A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers
A Monk and Robot Book
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy, by Hugo Award-winning author Becky Chambers, is a solid sequel. Like the previous Monk and Robot novella, it is thought-provoking and philosophical, and the characters are engaging. In A Psalm of the Wild-Built we met Sibling Dex, a tea monk who strays from the carefully manicured world they know to enter the wilderness. Ostensibly, Dex is in search of crickets, but really they are in search of purpose, of a life that leaves them satisfied at the end of the day.
Instead, Dex finds Splendid Speckled Mosscap, a robot on a mission to learn what humanity needs. It’s been 200 years since robots achieved sentience and parted ways with humans, and Mosscap and its fellows are curious to see how humanity has fared in that time. Together Dex and Mosscap return to the villages to meet people and seek answers.
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy picks up not long after the events of the first book, exploring more of the beautiful scenery of Sibling Dex’s world. It continues to take minor jabs at the failure’s of today’s society while showing the corrections that can be made to fix the errors of our ways. Both books are hopeful and poetic.
Along this journey, Mosscap discovers that its presence leaves a mark on those it meets, and that it has become a spokesperson for all robots. It also has to face its own mortality, and make decisions about future repairs. It knows it will be experientially different from other robots by its travels among the humans, but it doesn’t want to become physically different, as well.
The audiobook is skillfully narrated by Emmett Grosland, who brings Sibling Dex and Splendid Speckled Mosscap to life. They do an amazing job capturing the robot’s enthusiasm and Dex’s weariness. Their voice is soothing, and, along with the music, gives the audiobook an overall feeling of peace and comfort. A Prayer for the Crown-Shy is a book I could listen to over and over again.
I highly recommend both Monk and Robot books.
Visit the author’s website.
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy editor credit: Lee Harris.
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy cover art credit: Feifei Ryan.
A Prayer for the Crown-Shy cover design credit: Christine Foltzer.
Advance Reading Copy provided by Macmillan Audio via Netgalley at my request.
Audiobook narrated by Emmett Grosland.