I honestly hadn’t heard much about this book going into it. A little bit of my need for this book came from my adoration of the cover, wanted to delve more into pure science-fiction, and I had at least, read one or two positive things in my roaming of the internet and your blogs.
Thankfully, my lovely boyfriend bought this off my Amazon wishlist for my birthday and I was so eager to get started on it, it was easily one of the books that pulled me out of my reading slump.
I must say, this easily catapulted itself into one of my favourite reads of 2016. It was such a wonderful book. I must admit, I always get a little bit skeptic when it comes to pure science-fiction, I tend to just see a bit of Star Wars in everything and then I get bored of it, (not to say I don’t like Star Wars, it just feels overloaded on me these days). But, I needed not worry. This book was pure, unadulterated character driven amazingness. That is not a real word but I’m using it – amazingness!
A Long Way To A Small Angry Planets follows the crew members of the Wayfarer. How they cope on their longest job yet as the cross the vast expanse of the galaxy.
This review will contain zero spoilers!
The debut, originally self-published effort from author Becky Chambers – TLWTASAP (because I cannot keep typing the full name!) truly amazed me in its deep characterisation and it’s wonderfully emotive and exploratory notions.
Initially, you believe the book to be from a singular person’s viewpoint, maybe two at a push, but nope, this novel follows several viewpoints – of all the crew aboard The Wayfarer and it loses none of the impact – in fact, it increases your experience throughout the book, getting to see the journey through so many sets of eyes.
Throughout the novel, as I’ve stated, we find ourselves acquainted with many different characters, who are from many different species, we do not just have measly humans on the Wayfarer! And this is what is so fascinating, we get to discover the many different species – we meet Sissix – the pilot and an Aandrisk. We meet Dr. Chef – who is, as his name suggests, both on board doctor and chef, who just so happens to be Grum. And, there’s Ohan – the ship’s navigator who is one of the most interesting races, they are a Sianat Pair (yes, the they is on purpose).
We discover the issues and daily struggles each species faces – which although set in space, featuring species that we are only just meeting – strikes an uneasy and completely familiar chord with the reader. We learn the balance the crew juggle with and the different prejudices and boundaries set upon them. It’s both out of this world and yet wholly relatable.This crew is a mini-family, they see each other more than they do their actual families more often than not and have to live in rather close quarters as they complete their jobs. As you dig further into their dynamic and their relationships you see the intricacies and you truly find yourself caring for these characters.
TLWTASAP is not an epic space adventure. It’s not Star Wars or Star Trek. But, thankfully, it’s not trying to be a whirlwind space opera, with dramatic chases through asteroid belts or fast paced laser fights. This is a book that is purely character driven and follows them – not some end of the world type scenario. And that is what I love the most about this book. We feel at home with them because of the small world surrounding them – their ship; Wayfarer, is so intensely detailed, from the so many different points of view we get to see.
I honestly have so much love for this book that I just cannot encourage you all enough to pick it up! Whether you’re a fan of Science-Fiction or not, this is a truly marvelous read.
Have you read The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet? What did you think of it? Let me know!