The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – A Book Review

Small angry planet

Blurb:

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 reptilian 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.

Author: Becky Chamber

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Pages: 519

Release Date: 16/03/2015

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Wayfarers #1

My Chosen Format: Kindle

My Rating of ‘The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet’: 4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon, Audible

Review:

I picked this up on the recommendation of a friend who loves it so much that, throughout reading, told me to ‘please not hate it’. 

I didn’t 🙂

This book certainly isn’t for everyone due to the distinct lack of a solid main plot. There is one, but it’s literally ‘hey, can you go from point A to point B. It will take you a long time to do it’. What makes this book so enjoyable is the way it’s written, the characters and the little social interactions that make up a whole series of sub-plots. Odd to say, but it’s a book where the sub-plots are far more important and meaningful than the main plot (which is solely there to give us a reason to get all of those little sub-plots).

The start felt like it was a bit of clickbait. Character fleeing her past on a single person space pod, desperate to start a new life. Got me hooked. Then we moved on to other things. It’s that little period that might lose a reader as the author starts to set her world up. In truth, much of the novel is universe building, but done in a way that is enjoyable and immersive. At times it feels like an actual universe that I could pop out into due to the work that’s gone into building it. I can only imagine how complete a feeling this will give me when reading the next books in the series.

I think the best way to describe this make it sound a tad odd … but here we go: A hug in a book (I know, I wrote it and even I feel weird. But that’s the feeling you get. It’s a warm, enjoyable novel that you can slip into regardless of your mood). It’s also a kind of social experiment in space with mild soap opera-ish vibes. The story isn’t about any one character. Every person aboard the Wayfarer is technically a main character and each of their backstories and reasons for being where they are get explored. It gives you complete grasp of every character by the time you turn the final page and leaves you wanting nothing but good things for them. 

The only mild negatives I have are: the start setting it up as some sort of high-adventure novel and the occasional bit of mild shoe-horning in of certain aspects to get certain messages across etc … nothing too major and certainly nothing that made me dislike it at any point. My mind is also a bit vivid … so the interspecies relationships conjured a few awkward images in my mind. But I digress.

The major negative I have is the lack of capital letters in the title. That aspect of it ruined a gorgeous cover for me. Thankfully, that’s a trend that ends on the front cover. Capital letters run freely between the pages 😀

13 thoughts on “The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – A Book Review

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