ARC Review: A PRAYER FOR THE CROWN-SHY (Monk & Robot #2) by Becky Chambers (2022)

Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Year Release: July 12, 2021
Buy Links: Bookshop.org | Unabridged Books | Audiobook

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Read an ARC from NetGalley
For my review of the first book, click here

Crown-shyness is a phenomenon where, if you look carefully at the canopies of trees, you’ll notice that they don’t quite touch each other. There’s no overcrowding and a mutual respect for space, though it’s unclear why this is. It’s a wonderful metaphor for the types of villages that exist in the world of Monk & Robot. Mosscap and Dex continue along their journey and encounter groups with different relationships to technology and the world around them.

This series continues maintaining an air of kindness born out of the ashes of a world that simply didn’t work. It’s cathartic, but comforting, with a focus on community and the meaning in existence.

It’s great fun to see Dex and Mosscap philosophically bicker. If watching a sunshine robot banter with a grumpy monk, there is much more of that here. In addition, we see the different dispositions of both characters as they interact with more of the population inhabiting the world. Some are pro-technology, some are wary, and others use futuristic bio-plastics to make something entirely new. I enjoyed the interlude specifically where Mosscap needs a minor repair. Especially given the current political climate, it’s an excellent exploration of where a body ends and a person begins. Does changing one part change the entire hardware? What if there are different components? The novella doesn’t give clear answers, but allows food for thought.

My heart softened so much at the entire concept of the pebs. It’s like currency, but it’s more accurately a form of social capital. There’s no expectation to maintain debts, with a more community-based focus on the give-and-take. This world feels constructed in response to the destruction emanating from late capitalism. As much as resources are still important to survival, community and relationships are paramount.

Once again, there is no coddling here, but this series continues to avoid unnerving and unsettling the reader. The most stressful bit is when Mosscap meets Dex’s family, and the reader is eased into that sequence.

Monk and Robot is all about the value in simply existing. It’s got big heart and big perspective, and I’m eager for the next installment.

One thought on “ARC Review: A PRAYER FOR THE CROWN-SHY (Monk & Robot #2) by Becky Chambers (2022)

  1. Pingback: July 2022 Reading Recap | Jo Writes Fantasy

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