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A Psalm for the Wild-Built

Monk & Robot # 1

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A Psalm for the Wild-Built
Written by: Becky Chambers
Narrated by: Emmett Grosland
Series: Monk & Robot #1
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic | Dystopia | Science Fiction
Published: 13th of July, 2021
Length: 4 Hours 8 Minutes


Listen to Samples:

Audible UK

In A Psalm for the Wild-Built, Hugo Award-winner Becky Chambers's delightful new Monk & Robot series gives us hope for the future.

It's been centuries since the robots of Panga 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 World I'd Visit in a Heartbeat

Review by: The Audiobook ReviewThe world built by Becky Chambers in A Psalm for the Wild-Built is one I'd visit in a heartbeat. This is probably best described as a Cozy Sci-Fi, where not a lot happens except lots of conversation that made me yearn for a place I can never visit. Set on a colonised moon some years after robots became self-aware and walked away from people.

The world moved on without them, moving to a simpler form of living with the land rather than just continually taking from it. In this novella, we follow Sibling Dex who, after having an existential crisis decides to pack up their life and become a tea monk.

Tea monks are the mental health advocates, bringing their ears, their wisdom, a cozy place and a cup of tea to all that need to talk. Sibling Dex's struggles to start their new career, but eventually, they become well respected... but still, the longing for something different is there. Eschewing their responsibilities, they head off into the wildlands and stumble upon a robot.

The robot is an ambassador, of sorts, sent by the others to make contact for the first time since the great walking away after they gained sentience. The two struggle to connect but travel together following Dex's journey.

It's important to note that this is book one, and while the main arc of the story is wrapped up by the end, there's plenty more journey to be had... and I'm glad. I'll certainly be interested in getting book two and finding out what comes next.

Narration by Emmett Grosland was mostly good, but let down by some poor editing. Really obvious retakes peppered the audio, with a distinct change in pitch, almost as if someone else did the re-reading. I found this rather jarring.

Narration Sample

Overall, the story was like a warm cup of tea with loved ones. A surprising amount of swearing for something that felt so cozy and sweet most of the time.


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Reviewed: 2021-12-28

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