and then made fancy drinks. I still had most of a bottle of prosecco but that is ALL gone now. Also I finished one of my presentations for the end of the semester so I felt like celebrating with my grumpy grumpy cat.
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?
Drunk Overview: Okay, this is set on a world that has dealt with some sort of world-changing event that made the world far more aware of the need to be environmentally friendly. FYI, at the time of the catastrophe, the robots decided to fuck off an live in the forests. The humans agreed. Much further along, our main character is trying to find themself and decides to head to a monastery within the forests aka the robots domain.
Drunk Thoughts: This book is one of those books that is probably going to change my world view.
- I expect this won’t be a spoiler, but our main character runs into a robot, and the conversations they had made me feel conflicted and at peace all at once.
- I’ve known enough philosophy majors to know what is a good conversation and a bad one. I’m sorry, but everyone technically seeing a different version of red isn’t going to blow my mind. A conversation about what consititutes personhood between a robot and a human however…. my mind was blown.
- Even more than that, this book takes place in a world I want to live in.
- People seem to care for each other.
- The main character (I think their name is Dex, so that’s what I’m going to call them). Dex feels unfulfilled and becomes a tea monk which means going around and listening to peoples problems, basically a travelling therapist.
- I know no world is perfect (and this one isn’t either), but it didn’t change the fact that the visuals were so cozy.
- But legit, the robot society sounds fascinating.
- I know this is supposed to be book 1 in a series, and I am pumped for that.
- Honestly, this book gives me Wayward Children vibes, and if you know me, you know that I love Seanan McGuire and that the Wayward Children series is my favorite.
- The fact that this is a novella means that it’s really digestable too. Instead of getting too mired into world building or the philosophical debates, this book keeps moving and ends up making it’s point beautifully.
What I’d Pair it With: This book is a late night drink around a campfire. I’m gonna say hot toddy because the drink needs to be warm and comforting without being too complicated.