Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon – An Audio Book Review

Remnant Population


For 40 years, Colony 3245.12 has been Ofelia’s home. On this planet far away in space and time from the world of her youth, she has lived and loved, weathered the death of her husband, raised her one surviving child, lovingly tended her garden, and grown placidly old. And it is here that she fully expects to finish out her days – until the shifting corporate fortunes of the Sims Bancorp Company dictates that Colony 3245.12 is to be disbanded, its residents shipped off, deep in cryo-sleep, to somewhere new and strange and not of their choosing. But while her fellow colonists grudgingly anticipate a difficult readjustment on some distant world, Ofelia savors the promise of a golden opportunity. Not starting over in the hurly-burly of a new community…but closing out her life in blissful solitude, in the place she has no intention of leaving. A population of one.

With everything she needs to sustain her, and her independent spirit to buoy her, Ofelia actually does start life over – for the first time on her own terms: free of the demands, the judgments, and the petty tyrannies of others. But when a reconnaissance ship returns to her idyllic domain, and its crew is mysteriously slaughtered, Ofelia realizes she is not the sole inhabitant of her paradise after all. And, when the inevitable time of first contact finally arrives, she will find her life changed yet again – in ways she could never have imagined…

Author: Elizabeth Moon

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Narrator: Suzanne Toren

Running Time: 12hrs 18mins

Genre: Science Fiction

Audio Release Date: 3rd November 2020

My Rating of ‘Remnant Population’: 2 out of 5

Purchase: Audible, Amazon


I absolutely loved the idea of someone, deemed surplus to the needs of their society, deciding that they’d strike out on their own and leave everything they knew behind to live out the remaining years of their life in solitude. There’s something in that that most of can appreciate and, on certain days, aspire to.

Sadly, although well-written, the book never really got out of second gear for me.

I wanted to like this so much. I kept expecting something to happen, felt as though the author teased incessantly that something was going to happen … but that’s all it ever was. Just a constant tease. Even when things happened, they did so in such a passive way that they can barely be said to have happened at all. Even when big things were genuinely happening, they were reacted to in such a way as ‘oh well,’ and it just sucked all pace out of the story.

Well, that’s somewhat of a stretch. The pace remained constant. From the first word to the last, the author wanted the pace to go at a slow, ponderous pace rather than one that ever risked being something a reader could cling on to and get ready for a ride.

I also found the main character thoroughly unlikeable. She was mean and spiteful whenever she had the chance to be. Even when she was being kind, it felt more of a chore for her to do so than any actual genuine feeling. Having Ofelia as the main character made this so much more of a chore to get through than it could have been.

There are so many five star reviews for this and people talk about it like it’s the next big thing in science fiction … I don’t want any science fiction read and enjoyed by these people. The concept is wonderful and the writing is good. But the story is tedious, long and amounts to next to nothing.

I’m all for new ways of exploring first contact in science fiction between mankind and new races, but this is a way that I don’t think I’d rush to read again. Nothing about how it was executed sounded believable. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe this is a diamond and I just enjoy living in the rough. Who can say? All I can say, is that it certainly wasn’t my cup of tea.

8 thoughts on “Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon – An Audio Book Review

  1. My only experience with Moon’s works comes from the Vatta’s War series, which is everything BUT slow and ponderous, and sports a quite likable main character, so I don’t think I would enjoy this one, either. Pity, because the premise is a sound and intriguing one… Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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