Review: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

 

lwtasap

 

Okay, so first of all this book has an amazing cover.  I mean look at it.  I’ve always been a sucker for a gorgeous cover and this is certainly no exception. This is honestly what drew me to the book in the first place. Always judge a book by its cover (come on, I know you do it too).

Additionally, the story behind the writing of this book is just as incredible as the book (and cover) itself.  When the author’s freelance writing work dried up, she launched what would become a very successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the completion of the manuscript. She self published the book, which began to garner a whole lot of attention, and it was eventually picked up by a major publisher (Hodder in the UK, Harper Voyager in the US).  I love this kind of publishing success story!

So now we get to what you really want: the book itself. It is like nothing I’ve read before — it’s a kind of cozy space opera.  It is less of the pew-pew type of science fiction (which, a note, I absolutely love) filled with questionable fashion choices and more of a close examination of weird and wonderful alien species and humans and our potential future in a far-flung galactic society. It’s a beautiful study of multiple cultures and societies told partially in a series of vignettes over the course of a year. The story follows the crew of a tunneling ship as it embarks on a long-haul journey to create a new wormhole in a previously disputed, and still dangerous, area of space.  

From Rosemary, the new clerk with a mysterious past, to Sissix, the ship’s near-reptilian pilot, to Dr Chef, the ship’s cook/doctor with a dark past.  It’s hard to pick a favorite character with such a wonderfully diverse crew.  Not to get political, but in the world’s current political state, I think this book is not only a much-needed escape; it can teach us a lot too.  Chambers reminds us that we must be understanding of those different from us, kindness and friendship are powerful, and love comes in all forms can transcend all sorts of boundaries. This is not the story of a science fiction adventure; this is a story of how humans can become better than we are now.  I fully, wholeheartedly recommend this book.

 

Interested?  Find it here!

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