Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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

I finished reading this book a week ago and I am STILL suffering from a book hangover. Nothing will ever be as magical and wonderful as this world and these characters, I'm sure of it... every other book and potential book has a grimy sheen. Life will never be the same.

The title of this book is basically what the book is about: it's a fantastic sci-fi romp about a multi-species crew on a ship on a long journey to a small, angry planet. And it was SO GOOD. Hands down the best book I've read in 2018 so far.

The Long Way isn't really an action-packed adventure until closer to the end, but the rest of it is filled with everything I could have ever wanted. Packed with excellent characterization and character development, intense and mind-blowing world-building, and, one of the most important aspects of science fiction, a sly commentary on our world as we know it. A lot of the book's theme focused on cross-cultural (or cross-species) interactions and how we learn from other cultures, and as a Cultural Studies major I was LOVING IT.

The characters though were definitely the best part and I wished I could spend all my time with them. They were so interesting and didn't play to type which was awesome. There’s the soft-hearted and pacifist space captain Ashby (I love the idea of a pacifist captain rather than the typical hard-hearted egotistical-but-loveable loose cannon), the nervous newbie but ultimately super strong and confident clerk Rosemary, the friendship between two techs Kizzy and Jenks that is so intense but never romantic (there's a scene at the end between them that was the cause of crying), a cool lizard pilot, a Navigator that thinks on a different plane, and a cook-slash-doctor who is one of the last of his kind. And they all obviously love and support each other so much. The whole book is pretty much about this misfit found family, and I am so here for it. 

The best books make you laugh out loud, cry, AND question the universe, and The Long Way managed to expertly accomplish all three.  Go read it right now. I promise you won't regret it.

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