The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Rosemary joins The Wayfarer ship, eager to put distance between her former identity and her family. When the captain of the ship, Ashby gets an offer that will keep the crew financially stable for a while, he accepts the mission, not knowing just how treacherous the long space journey is going to be.

Read if you like: science fiction books with loads of different species, a motley group of characters, intricate world-building, AI, space adventure, protagonists with a mysterious past

After enjoying books like To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, Project Hail Mary, and Iron Widow, I have been keenly adding more and more science fiction novels to my TBR.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is a book that’s been on my bookshelf for years before I finally decided to pick it up this month, and what a lovely reading experience that was!

My absolute favourite part of the entire novel has to be the characters. While all of their character arcs aren’t fully fleshed out, their characterisation is what held my attention throughout.

As the story progresses, you see some of them face their fears, develop stronger bonds, lose what means the most to them, and so on.

I especially found Kizzy to be the most endearing of them all. Her spiritedness, affection towards others, and passion for her work made all the scenes with her in it a breeze to read.

I know I’m going to remember Kizzy, Jenks, Sissix, Dr. Chef, and Ohan for a long long time.

Copyright © 2023 Meera Nair

I can’t believe just how impressed I am with Becky Chambers’ writing.

This is a medium-paced novel with enough plot points to keep the story engaging. Unlike most sci-fi books I have read, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is not very action-packed. And I actually really liked that quality of the book.

So you’re not going to read page after page of just interplanetary battles and such.

With a world-building that relies heavily on multi-species coexistence, Chambers’ words draw your attention towards the disparities and shortcomings in human society.

It’s interesting to observe how in creating distinctions between other species, the author makes their way of life the antithesis of our own.

Themes of language barrier, societal norms, cultural sensitivity, technology, politics, gender, sexuality, and love are explored in-depth here.

All this to say that, if you pick it up, it is going to be a thought-provoking as well as a fun read.

I can still recall several scenes vividly. It is memorable, and Becky Chambers does a great job with the narrative – so you neither feel like it’s all too descriptive nor too dialogue-driven.

Although I wasn’t a fan of Corbin’s character, the way his storyline wraps up was touching.

Having unexpected romantic relationships form over the course of the story was a pleasant surprise to me.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is the first book in a quartet. I know I’m going to enjoy reading the rest of the series, but I’ll miss this crew if they aren’t going to be featured in those books at all.

If you enjoy reading sci-fi novels, I highly recommend this one!

Published by Meera Nair

A 27 year-old freelance Content Writer, who spends all her free time ensconced in the pages of a book or writing to her heart's content about topics that excite the creative spirit in her.

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