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A Closed and Common Orbit: Wayfarers 2 Paperback – 15 Jun 2017
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The sparky empathy of Chambers' writing [draws] you into these strange creatures' hearts and minds in a way that is never less than deeply involving (Daily Mail)
A joyous, optimistic space opera... Although it isn't shy about tackling Big Questions, PLANET is a heart-warming debut novel that will restore your faith in science fiction (specifically) and humanity (in general). (Tor.com on THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET)
One of the most enjoyable, brilliantly realised spacey SF novels I've read in ages. (James Smythe on THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET)
A quietly profound, humane tour de force' (Guardian on THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET)
Joyously written and a joy to read. (Claire North on THE LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET)
The extraordinary new novel by Becky Chambers, author of the beloved debut novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet: 'a quietly profound, humane tour de force.' (Guardian)See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
It’s a gentle and sweet read, but one that also tugs you along; I was reading this on my commute and I did not want to put it down. I was reading it while making dinner and kept forgetting to stir things. I actually let my tea go cold! I had to read one more chapter, one more paragraph, just to find out what happens next…
We get to see more of the universe and the cultures in this sequel, and it’s all so inventive, so different – and yet everything works together. Yes, there’s horrible people and places, there’s bureaucracy and frustration and anger and hate. But there’s so much love and hope, and I think that’s what I love most. You come away from the stories realising that even if everyone is so, so different – somehow, they can make those differences work.
The story itself is sweet; the two timelines follow Jane from her start as a worker in a factory, sorting scrap, and Lovelace taking her first steps in a human kit-body after being a ship’s AI. But the two stories wind together at the end, and I love seeing both of them grow.
So yes. Sweet, adorable, thoughtful, growing and wonderful. Read it. Read the previous one. And then read them again.
The book mostly runs parallel to the events in Wayfarers 1, as the AI (Sidra) created and rejected in that story finds a new life in a 'body kit', making home with Pepper and Blue, who run a scrap store. The book flits between this story and the past, exploring the back story of Pepper's life, where she lived as an escapee from slavery, forging an existence on an abandoned ship with nothing but an AI for company. These two stories dovetail towards the end of the book in a satisfying and quite heart warming finale.
As with the first book, Becky Chambers is very much concerned with characters over plot. It's a rather slow moving tale and for a good deal of it not a lot seems to be happening. But the characters are so well defined and fun to be with this really doesn't matter, it's very easy to fall in love with each and every one of them and just spend time in their company. The principle stories are of Sidra's struggle to fit into society, the bond she forges with an alien, Tak, and of Pepper's difficult past and how she too adjusts once she has become free. It's core themes are of individuality, diversity, discrimination and friendship.
I never found this quite as engaging as the first but, in of itself, it's still a very pleasant and fun read and draws you in the deeper you get. If Chambers is writing a third book in this universe, I'm hoping she returns to the crew of the first book and continues their tale, but wherever she chooses to go I'm on board.
If you want to know what happens to Pepper and Lovelace after the events of The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet this is the book for you. And if you haven't read planet yet then what? Why - go do that now then come back...
Becky Chambers writes so so beautifully and this world she has built is a vibrant, eclectic, multi-cultural joy to read about. Her characters are drop dead gorgeous, intriguing, fascinating and most of all so very authentic, you just live with them. I lived with the crew of the Wayfarer in the last novel and in this one I lived Pepper's past and watched in awe as Lovelace (Sidra) mapped out her future.
Oh I don't know what to call it. Literary science fiction? No, whatever, it just IS storytelling at its very very best and most engaging. Roll on the next book. Any chance of getting the gang together again? I really really hope so.
Simply Heavenly. That is all.