I seem to have written several posts about fantasy books in the last few months. This month I’m going back to science fiction.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers.
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.
This book doesn’t offer much of the epic space battles that come to mind when talking about Space Operas. What it does offer is a glimpse into how living in space among aliens isn’t always that much different from living on Earth in the present. I really enjoyed this book. It has a large cast of characters, but they all get their chance to shine, and they all are well developed. The action is episodic, but all ties together into a coherent whole. I recommend this book if you are looking for a lighter science fiction book that still satisfies.
If you enjoyed this book, there is a sequel called A Closed and Common Orbit