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 (Wayfarers, #1) 
by Becky Chambers


4.5 stars out of 5

What a riot of a book!

They weren’t kidding when they said this book is one that fans of the short-lived television series, Firefly, would enjoy. While it lacks the “we weren’t kidding about the ‘western’ part when we called this a ‘space western’ show” aspect that the show possessed, it’s got much of the same energized pacing as well as that ever-popular “rag-tag crew that’s more than a crew, they’re a makeshift family” element that, when done well, makes you feel ALL THE THINGS for the characters.

It’s done well. It’s done so well in this novel. Every character has is given equal page-time — an impressive feat — and you learn the ins and outs of each person. We learn their pasts, their loves, their fears, and in such a way that these characters feel less and less like characters as the story goes on. They’re individuals whose crew we’ve somehow joined like some kind of omniscient stowaway. Bonus points for the amount of profanity that gets used because, as a well-educated young woman who happens to say “fuck” a lot, I can appreciate that these characters all sounded like, well, any self-serving spacer with the mouth of a sailor.

Few books have that ability to so easily slip the reader into the world, but somehow The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet does it, and does it to a degree that I’m left annoyed at myself for not reading this book sooner.

There’s so much more to discuss, such as the book’s ability to touch on a myriad of social issues in only the way that truly good science fiction can, but I think that one should discover these great nuggets for oneself.

This is a book not to be missed. So strap in and hop aboard The Wayfarer for a wild, raucous ride.
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