The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the star chart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.
But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.
Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own. – Goodreads
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet Review
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet was a fantastic read. Becky Chambers doesn’t just write a story, she makes a family. The characters aboard the spaceship (Wayfarer) remind the reader strongly of the ones featured in Joss Whedon’s gone-too-soon Firefly. (Except that none of them, except for maybe one of the insane mechanics, actually resemble them in any real way.)
Love is love is love. This is a theme that Chambers works diligently in within The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Whether it’s a cross-species homosexual relationship or the purely mental attraction between someone who hasn’t even been recognized as human yet and her tech, love is love is love. The emotions, the connection, is honored regardless of what form it comes in. Crewmates trust each other to know what they’re doing.
Not only that but even if they don’t particularly like each other, the members of this crew are still family. They snark, throw insults, bicker, and hate on each other. But when need be, there’s not even a second’s hesitation to helping each other out. It’s also fun to watch the characters develop. One of them actually manages to make the transition from complete sod to a decent person in a believable fashion! My favorite characters were Dr. Chef (and the name is self-explanatory), Sissex, and Kizzy. Kizzy takes the cake, though, I think. She’s just such a loveable character you want to take her out and get drunk with her.
There’s not a whole lot of action in The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, but that doesn’t matter. The idea of being on a ship that quite literally drills holes in space is both awesome and absolutely terrifying. Especially when you consider the fact that the navigator is a blue sloth-like creature. One that speaks at a speed that makes you want to hit fast forward on time. There are also issues that are brought up like when a creature is recognized as a person, when AI becomes ‘real’, and cloning. Yep, even in the far future, the debate around cloning continues.
This was a hard review to write because pretty much all I wanted to do was fangirl over it and tell you that you need to read it. So, I’ll end with “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet makes you find yourself hoping that if you ever get a chance to go into space, you get on a ship with a crew just like this one.”
And yes, you need to read this book.