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

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Where to buy it: QBD the Bookshop, paperback, $19.99Audible, audiobook, $14.95 or 1 credit

When can I get my hands on it: Now!

What can I expect: science fiction, diversity, laughs, heartwarming moments

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.

Well. Amazing. Excellent. A true delight to read and a great experience for someone who reads very little science fiction.

As I was reading, I felt this to be a little on the light side for science fiction, but upon explaining some details to people I’m told it could be much closer to being traditional science fiction that I realised.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is quite a funny book, I found my self laughing at numerous stages throughout and that is huge for me. I often find that although I love books and reading with an undying passion, the often don’t affect me emotionally (a recent example is my unending shame at not crying during THAT PART of Bridge to Terabithia.)
Kizzy especially was a constant source of hilarity for me, she’s so bright and quirky but not to the extent where she becomes cheesy. She wears bright clothes, smokes a little smash but is a true friend to everyone and an absolutely brilliant and dedicated mechanic.

The depth of the development of this incredible cast of characters is insane. They have histories, families, secrets, romances, shames and triumphs. Their relationships with each other are heartwarming and something to aspire to, but the relationships of all the different species is incredible and something the world could do to be like right now.

I loved the relationship between Ashby and Pei. The forbidden-ness of it makes it somewhat clandestine but the actual love and companionship makes it truly romantic.
I really wanted to know more about Rosemary and her story because it just sort of stops being important about 3/4 through, I was disappointed with this aspect of the storyline.

Sissyx and Dr Chef were my absolute favorites. The Andresk species is extremely interesting and I love how much detail Chambers has put into them. Dr Chef is a perfect character, the mother hen of the ship, he is from a gender fluid race and he has such a harrowing backstory that it is incredible that he can remain so cheerful and willing to do anything for his crew.

If anyone is looking for a novel heavy on diverse characters, look no further. As I mention above, there is gender fluidity, polyamory, interspecies relationships, gay parenting amongst many other amazing things. This novel gives a true representation of how diverse people are. Brilliantly done.

I am extremely excited to read book two, even though it’s not strictly a sequel. I feel that Becky Chambers Wayfarers novels have started something amazing for my reading.

5/5 stars!

 

-Sam, xxoo

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