We Have Always Been Here is a slow moving science fiction novel that has some mystery and intrigue but more often than not did not deliver. In the novel, a crew is sent to explore the planet Eos, where strange things were reported from two humans and an android that landed on the planet, by the ISF—an organization that could best be described as corporate overlords who control all things and people. Some of the crew experience waking nightmares where they feel as if they can’t control their bodies, and the androids start to become sentient and do things beyond their programming.
There are several things that don’t work for me. One is the characterization. None of the human characters were particularly compelling, including Park, the main character who was sent by the ISF to monitor the crew and report back to them. She has no personality and very little likeability. It’s hard to get into a novel when the main character is so dull. The other part that made it hard to get into the story was the constant switching back from the present to flashbacks of the other crew in Eos to Park’s backstory. It was hard to ever get into the flow of the story with all of the switching. Also, the writing felt plodding and tedious at times. On the good side, there was a lot of intrigue in trying to figure out the big mystery of the story, and the concept behind the planet they were inhabiting and the effects it had on both humans and androids was interesting. All in all, this was a solid but unspectacular novel.