Forty years after landing on Lida, the colony still isn’t finished.
Agetha has survived many more battles than she anticipated when she first landed on her new home planet. She’s older and wiser, has gained family and lost loved ones. And yet her reward for four decades of service is to be pushed to the colony’s outer edges with the other aging Generationals.
But that was only the beginning of her adventure.
The biomass has spent years studying the intruders who landed on its surface, carving a new home from its very essence. Never satisfied in its attempt to communicate with this new and invasive species, finally it has found a way to express its intentions. The colonists may never be the same.
Building on the story that began in Of Mycelium and Men, this story revisits many of the same characters, though most have aged significantly since the end of book one. The colonists still don’t understand the biomass that occupies Lida, though they’ve learned to live with it in some ways.
I originally picked up the first book in this series last year, because as a microbiologist who has worked with fungi on occasion, I had to read it. I enjoyed the first book from a scientific perspective and I still love the concept of a sentient fungus. This second book felt a little more fluid, and the characters were more developed, which I enjoyed.
I really liked Choi’s story arc and their drive to understand and potentially communicate with the biomass, while overcoming long-held societal beliefs regarding the thing that inhabits most of their world. Choi’s ingenuity when faced with the problem of engaging an alien intellect made for an interesting aspect of the book.
Agetha’s story was at first bizarre, then a little disturbing the more I thought about it. It’s hard to go into details without giving away spoilers for her story arc, but the concept was fascinating (and might just be theoretically possible. Which is creepy.)
I was happy to see Anderson make a return as well; he was one of my favorites from book one. His story was minor until the end, but I think the decision he makes might have significant consequences for what will happen in book three.
As a sequel, this was a good one—and I think I liked it even more than book one.