Team Review: On A Sunbeam

On A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
535 pages
Published by First Second
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating: Pete’s – 4 out of 5 stars; Indiana’s – 
Re-readability: We’ll probably revisit this when we need a cozy adventure


Spoiler-free review
Reviewed by Indiana and Pete

A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together.

Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love—only to learn the pain of loss.

With interwoven timelines and stunning art, award-winning graphic novelist Tillie Walden creates an inventive world, breathtaking romance, and an epic quest for love.

From the publisher

Pete: This wonderful graphic novel filled the void left by The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet for me. It was a great blend of slice-of-life and sci-fi adventure, and Walden’s unusual art style was unlike anything I’ve seen.

Indiana: Agreed. I loved that it didn’t try to explain too much about the world. Their spaceships were in the shape of giant fish and there wasn’t some big story or reason behind it. They’re just giant fish. I also appreciated that even though it’s a sci-fi book it doesn’t focus too much on the science. It’s more about the strange and complicated lives of these characters. 

Pete: I don’t think I’ve ever read sci-fi that took place in a distinctly different universe before. There weren’t even any planets—just floating chunks of land with buildings and trees. It was surprisingly refreshing to read something that didn’t follow the usual conventions of alien planets and sleek spaceships. 

Indiana: I also loved the idea of this team going around and repairing all these strange worlds. Sounds like a cool job to me. The only trouble I had with the book was that I would sometimes flip the identities of certain characters, which got really confusing during the climax of the book. 

Pete: I struggled with that too. It was a little unclear how exactly they were stabilizing these “worlds,” but I didn’t mind the mystery of it. I would happily read more stories set in this universe, with the same characters or a new cast.

Indiana: Me too. For now, I plan to pick up some of Walden’s other books. 

Who else has read this one? What did you think?

2 thoughts on “Team Review: On A Sunbeam

Add yours

  1. I liked this book, along with ‘Are You Listening?’ and ‘Spinning.’ Tillie Walden is very talented (and so young!) One thing that did puzzle me was that literally all the characters were female… how were new people being born?

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