4 Jan 2016

Review - The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Title: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Author: Becky Chambers

Publication date: March 16, 2015

Rating: 5/5 stars


When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that's seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.

But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptillian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful - exactly what Rosemary wants.

Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They'll earn enough money to live comfortably for years... if they survive the long trip through war-torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful.

But Rosemary isn't the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast, but spaceships are very small indeed.

My thoughts:

It’s always great when after dealing out a few lower ratings you can finally give a book five stars. The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet certainly deserves all the praise it gets. It is well-written science fiction that makes the reader feel all warm and fuzzy inside and keeps their attention without an unnecessarily overcomplicated plot.

The Long Way… follows a short period in the life of the crew of the Wayfarer. This patchwork of a tunneling ship houses nine individuals of different species: Ashby, the captain, Rosemary, the clerk, Sissix, the pilot, Kizzy and Jenks, the techs, Ohan, the navigator, Dr. Chef, the doctor/cook (aka my favourite character), Corbin, the algaeist and Lovey the AI. Since the novel is heavily character-driven by the end of the book I felt I knew this little group of people intimately and, in a way, I became a part of the family they formed.

I truly believe this novel can be life-changing for some people who read it at the right time, just when they need to ‘hear’ the message it holds. There are quite a few little lessons about life hidden between the lines and then in the end there is one greater thought to contemplate. This book is a wonderful teacher and I’m sure every reader can take something away from it, even those who normally don’t like science fiction. I wouldn’t miss this experience if I were you.

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