Book reviews

Book review: the long way to a small angry planet

I’m still figuring out what this website will be, but one thing I do plan to do is to post my thoughts on books I read (which will be eclectic, not just dark fantasy – may not be fiction at all). Since I intend to be an indie author, I’ll include reviews of books by other indie authors. However, the first one is a mixture, a self-published book that was picked up by a traditional publisher: the long way to a small angry planet, by Becky Chambers.

A friend loaned me this book with the description that it was a ‘nice’ story. At first, I didn’t know what to make of that; there are lots of nice stories in the world. But when I was done. I realized that I agreed with her…and that there aren’t lots of nice stories, at least not in the way that this one is.

But this makes it difficult to write a review, not because it was ‘nice’ – that was great – but I can’t go into details about why without giving up key points in the story.

So what can I say? I liken this story to the musicians of Bremen, in a way. The best way I can describe it is social science fiction meets space-faring travelogue with a dash of intrigue. The crew of a spaceship makes their long way to a small planet. During the trip, secrets are revealed, difficult choices are made and relationships are built. Homes (in the figurative sense) are lost and homes are found. One of the things that I like was the undercurrent of optimism about the human (and not-so-human) experience throughout the story — hope in the face of despair and a light shining in the dark night of the soul.

I realize that this review is probably not helpful: just read the book it’s a nice story.

Becky Chambers website

 

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