A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Monk & Robot #2) by Becky Chambers
Published by Tordotcom
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Release Date : 12th July 2022
After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.
They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.
Becky Chambers’s new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?
Mosscap had come out of the wilderness to ask questions. There was no better place for that purpose than this.
ARC provided by the publisher Tordotcom and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is the reflective and comforting sci-fi novella that will leave you feeling cozy and teary from all the warmth this book emanates.
Inhale and exhale the spring air people because I am excited for the upcoming release of Becky Chambers’ sequel to their famously heart warming Monk & Robot series A Prayer for the Crown-Shy. Finishing this novella yesterday has had me teary and reeling from the assault of warm emotions that has spread within me after reading an ARC of this book as part of my ‘mARCh Madness’ challenge.
It was an easy decision to pick this book up because when I finished reading A Psalm for the Wild-Built last year I could not stop thinking about the sequel. It is just a treat to be blessed by the ARC gods that I get to read the sequel in advance.
Before I dive into this review I want to shout out the artist Feifei Ruan and design by Christine Foltzer for yet again creating such a beautiful cover. I like that the cover gives readers a teaser about the premise of this sequel and looking at it now with knowledge of what happened in the sequel the warm colours and the city scape in the background encapsulates the book really well.
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is Becky Chambers second book to the Monk & Robot series following up the tremendous success of the first book A Psalm for the Wild Built. Becky Chambers is widely known for their ability to write comforting sci-fi books with critically renown series such as The Wayfarers.
In this second book Chambers continues Mosscap and Sibling Dex’s journey as they venture into civilization to start their tour around the villages to finally reach the city. Mosscap tasked with the questions from the robots to find out what humans need and Sibling Dex now chaperone both find themselves being the center of attention. Throughout their journey they will find new friends, discover and learn new concepts, all the while slowly reflecting on the future.
“But whatever it is we’re doing, it’s the first thing in a long time I’ve been sure about.” They swallowed. “Most days, you’re the only thing that makes sense.”
Becky Chambers writing style emanates a certain feeling that can only be described as healing, gentle, and nourishing. There is a neutral tone that Chambers adopted to convey ideas and concepts through their characters that facilitates a safe space for minds to wander. There is love and understanding contained within the pages of this book that will make you reflect on life and the pleasures to see it from a slightly different perspective.
The themes that are rooted deeply in the characters gives readers a medium to project themselves into the characters to be offered a chance to reflect. This book is a science fiction novella but the values and thinking within it can be applicable to every day life.
In the first book A Psalm for the Wild-Built I picked up on the importance of resting and to forgive oneself for taking the necessary step to rethink their life. Continuing on this notion Chambers takes it up a notch and makes their characters to not just reflect but to face the unknown possibilities of the future and to find it within themselves to face it without fear.
The world building in this novella is lush, brilliant, and an explosion of nature that thrived overcoming the disaster it had experienced during the factory age. Chambers takes readers on a journey pass beautiful sceneries, lush forests, and vibrant villages with their own charms of welcoming the duo into the space. These villages also have their own lifestyle choices that is distinct and unique for readers to explore.
Mosscap and Sibling Dex will find new and old friends to connect with on their journey. While in the previous book the focus was mostly on Mosscap and Sibling Dex, I like that in this sequel we get to see the two characters interact with other characters that prompts discussion between them to find answers on their route to discovery.
Their amicable character development in this second book has exceeded my expectations. Their charms and flaws come to light in the most heart warming way as I found pieces of me within each character as they develop throughout their journey. They offer each other a hand during their harshest times as they also check on each other to face the difficulties in life but also offering the safe space to confront it. Mosscap and Sibling Dex’s relationship have truly blossomed into a wonderful friendship and I am honoured to have been able to witness it.
Robots didn’t hold hands with each other, Dex knew, but humans did, and by the way Mosscap squeezed its metal fingers in response, it was clear it understood the gesture.
Final thoughts, A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is the sci-fi comfort blanket that will heal, destress, and distract your mind from the world to offer a healing hand for the soul without the pressure. It is the book that has brought me immense joy this month. Becky Chambers has become one of my most favorite writers in SFF as I will likely read every book in their repertoire.
I highly recommend for all readers to read A Psalm for the Wild-Built if you haven’t and then continue on by reader A Prayer for the Crown-Shy after it releases as it is a novella that is versatile and can be perfect for readers that only want easy to consume sci-fi that isn’t too long and too hard to understand. It is also a good book to recommend to friends and other readers alike that have never read sci-fi that want to start reading it.
The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
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