Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Light Years” as Want to Read:
The Light Years
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Light Years

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The captain of a family-owned starship arranges a marriage for her son in hopes of achieving faster-than-light travel and maybe, just maybe, marital bliss.

Before Hisako Saski is even born, her parents make a deal on her behalf. In exchange for a first-class education and a boost out of poverty, Hisako will marry Adem Sadiq, a maintenance engineer and self-styled musician
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Angry Robot
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Light Years, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Light Years

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-56
Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  29 ratings  ·  17 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Light Years
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found out this book was still on my shelves, and I am glad I did.

The world Adem and Hisako live in, is far from perfect. It would have been the most travelled path to focus on the problems like social and financial inequality, the power the rich have over the poor, or to have a main character living in squalor. But none of that, Greene focused on the middle class, and those who are rich enough and privileged enough, but still have to work hard to keep that privilege. 'The Light Years' goes
Jason Pettus
This wasn't bad enough to officially be thought of as a "bad book;" but the whole time I was reading it, I kept thinking of that line Homer says to Ricky Gervais during that one episode of The Simpsons -- "You take forever to say nothing!" It's particularly bad in this case, because this is supposed to be a science-fiction novel, regarding an arranged marriage that will be perceived to take place in 25 years from the standpoint of the newborn infant wife growing up on a stationary planet, but ...more
Holly (The Grimdragon)
Review to come!
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, 2020
(3.5) This was quite the ride! I was super interested in the premise but was VERY hesitant after the first few chapters. Thankful I ended up really enjoying this overall! I think the ways in which culture was shown to have changed and morphed was really interesting and realistic, and I was impressed with a lot of the commentary that happened throughout and definitely enjoyed that. My two complaints would be pacing and characterization. I get very attached to just about every character I read ...more
Reid Edwards
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the kind of novel that I always hope to stumble across - fantastic world-building with just enough fiction blended in to make the SF aspirational-esque, vivid and enthralling characters who have their own motivations and voices, and a plot line with enough bends to keep you interested in continuing the story to the end. You can tell the author has some understanding of both music and politics, and is writing to his strengths. Greene does a great job building the characters during their ...more
keikii Eats Books
To read more of my reviews, check out my blog at keikii Eats Books!

"It's not just a word," she said. "You are not shit. Our daughter is not shit."
"It takes shit to make flowers," Joao said, "and my life is a garden full of them."

This is not a romance.

Perhaps most of my disappointment in The Light Years was wrapped up in that simple sentence. This is not a romance, and the blurb made it sound that at least some of the book would be devoted to romance. In reality, maybe only 5%
Online Eccentric Librarian
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

In many ways, this feels very much like a throwback to 1970s sci fi - complete with all the 'hippie' ideals where you get to stick it to 'the man' (greedy corporate types), save the poor, strive for peace, be liberal and relaxed, live communally, experience many sexual partners of both genders, get wasted frequently, and play some music at the same time. But that is tempered with the 2019 themes of inclusiveness,
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, netgalley, sci-fi
I loved it. Adem is my new lit-crush!
I'm just a bit concerned regarding the cliffhanger at the end? Is there a book 2 coming? If not I'll need to change my star rating to 2 due to the fact, that I wouldn't be satisfied with this ending. I have high hopes for this as this is a debut.
Please, please, please gimme some more!
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good read.

Merchants ply their trades throughout the galaxy and when they come back to their planet, they have only aged the length of their voyage but planet side, people age in years or decades.

Traders are referred to as immortals and make long range plans including contracting for marriages to assist their businesses - here a marriage contract requires the future bride to study specific topics that will benefit the owners of a merchant ship. Ancient technology is scattered
Elaine Aldred
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a heart-breaking effort to lift their only child out of the poverty she was born into, Hisako Saski is promised by her parents in an arranged marriage to the son of a family-owned starship, the Hajj, before she is even born. When Hisako finds out later on in life, it is a situation she is far from happy with, particularly as the agreement binds her to study an obscure area of physics, which is far from prestigious. But when, at last, Hisako finds herself with her husband, Adem, and in the far ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
There's a lot to like about this book, but also things that nagged at me while I was reading it. The good things first. The worldbuilding is excellent, or perhaps that should be galaxy-building because a lot of this is set in deep space. It tackles the human problem of relativity - a short trip, subjective time, means that years have passed when the ship returns to its point of origin. Anyone taking that trip will return to find family and friends have aged and possibly died.

The freighter, The
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: standalones
So. The Light Years. Honestly, from the moment I first read the premise of this book I was a little enthralled. The idea it wanted to explore were ones I had not as of yet encountered in my admittedly limited scifi reading. Specially the time dilation aspect, and the human relations aspect tied to it.

