Book reviews / Science Fiction / Top picks

Book review: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

For the last 100 pages of this book, I was mainly making incoherent noises at @psythor as all the shit kicked off in the book, with the whole arc of the story winding its way to the end.

Most of the incoherent noises were either something along the lines of “omfg they’re so adorable” or “omg it’s so sad!” Spoilers: There is a mega sad bit.

Anyway, plot. So there’s a ship called the Wayfarer and its ragtag crew of humans and various aliens. There was a bit of a Serenity vibe about it, but with less guns and borderline criminal hijinx. The story is mostly about relationships, really. How everyone fits together and come together, support each other and get the job done. I love everyone.

The crew is heading out on a mission, with a big payoff, and then hopefully rise in the galaxy, universe, whatevs. They’re a civilian crew that (this is awesome) build wormholes. So great. Anyway, the idea is that if they can do this job, they can stop living so hand to mouth, Serenity style. But there’s a catch, there’s some danger in it. So we sojourn with the Wayfarer and the crew, through thick and thin, ups and downs, heartache and loss.

But the characters! They are so utterly enjoyable to read. The quirky humour and delightfulness of it reminded me a lot of Shards of Honour or Sunshine where you just can’t help but fall in love with all their foibles. Seriously, so delightful.

I think it is safe to say it is an ensemble cast, there’s no one lead character, they all take different turns. Dudes: the Captain, person who makes the fuel for the ship, the doctor/chef, the computer tech. Women: navigator, mech tech, AI, clerk. They: navigator (it’s complicated). Also, I love the very different lives and relationships all the characters have, for example, the Tech Mech Kizzy and her two dads. Amazing.

Anyway, it was great. I heartily recommend it. And I’ll just say, coming from me, it was a lot about people and not about plot. You know my normal complaint is that there’s not enough plot. There’s lots of plot, don’t get me wrong, but the normal rant I would have about spurious details with no benefit do not apply here. Everything is great, you need everything to get the characters and motivations and to blubber like an idiot by the end. 5 stars. Go read.

Also, something I can’t thank the author enough for, it distracted me from the 3 hour flight home from Romania today. With screaming child kicking my seat the whole way. I was that engrossed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: