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After Atlas: A Planetfall Novel by Emma…

After Atlas: A Planetfall Novel (edition 2016)

by Emma Newman (Author)

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615194,696 (4.34)7
Title:After Atlas: A Planetfall Novel
Authors:Emma Newman (Author)
Info:Roc (2016), 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2017 reviews, english, science fiction, random comments review, read, read 2017, wwe

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After Atlas by Emma Newman



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...Despite the rushed ending, After Atlas is a very good read. Newman creates another marvelously developed character with this novel. At the end of it, she also creates some interesting options for further stories in this universe. I have no idea if she intends to write a third novel, but the potential is certainly there. After Atlas is perhaps not the most uplifting novel, but it is one that is intelligently written and on the character level deeply moving. Planetfall is probably my favourite by a minimal margin, but After Atlas is a worthy sequel.

Full Random Comments review ( )
  Valashain | Jun 5, 2017 |
In my experience, the second book of a series is rarely better than the first book, but this is the exception. I had enjoyed "Planetfall" but was somewhat disappointed with the end. "After Atlas" kept up the good writing and had an ending which satisfied and actually has me looking forward to the next book in the series.

At first, the book hardly seems a sequel at all. The only connection is that the main character, Detective Moreno, is the son of the Pathfinder, the visionary genius whose spaceship design, the Atlas, enabled a group to colonize an alien world. Moreno was left behind as a child and has suffered an a world much like our own, but much, much worse. He is charged with solving the apparent murder of a cult leader (also one of the left behind) who had taken him in as a child. Moreno is conflicted. He loved this man but hated him as well.

The solving of the crime had all the aspects of a great police procedural with added tech, like a chip in his head, an Artificial Personal Assistant, instant communication through the chip, fully immersive environments to recreate the crime scene and instant DNA analysis. The tech was overlaid on the story very naturally. Well done.

The last 50 pages or so finally connects this book to "Planetfall" where we learn what's really happening. This is usually where I expect a book like this to fall apart. This one didn't.
  capewood | Mar 18, 2017 |
Utterly brilliant. SF plus a country hotel murder mystery? Well, that's not the half of it. (Really want Carlos to hear John Lydon shrieking PIL's 'Anger is an energy'. But maybe that's a really bad idea in the circumstances.) ( )
  Bernadette877 | Jan 17, 2017 |
After Atlas by Emma Newman is a companion novel to Planetfall, which I previously reviewed here. You don't have to have read Planetfall to read After Atlas — both books stand alone entirely — but some background/historical context for After Atlas will be clearer sooner if you've read the other book first. Even if you spend most of After Atlas trying to remember the names of the Planetfall characters before caving and checking when you're near the end, as I did. Also, it should be possible to read the two books in either order.

Planetfall wasn't exactly a cheerful book, so I picked up After Atlas because I was in the mood for a depressing read. Boy, did it deliver in that regard! Set on a dystopian Earth forty years after the colony ship in Planetfall left, After Atlas follows a detective assigned to a murder case. Carlos the detective, also the first person narrator, is owned and enslaved by the Ministry of Justice and contractually forbidden from revealing that fact. Because of the NDA included in his contract, most free people don't believe slaves like him exist, which makes for some interesting social interplays (and bitterness).

A large part of After Atlas is a murder mystery, with the victim the leader of a cult Carlos escaped when he was sixteen. The cult insist on having Carlos be the investigator and, of course, the situation brings up a lot of difficult memories for him which also serve to fill in the reader on his backstory. The story of the cult and of Carlos's connection to the departed spaceship end up being key components of the story, along with the murder itself.

Newman paints a pretty bleak picture of humanity in this series and especially in this book. Honestly, I was surprised at how bleak some parts were and I recognise that's not for everyone. But I really enjoyed the book and the story and the issues it raised. I will definitely read any more books that come out in this series, although I'm not sure more are planned. I recommend After Atlas to fans of dark SF (I wouldn't call it horror, though) and to anyone who enjoyed Planetfall, although it's a pretty different read in many respects. I've enjoyed all of Newman's books that I've read, but I should warn you that if you've only read the Split Worlds series, this series is very different, so be warned.

5 / 5 stars ( )
  Tsana | Jan 9, 2017 |
After Atlas is a novel set in the same universe as Newman’s stellar science fiction novel, Planetfall. However, the two books are completely distinct and can be read independently. In fact, After Atlas is actually a mystery novel in addition to a science fiction story.

After Atlas presents a very dark vision of the future. Democracy has failed, and the world is ruled by hybrid government/corporations – govcorps. Carlos Moreno, who’s mother left aboard the spaceship Atlas, had the misfortune of being rounded up and sold as a debt slave. For the next thirty years, he’ll belong to the Ministry of Justice, where he works as a detective. But a new case threatens the fragile boundaries he’s constructed to preserve his mental state. His uncle, Alejandro Casales, and leader of a religious cult has been found dead in a hotel room, and Carlos will be forced to examine his past.

One of my most constant thoughts while reading After Atlas was “wow, Carlos’s life sucks.” I’m not going to say too much here since a large part of the novel lies in you gradually finding out just how bad everything really is, but this is a seriously dark read. Oh, and then about 70% of the way through things get even worse. It felt like my heart dropped down into my stomach.

I say that the connection between Planetfall and After Atlas is tenuous, but one of the connecting themes is mental health. Carlos most definitely has mental health issues. He’s been under immense and constant stress his entire life and is constantly having to carefully regulate his emotions so that he doesn’t get sent for “reconditioning” by the Ministry. I’m no expert, but I’d guess he has PTSD.

While I feel like the ending was a completion to the story, I would love to see a continuation. I think there’s still room for more of Carlos’s story, and I would like to see how his character develops.

While I don’t think After Atlas reaches quite the heights of Plantfall, it is still a very strong science fiction novel. If you’re willing to venture into a dark future, this is a book I’d recommend.

Originally posted on The Illustrated Page.

I received an ARC of After Atlas from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
1 vote pwaites | Oct 19, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425282406, Paperback)

Acclaimed author Emma Newman returns to the captivating universe she created in Planetfall with a stunning science fiction mystery where one man’s murder is much more than it seems...
Govcorp detective Carlos Moreno was only a baby when Atlas left Earth to seek truth among the stars. But in that moment, the course of Carlos’s entire life changed. Atlas is what took his mother away; what made his father lose hope; what led Alejandro Casales, leader of the religious cult known as the Circle, to his door. And now, on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Atlas’s departure, it’s got something to do why Casales was found dead in his hotel room—and why Carlos is the man in charge of the investigation.
To figure out who killed one of the most powerful men on Earth, Carlos is supposed to put aside his personal history. But the deeper he delves into the case, the more he realizes that escaping the past is not so easy. There’s more to Casales’s death than meets the eye, and something much more sinister to the legacy of Atlas than anyone realizes...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 07 Jul 2016 07:52:25 -0400)

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