Sue Burke’s debut novel follows a small group of human colonists who have landed on a new planet and must learn to survive. The planet is older than Earth, and the plants and animals have had more time to evolve—to become intelligent, and deadly. The people form an alliance of a sort with a plant that learns to speak with them, but the collaboration will require more change than many of the humans are prepared to make. As with many other books, it’s not hard to see the callbacks to Octavia Butler here, with the exploration of human evolution and coexistence (and related themes of control and consent).