Book Review: We Have Always Been Here by Lena Nguyen

We Have Always Been Here

Author: Lena Nguyen
Publisher: DAW Books (July 6, 2021)
Hardcover, 368 pages
Sci-fi, Adult, Sci-fi thriller


This psychological sci-fi thriller from a debut author follows one doctor who must discover the source of her crew’s madness… or risk succumbing to it herself.

Misanthropic psychologist Dr. Grace Park is placed on the Deucalion, a survey ship headed to an icy planet in an unexplored galaxy. Her purpose is to observe the thirteen human crew members aboard the ship–all specialists in their own fields–as they assess the colonization potential of the planet, Eos. But frictions develop as Park befriends the androids of the ship, preferring their company over the baffling complexity of humans, while the rest of the crew treats them with suspicion and even outright hostility.

Shortly after landing, the crew finds themselves trapped on the ship by a radiation storm, with no means of communication or escape until it passes–and that’s when things begin to fall apart. Park’s patients are falling prey to waking nightmares of helpless, tongueless insanity. The androids are behaving strangely. There are no windows aboard the ship. Paranoia is closing in, and soon Park is forced to confront the fact that nothing–neither her crew, nor their mission, nor the mysterious Eos itself–is as it seems. 


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This book was so weird. I was totally sucked in and couldn’t put it down, but there were several plot threads that I feel were left hanging, and plot points that weren’t fully explored/resolved. At first I was confused about all of Park’s flashbacks, but then it was really cool how it was eventually tied in.

I also thought I knew where the Lena Nguyen was leading with the mysterious illness, and I was so thrilled to be completely wrong! I read a bit of a review that mentioned a spoiler (so I won’t mention it here!) but I think that tiny bit of a spoiler let me down a certain direction – though the way my brain took it would have ALSO been very cool and creepy too. 😉

The world-building is really cool and I was fully immersed in this adventure Lena Nguyen takes us on in this debut novel. I can’t wait to read more from her!

A digital ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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