A Prayer for the Crown-Shy

(Monk & Robot #2)

Hardcover, 160 pages

English language

Published July 11, 2022 by Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom.

ISBN:
9781250236234

View on OpenLibrary

5 stars (19 reviews)

After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.

They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.

Becky Chambers's new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?

3 editions

An enjoyable and thoughtful read as we discover, along with the robot, what humans may need.

4 stars

An enjoyable and thoughtful read about the continuing journeys of a tea monk and a robot who wants to know what humans need. Plot-wise, there isn't much; but in terms of musing over the condition of humans, nature and one robot, there is plenty.

Both the monk and the robot have returned to human civilization, with the robot eager to visit and discover more about the human area and various human communities (with one exception) eager to learn more about the robot.

Through their interactions, the robot (and us readers) learn more about the human society that rose after the robots achieve sentience and left the factories, and about how they now live in a more ecological sustainable manner while maintaining some technology.

But would it be enough to answer the question the robot first asked about what humans need and how it can help them?

Review of 'A Prayer for the Crown-Shy' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Sometimes someone writes a book that's just what you need when you need it. Everything about this book made my heart so happy. I loved watching Mosscap experience new things with the joy of a child and loved how Dex and Mosscap relied on each other and came to realize that while they didn't entirely feel they belonged, they knew they belonged together. The whole book was perfection, every little nuance. This will forever be a story I recommend to everyone.

Like a soothing cup of tea

5 stars

Another sweet and generous tale, so full of heart and the doubts that can fill one. I found myself moved to think about the world differently and literally reconsidered my career choices at one point while reading. The way the author teases out ideas about identity and self-perception really landed for me.

On a less positive note, this book got me trouble when I laughed out loud in bed and woke up my wife who had just nodded off. Thanks Becky!

🙏

5 stars

At first I was low-key disappointed: Mosscap's candid questions slightly annoyed me, and I was dreading the answer. The moment where the story would answer its central question: when all your basic needs are met, what else do you need?

In other stories about the meaning of life (or adjacent themes), I could always relate to the part with the questions, and end up disappointed by the answer that the characters find, because the answer specifically works for them, and not for me. It's probably impossible to answer this kind of question in a way that will satisfy every reader, so why even try in the first place?

And... well, I like the direction that the book took, especially in its last chapter. It made me think of How to do nothing, except that Jenny Odell explains you what Becky Chambers makes you experience.

Also, I just …

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