February 2nd, 2020

Book 13 - 2018

Book 13: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers - 402 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The ship, which has 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.

This book is probably more a 4.5/5 than a 5/5, but I actually ended up enjoying it way more than I was expecting to.
Let me go back to the beginning.
I read the blurb of this book at the book store, having never heard of it, and thought it sounded a lot like Firefly, which I loved. So I bought it. Then I read some of the reviews online. And even though a lot of the reviews were positive, I won't deny that I was sceptical. Gays in space, rainbows and unicorns, etc etc, all the reviews/descriptions seemed to suggest that this was a book about everyone being nice to each other etc and without much of a plot. Stories need conflict, and every review I read seemed to suggest that this book lacked that. And probably for the first 250 pages, I was on the fence. And then the incident with Corbin happened, the character written to be the most unlikeable of all the characters, and I was in. That whole incident felt very Star Trekky and though I still think Chambers' writing style is a little too millennial, PC-ish, I could see what she was trying to do (perhaps without quite the subtlety that made early Star Trek work so well) and I appreciated that. There's still not really a HUGE plot, but Chambers did a great job developing interesting characters, very thorough world building (that sometimes felt like it was a little too much of the story, but not enough to completely overwhelm it), and a collective group that had each other's backs even if they didn't always like each other (the group actually weirdly reminded me of my team at work - lol!). Character driven, creative, and a really good attempt to do what sci-fi has always done best - discuss big philosophical questions without getting (too!) preachy!

13 / 50 books. 26% done!

4212 / 15000 pages. 28% done!

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