When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The patched-up ship has seen better days, but it offers her everything she could possibly want: a spot to call home, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and some distance from her past.
And nothing could be further from what she’s known than the crew of the Wayfarer.
From Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the chatty engineers who keep the ship running, to the noble captain Ashby, life aboard is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. That is until the crew is offered the job of a lifetime tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet. Sure, they’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years, but risking her life wasn’t part of the job description.
The journey through the galaxy is full of excitement, adventure, and mishaps for the Wayfarer team. And along the way, Rosemary comes to realize that a crew is a family, and that family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe… as long as you actually like them.
Pros – Rosemary, the crew at large, the examination of the diaspora that can occur so easily and unexpectedly in some cases
Cons – what ends up happening to one of my fav characters
Notes – I listened to the audiobook for this, so some of my spellings may not be as perfect as they could be. I tried to check them against the hardcopy of the book I have whenever I could
Review – I like three kinds of science fiction books; scifi romance (Linnea Sinclair, Carol Van Natta, Carysa Locke), Star Trek scifi books and ones so grounded in the character development the scifi elements are basically tangential to the story. A LONG WAY TO A SMALL ANGRY PLANET fits into the last category quite well.
Its not that it doesn’t delve into the science of why the ship runs on algae or how many different ways there are to “punch” through space. It does and at times in more detail than I could understand, but the heart of the story was the relationships between Kizzy, Sissix, Ashby, Jenks, Ohan, Lovey and Rosemary. These guys get to spend a year (or so) together on this long haul little stop over mission (of periliousness) and sometimes it doesn’t go smoothly (even for the members who have worked together for ages).
Ashby slowly realizes that maybe he’s been treating Lovey, the ships independent AI, as less than a member of the crew.
How Ohan doesn’t want to worry their crew mates about their impending death and how the crew reacts to a real chance to save them (but at what cultural cost to Ohan’s identity).
How Sissix makes concessions for her human “feather family”, and the toll it takes on her.
There’s so many things they need to work out and work around and just communicate about, but that’s not easy. Even amongst close friends or people you consider your family. So in walks Rosemary, a young lady looking to get as far from Mars as possible. She doesn’t have long haul experience or much by way of alien interactions, but she is very skilled and is trying her hardest to do better. Much of her inner dialogue is about how her observations are too human centric, so she tries to see it from whichever species’ view as possible.
This is a book that made me feel invested in the characters’ lives and troubles (even the ones that were…disquieting) that made me fret about their safety, about their happiness, about their livelihood. It wasn’t action packed. It didn’t have a lot about politics or romance. It was a very (excuse my expression) down to Earth story about a long haul crew’s journey to a small angry planet.
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Published by: HarperVoyager
Release: August 18, 2015
Series: Wayfarers Book 1
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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet”
This was a wonderful book! It was a joy to read. Do you plan to read or listen to the audio for the sequel?
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I do! I started the audio for it (about 20 minutes in), but got distracted by another series that finally came in on my queue. I’m still kind of bummed with what happened to You-Know-Who, but I’m interested to see how it works out for them. I want to have Book 2 done before Book 3 though!!