Book Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Posted September 6, 2020 by lomeraniel in Audiobooks, Hopepunk, LGBT, Review, Science-Fiction, Space Opera / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky ChambersThe Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1) by Becky Chambers
Narrator: Rachel Dulude
Series: Wayfarers #1
Published by Tantor Audio on 07-05-16
Genres: Hopepunk, LGBT, Science-Fiction, Space Opera
Length: 14 hrs and 24 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Libby
Overal Rating: four-stars

Follow a motley crew on an exciting journey through space-and one adventurous young explorer who discovers the meaning of family in the far reaches of the universe-in this light-hearted debut space opera from a rising sci-fi star.
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.

Rosemary is escaping from her past and takes a job on the Wayfarer, a tunneler ship with a very diverse crew. Captain Ashby receives a tip-off about a new job that could be the ideal for his ship and his crew.

As the title of the book says, the story is about the voyage to this angry planet, where the Wayfarers will begin their mission. There is not a lot of action in this book, as it is mostly a character-driven story. Chambers does know how to build great characters and rich interactions among them. There are several events during their trip that feel like an excuse to introduce each character, even the secondary ones.

The atmosphere at the Wayfarer reminded me somehow of Firefly, them behaving more like a family than a simple crew. In this universe, there are multiple sentient species known as sapiens, in hundreds of shapes and forms, and the Wayfarer crew is a reflection of this.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the diverse relationships among characters, and Kizzy was my favorite. There is also plenty of love in this book, not only fraternal love among three crew members, but also love that transcend sex and species, and which also seems possible involving an AI. In the end, love is love.

It was a pleasant story, but as it happens generally with hopepunk, it feels a bit bland at certain times. It is one of those books that leaves you with a good feeling but you miss a bit more grit to the story.

Rachel Dulude delivers a good narration with good character interpretations. The only small complaints I have is that her male voices sounded exactly the same as the female ones, and some dialogs were difficult to follow because of this. Also, the pauses between paragraphs were too short, not being longer than the pauses between sentences, which was confusing at times when the story transitioned to a new scene but the narration did not show it.

Story (Plot)
Overall: four-stars