The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – A Review
This book is set in a futuristic setting, on a planet that is not Earth. Instead, it is a new planet where a colony of scientists is at work attempting to make the planet inhabitable. The main character is a reformed drug addict sent to Oasis, the new planet, with the intention of bringing the word of God to its native population.
The story ends in a cliffhanger, after you watch Peter, the main character, and his wife fall apart due to the distance between them and the fact that Peter finds himself drawn to the creatures that are the native population on the new planet. He has no desire to be with the human colony on the planet or to return to Earth and his wife.
Readers do find a beauty and a number of appealing factors in this work. Despite its difference from Faber’s previous works, it still contains the elements that draw in readers and keep them engaged, like smooth writing and a plot that is easy to follow if someone ambitious in its attempts to share the story of a new world and the efforts of a human to bring our religion to a population that is as different from the human race as it can be.
Despite religious overtones and a sci fi leaning (futuristic colony on another planet), the story is a strong look at humanity and the strengths and weaknesses of one man and his journey with his faith as his main strength. Readers who are not strongly religious can still enjoy this work for various reasons. Meanwhile, those who like science fiction will be a bit disappointed. Keep this in mind if you are picking up this book with hopes to read about new and intriguing elements of a futuristic colony, since that aspect of the story is a bit lacking.