Series: Monk & Robot #1
Published by Tordotcom on July 13, 2021
Genres: Science fiction
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About A Psalm for the Wild-Built
In Panga’s past, robots achieved sentience and retreated to the wilderness. No human has seen one in centuries. After the robots left, humans figured out how to live more in balance with nature and in their lives.
Sibling Dex, a monk of Allalae, feels a lack so decides to learn how to become a tea monk. They travel to different communities, offering people who need it the perfect blend of tea and empathy. And yet, still, Dex feels a restlessness so decides to visit the wilderness, seeking out an abandoned monastery.
On their journey, Dex is met by a robot who asks “What do humans need?”
My thoughts about A Psalm for the Wild-Built
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers is a warm snuggle of a book, a lovely cup of tea, sipped while wrapped in a pashmina.
This book while slight has large ideas. And Becky Chambers delivers with intriguing, well-thought-out, well-crafted world-building. Religion, harmony, ecological responsibility, acceptance of Other even when not understood.
There was a bit of a cautionary note – reference was made about Panga’s past with factories and petroleum dependence. And instead of foolishly plowing ahead, Panga’s people chose to pivot, rethink their society, and start making better choices,
I want to believe that we could do that now so I appreciate that instead of writing another dystopic scenario, A Psalm for the Wild-Built gives us common sense and hope.
I appreciated that Sibling Dex’s being nonbinary wasn’t delved into or endlessly commented on – it just was. And for those who think the singular use of they/them is confusing, this proves you wrong. Whether Dex was in a group, alone, or with just one other person, I never had trouble following who was meant when only pronouns were used.
Hopepunk, solarpunk, opposite of grimdark, however, you label it, this is fabulous writing, creative world-building, and intriguing ideas. I can’t wait to see where she takes us in the next book!
My thanks to NetGalley and Tor.com for the ARC.