Unfortunately, The Light Years proved to be a slow-burn book that never really got past the slow part. It never really burned bright, or wholly took into the sky with rushing heat, but sometimes it
Aaron Mcquiston
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: angry-robot
"The Light Years" is different than what many people will probably want. If you are looking for an action packed space adventure, this is not it. If you are looking for action and mystery set in space, this is not it. What "The Light Years" does, and does well, is tells a story of a family, the Sadiq family who run a trade ship, is in the black but just barely, and has figured out that they need a new engineer for a plan they have to get faster and richer. The son, Adem, the ship’s maintenance ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Light Years is a wonderful debut novel from a talented writer making the transition from short stories to a longer form. It's excellent space opera with a family-owned slower than light ship making its run between post-diaspora worlds which experience decades for every year of the trader's transit. THere's a touch of Heinlein's Citizen of the Galaxy in here, as well as a lot of very original thought.

At the outset, Adem, the son of the ship captain, goes planetside to arrange for a wife. He
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I request an arc (advanced reading copy) of the book after reading the excerpt which triggered memories of Gene Wolfe's book of the new sun. To my surprise and delight the books was totally different, though still with elements of a universe of lost high technology. It has elements of Joe Haldeman the forever war, in terms of time dilation and the effect on the protaganists interactions. The book is really a story in 2 part, the first part is a tale told from the 2 viewpoints of the 2 main ...more
Dave Milbrandt
The premise of this book as promising, and the story, albeit a bit more gritty than I prefer, was relatively well told. The challenge I have is that I don't necessarily believe the transformation of the characters. It is intriguing that both the male and female characters are liberated in their relationships. The problem is that the payout isn't enough of a payout for me. They give up (mostly) their free-loving lifestyles to be with each other and yet they're with each other in a post-nihilistic ...more
The Light Years by R.W.W. Greene is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late November.

In the far, far future in the 3000's, set in an overpopulated urban streetscape, long lifespans, and people learning Portuguese as the next new language, the lead character Adem sows his wandering oats before being arrange-married. His wife Hisako's life story, meanwhile, is rapidly told in the time that Adem's waits to meet her. It's kinda quirky, kinda manic pixie, and dabbles in adventurey missions,
Sarah Elizabeth
rated it it was amazing
Feb 16, 2020
Michelle Stephen
rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2020
Samuel Tyler
rated it really liked it
Feb 07, 2020
Molly Sara
rated it it was amazing
Feb 14, 2020
Robin  Small
rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2019
C. A.
rated it really liked it
Nov 17, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2020
rated it really liked it
Nov 18, 2019
rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2019
Grant Gamble
rated it really liked it
Nov 21, 2019
rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2019
marked it as to-read
Jun 08, 2019
added it
Jun 08, 2019
marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2019
marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2019
marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2019
marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2019
marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2019
added it
Jul 26, 2019
Steve Walker
marked it as to-read
Aug 15, 2019
R.W.W. Greene
Aug 30, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2019
Amina Farha
marked it as to-read
Sep 01, 2019
John McDermott
marked it as to-read
Sep 10, 2019
marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2019
DB in Richmond
marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2019
Blake Liddell
marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2019
marked it as to-read
Sep 18, 2019
marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2019
Satu Anne
marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2019
marked it as to-read
Oct 08, 2019
marked it as to-read
Oct 10, 2019
marked it as to-read
Oct 10, 2019
marked it as to-read
Oct 15, 2019
marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2019
marked it as to-read
Oct 21, 2019
Matilda Yoder
marked it as to-read
Oct 23, 2019
Amanda Bull Chafin
marked it as to-read
Oct 24, 2019
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sixteenth Watch
  • The Last Smile in Sunder City
  • Finna
  • The Last Human
  • Aster of Pan V1
  • The Lost and the Damned (The Siege of Terra #2)
  • Malus Domestica (Malus Domestica, #1)
  • Highfire
  • Network Effect (The Murderbot Diaries, #5)
  • Prosper's Demon
  • Exit Strategy (The Murderbot Diaries, #4)
  • The Sisters Grimm
  • The Lost City of the Monkey God
  • The Upside of Falling
  • Don't Call Me Dirty
  • The Country of the Pointed Firs
  • Serotonin
  • Spear of the Emperor (Warhammer 40,000)
See similar books…
R.W.W. Greene is a New Hampshire writer who lives with his writer spouse and two rather odd cats: Huzzah! and Jack. Greene holds an MFA in fiction writing from Southern New Hampshire University and doesn't play his guitar nearly as much as he'd like.