Planet Adyn is a lovely story, filled with humor, sadness, and wonder. It’s a quick read, which did make me wonder if this first book couldn’t be integrated with the second book of the series. The ending of the story still leaves a lot open, and it would’ve been nice to have at least some of the questions raised answered. Still, it’s an enjoyable story with great detail for world-building. So if you want to read a sci-fi novel that is quick to read, easy to understand, and still with enough detail and story to leave you wanting more, this is the story for you.
Joan has learned her entire life to hide her supernatural abilities from everyone around her. She’s filled with questions about her powers, not knowing why she has them or how she got them. Everything changes when a boy and his father move next door from a parallel dimension on the hunt for a criminal. Joan might finally find her answers.
I really liked to story itself. It had a decent pace to it and covered some relevant life-themes. The most present one, for me, was Joan having to hide her powers. I think this is similar to people hiding their gifts to seem normal. We care too much what other people think of us to show them who we are; sometimes we even hide from the ones that are closest to us. I believe Planet Adyn is a source of comfort if this is something you struggle with as well. It is a reminder that even when you think you’re alone and there’s no one quite like you, there are others out there. Others will value you for your uniqueness. I think that’s a very powerful message to give, especially to teenagers (I do believe this book is targeted to a YA audience).
“Fear is an enemy dressed up as a friend. Humor it as far as it keeps you safe, but don’t you ever let it get in the way of what you want to be.”
Joan was such an empathic character and very relatable. I think she was well-developed and had depth to her. She’s someone who struggles with wanting to do the right things, but not wanting anyone to notice her or her powers. She has more powers than anyone, yet she still feels powerless. On top of that, she doesn’t have supportive parents; her dad’s kind of an asshole, and her mom a weak mess. She does love them, and especially hopes for better things for her mom, which makes Joan all the more endearing.
Daniel is the other character we get to know well. We already meet him in the prologue and know that he and his dad are from another planet. There’s a great joke at the beginning of the story when Joan meets Daniel, but I won’t spoil it for you. Daniel is a kind and loving soul, but not accustomed to hide his powers at all. Adjusting to this new strange world, where no one has powers, is a great challenge for him.
“But the funny thing about power is that no matter what you think it is, or how much you think you have, it’s the people above and all around you who get the final say.”
The world-building in Planet Adyn is excellent and incredibly detailed for such a short book. You get tons of information on the planet Daniel and his dad come from, there are different languages and words, and all sorts of powers people have. You can really tell Wang has thought it through to every detail. We even get some information on the political situation and the racial issues (they’re reversed to the situation on earth). It makes you long to see Duna.
The writing was good, and there are many lovely passages. Especially when it comes to the world-building, Joan’s powers are well-described and interesting. However, I did have some issues with the writing. There was a lot of telling at the beginning when we go through Joan’s history. There are some active passages, but I would’ve liked to see more. Also, around the middle, we get a massive info dump on all things Duna. While the info is interesting, not all of it is necessary for the story, and not a lot of other things happen in that scene, so it’s quite dull. But that is honestly the only issue I had with it.
“But I was too young then to understand that some power—the kind that really matters—comes from other people. And what good is being faster, or stronger, or smarter than everyone else when it leaves you all alone?”
To sum it up, Planet Adyn is a great first installment of a sci-fi fantasy story. It does feel like it’s mostly meant to set things up, though, so the ending was slightly disappointing to me, and I’m still left with a lot of questions. It’s an enjoyable story, with likable characters, and it has a good pace to it. Many great details for the world-building, but this also made it fall a bit flat at times. I would recommend it, especially if you like YA novels and are looking for a quick read.
Have you read this book? Or perhaps other books by this author? What were your thoughts on the books? Or do you have any questions or comments about my review? Please let me know in the comments!