Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.
But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.
Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.
Trying to write a coherent, spoiler free review of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is tough. This is an incredible science-fiction book about family and friendship and so many things that I love that it’s hard to describe.
This book is the story of the Wayfarer crew as they travel a long way to the small angry planet where their next job awaits them. It’s about the relationships between all of the characters human, humanoid, ‘alien’ and artificial alike. It’s about love and trust. The book itself covers talks about gender, racism and fear without letting those things become bigger than they need to be because in the grand scheme of this story, they just are and it is amazing. The history of all the characters and their races are shared with such a matter of fact tone that accepting it isn’t a question and I loved it.
This is not a fast-paced book; it is driven by the characters and their stories and the stops along the way on their journey. It feels so real, despite the strange, vast, chaos-ridden universe the characters live in. Chambers developed this universe in such a way that you feel the vastness of it without having to see all of it (because we see only what our characters experience) through stories told by the crew to their newest member.
I spent the whole time reading going through and tabbing poignant quotes and conversations or thoughts on topics that are so prevalent in today’s society. This will be a definite re-read for me in the future, along with any of Chambers’ future writing. I gave The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet 5 out of 5 stars.
title // The Long Way to Small Angry Planet
author // Becky Chambers
publisher // Hodder & Stroughton
genre // Science Fiction
publication date // 2014
format // Paperback