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 reptillian 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.
“Ninety percent of all problems are caused by people being assholes.”
“What causes the other ten percent?” asked Kizzy.
“Natural disasters,” said Nib.”
I am relatively new to sci fi, I have always loved everything Space but usually read non fiction until someone suggested The Calculating Stars and now I’m picking up sci fi books with restless abandon. One of the things that put me off reading sci fi was ‘aliens’ and other species and I thought I would only enjoy more realistic fiction but I hold my hands up, I was 100% wrong. I know this book is popular but I actually hadn’t heard of it until I saw Becky Chambers’ latest book on Waterstones and decided to pick up this one, the first in the series.
OH MY GOD, I loved it.
You know how some books just feel like a comforting hug – this book is it. I love how the characters don’t conform to the gender binary (one character is Non-Binary and another starts life as female, then changes to male and end their life as Non-Binary) and there is LGBTQ+ rep. Not only that but the characters are loveable and perfectly flawed. This book is the epitome of found family and I am here for it.
A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet tackles so many issues that are relevant today including gun control, colonialism, xenophobia, and racism. It serves as a stark reminder that whether we stay on Earth or manage to expand to other planets in the Universe, these things will still be something we need to address, we can’t just leave them behind. There are honestly so many quotes that had me nodding in agreement but this blog would be way too long if I included them all – guess you’ll just have to read the book 😉
“The only reason Humans stopped killing each other to the extent that you used to, I think, is because your planet died before you could finish the job.”
Kizzy, the ‘always snacking and always fixing things’ engineer may be my favourite character but they all stole a little piece of my heart in their own way. This made me want to smile, laugh and be on board this wonderful ship. It proves that you can handle any crisis, as long as you have your people around you. It is definitely going to be one of my comfort reads and one I will be picking up again in the future.
“So we travel to one end – whoosh – and all the people seeing us fly by are like, oh my stars, look at that totally amazing ship, what genius tech patched together such a thing, and I’m like, oh, that’s me, Kizzy Shao, you can all name your babies after me – whooosh – and then we get to our start point.”
Trigger Warnings: murder, death, loss of a loved one, violence, PTSD, grief, blood, drug use, genocide, sexual content and war themes.
Rep: Sapphic relationship, Lesbian, Trans, Pansexual, Gay, Gender fluid, Non-Binary, Asian character, Polyamorous relationship