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Review: The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

the long way to a small angry planet by becky chambers

The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet

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…more.

My Rating:

The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet felt more like I was reading some kind of serial rather than a book with a plot. That being said, I did enjoy the book. The writing was interesting, the ‘science’ presented in the space travel was believable but still fanciful enough not to log down the reader. Giving all the diverse characters a little bit of their own time throughout the novel was also key to ensuring that the book didn’t end up being nothing but empty space. Because the characters themselves had depth, the story remains intriguing even as the book ploughs forward, seemingly to no overall end or arc.

Some might call this a charming space opera, but it lacks the operatic in my opinion. Nothing much happens, as we sail across the vast darkness of space, except learn about the politics of space, interspecies relations and sexuality. For that, this book is a marvel. It takes all the ridiculous prejudices plaguing us on one planet, and throws it into space. With that comes different species to illustrate issues of sexism, intolerance, racism and political leaders who care for nothing but profit. Though not a thrilling adventure through space, this book is worth reading for fundamental and existential reasons.

In the end, I’d only recommend this book to a select few. I’d be sure to tell them up front it isn’t a thrill ride through wondrous space, but an interesting, unique view of our own inadequacies and frivolous, pointless prejudices.

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