22 October, 2019

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

Cover image from the goodreads website.

Series or Stand Alone: Wayfarer Series #1
Release Date: 29 July, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: Science Fiction/Space Opera/Adventure
Edition: Audiobook (also available in Kindle, Hardback, and Paperback)
Rating: ★★★★
Review Written: 30 September, 2019
Warnings: Death, Mentions of War
Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain. Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe.

See more by Becky Chambers at her Website.
I picked this book up for a Science Fiction Book Club I decided to try out, and this is perhaps the best book I could have come in on. I didn't know what to expect when I started the book, but I was not disappointed with the results.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet focuses on the crew of the Wayfarer, a 'mining' spaceship that has volunteered to take on a highly dangerous mission into enemy space. If their mission is successful, the crew will be known as the ones to link this new space with the existing Galactic Commons. The catch is, this mission will take a year of travel to reach Hedra Ka. For new crew member Rosemary Harper, this is perfect. She'll be able to see more of the galaxy... and she'll be able to put more distance between herself and her past, namely her father.

This story was very addictive in a way that all good books are. It was difficult to put down at times when trying to keep track of everyone's nuances. For a first novel, this book is well written and very intriguing due to it delving deep into subjects such as Artificial Intelligence Rights (should they be allowed to be autonomous or should they be considered machines), racism (among the different species that form the Galactic Commons), and cloning (one of the crew members turns out to be a clone).

If you enjoy space operas or science fiction, I'd say pick up a copy of this book for a good read. As noted in the book information, this is the first book of the Wayfarer series, however it isn't necessary to read the books in order. Each book focuses on a different aspect/area of the universe and characters only very loosely tied to each other.

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