The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet


Written by Becky Chambers

Published by Hodder and Stoughton July 29, 2015

My Star rating: 4 stars


Rosemary Harper doesn’t expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman who learned early to keep to herself, she’s never met anyone remotely like the ship’s diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot, chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks who keep the ship running, and Ashby, their noble captain.

Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. It’s also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary’s got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs—an experience that teaches her about love and trust, and that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe. Find it on Goodreads

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When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched up ship that’s seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventures in far off galaxies, and distance from her troubled past.  But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix the feathered friendly pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the loud engineers, to Corbin, the angry algae guy. On board the ship is loud and chaotic at times, but it’s just what Rosemary wanted. Soon the crew are offered the job of a lifetime – the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years… that is if they survive the long trip through war torn space. But Rosemary isn’t the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast but ships are very small indeed.

I went into this book expecting one thing and ended up getting something completely different. I thought it would be non stop space adventure and action (which yes I did get) but I quickly realized this was going to be more about relationships, emotions, secrets and life. As I said, yes there was action – this book was all about accepting a position to tunnel in a far away place and face war and death along the way. There was attacks, exploring new worlds, and even space pirates – YES, I said space pirates!! But if you’re looking for non stop crazy action this will not be the book for you. It took me FOREVER to get ahold of this book since they stopped printing it in Canada, so I had to order it from the UK and I’m glad I did!

I have to admit, that I had a hard time getting into this one. I like science fiction a lot but I haven’t moved too far into the genre. Easy science fiction I guess you could say. Nothing too technical, nothing with too many aliens. This one was a little out of my comfort zone but I really appreciated the push. It took me quite a while to get ahold of the planets, the ships, and the large number of different species, but in the end the variety of aliens was my favourite part! There were so many different species and cultures to learn about and each one was interesting and beautiful in it’s own way. There were quite a few different species on the Wayfarer so we got a further in depth look into how they lived, why they did things and what their belief systems were.

The character development and relationship development was stellar. Each characters personalities were so different in so many ways but they all worked well together and helped each other. Here are my thoughts on a few of the characters:

Rosemary – I thought she was going to be the main focus/point of view but as soon as she became a part of the team they all seemed to get equal coverage. Rosemary remained quiet and sweet throughout. She helped save their asses a few times but I like that she didn’t turn into this bad ass girl from Mars. She remained quiet and used her smarts and skills to get them out of trouble.

Sissix – One of the  characters with the most in depth coverage about her species and back story. It was really interesting to read and I liked that the author constantly included her species customs and how they related to human customs.

Kizzy – LOVE HER! If I was to ever get stuck on a spaceship for a long period of time I want to be stuck with someone like her! A ray of sunshine, loud and crazy girl. Smart as hell and a bad ass to boot! She was just so much fun to read! And her foul language stole my heart. I want to be her best friend!

Ashby and Jenks – Ashby (the ships captain) and Jenks (the ships tech) were so similar. They are both sweet, caring, supportive and funny. They always seemed to be there at the right time doing the right things for the people they cared about.

As I said above, this story had a lot to do with the relationships and secrets – and everyone seemed to have a secret. They all held on to a piece of themselves for fear that the others on the ship would judge them. The funny thing is that their secrets is what bonds them and draws them in closer. No matter what species you are there is always a way to find a common bond with each other. They make their way around their secrets and the understanding and accepting love is beautiful.

This book was truly unique. Everything from the relationships, the species, the space travel, the nature of their secrets, the mission they accepted – just everything. Though I felt like this book did drag a bit, and there was a lack of ‘blow your mind plot twists’ around every corner, this book was interesting enough to keep me wanting more. I hope to order it’s sequel soon and continue with their stories!

Until next time, happy reading!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Waaaah! I’m so glad you read this and liked it. I feel like any description of this book is really misleading because it doesn’t follow any one character (which I totally expected) and it isn’t about adventures in space (which I expected). I had some trouble getting into it at first too because everything I thought I was getting from this book was wrong. I ended up loving it though. There’s a surprising amount of depth to each character on the ship. And that ending!


    1. That’s exactly it! I think you explained it better than I did. Every preconceived notion I had about this book was wrong. But I did end up loving it.

      Liked by 1 person

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