Review | A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers 2) by Becky Chambers

Brilliant. 4.5/5.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

The blurb: Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow.

Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.

My take:

I enjoyed the first Wayfarers book – A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (ALWTASAP) – last year and was looking forward to picking up the next in the series.

Readers expecting a “straightforward” sequel, featuring all the same characters as book 1, might be disappointed. A Closed and Common Orbit is set in the same universe as book 1 and the two main characters did feature briefly in the first installment, but that’s it. I’d say that this is more an excellent stand-alone follow-up than a sequel.

However, while ALWTASAP drew its strength from a large cast of diverse characters, this book is just as strong while focussing on two. So this time we have more of the same colourful universe as a fascinating backdrop, but get to spend more quality time with a smaller cast.

The book is also quietly philosophical and, like all the best sci-fi, the alien is used to explore what it is to be human.

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Review | The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers 1) by Becky Chambers

Excellent sci-fi for readers looking for characters to love. 4.5/5.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The blurb: Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.

But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.

Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.

My take:

This has been sitting on my TBR for quite a while and I’m delighted I finally managed to get the chance to read it (thank you to my local library). I’ve been experiencing a bit of a reading slump recently, but this book was terrific and I looked forward to every second I had the opportunity to pick it up.

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