Hello! I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend. I recently read A Psalm for the Wild Built, by Becky Chambers which I absolutely loved, and I’m so excited to share my thoughts on it. It’s quite different from what I usually read, and this review is the first I’ve done for a book that wasn’t a review copy, but I really wanted to write this review, so here we are!!
I don’t have much to say in this intro, so I’m going to dive into my thoughts on this amazing book!
A Psalm for the Wild Built
Author: Becky Chambers
Release Date: July 13th, 2021
Genre: Adult, speculative fiction, science fiction fantasy
*this review is spoiler free*
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?
A Psalm for the Wild Built is a book about a monk, a robot, a different better world, and what it means to want more when you seem to have everything.
I rarely read books that are hopeful like this one, so this was a nice change from some of the darker fantasy I’ve read lately. It really made me think about and question my ideas on life, purpose and the future.
The main character of A Psalm for the Wild Built, Sibling Dex, is a non-binary tea monk, who meets a robot named Mosscap. This is the first contact between humans and robots in centuries, and is very meaningful to both Dex and Mosscap.
It’s so good to read a book with a non-binary protagonist set in a world without transphobia and intolerance towards gender non-conforming people. This book was not about Dex’s gender identity, but about Dex themself. Dex’s journey began as a mission to discover their purpose in the world, but upon befriending a robot began to question what they truly wanted to do with their life.
The writing really grabs you and pulls you into the world that Becky Chambers has created. I was so invested in reading about the characters; their vivid thoughts, complex emotions and really everything about them was written so well, and every page was just beautiful.
Becky Chambers is a science fiction author based in Northern California. She is best known for her Hugo Award-winning Wayfarers series. Her books have also been nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Locus Award, and the Women’s Prize for Fiction, among others. Her latest works are The Galaxy, and The Ground Within (the fourth and final Wayfarers novel), and A Psalm for the Wild-Built (the first of her Monk and Robot novellas).
Becky has a background in performing arts, and grew up in a family heavily involved in space science. She spends her free time playing video games, tabletop RPGs, and looking through her telescope. Having hopped around the world a bit, she’s now back in her home state, where she lives with her wife. She hopes to see Earth from orbit one day.
A Psalm for the Wild Built is a beautifully written book about friendship, the future, and more. I cannot wait to read the sequel, and to dive back into the world Becky Chambers has masterfully woven together.