Gary's Reviews > The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
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The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is an episodic space adventure that follows the multi-species crew of a ship that punches holes in space so other ships can travel faster from system to system. It is unusually optimistic for a science fiction novel, and that is one of the features I appreciate about it. That optimism also has its drawbacks, though.
The best aspects of this novel are its world building and characters, but it suffers from redundancy in its pacing and structure. Each of the novel's "episodes" follow a nearly identical pattern. An obstacle or conflict arises involving one of the characters - usually something in their past or some present activity that they are trying to hide from the crew - and it is resolved when they come clean and talk out their issues, and then things move on with few lasting consequences. This becomes a little grating about halfway through the book. The "spine" that the overall plot hangs on - the crew is on their way to fulfill a lucrative but also potentially dangerous contract - is a bit thin, but Chambers does save some of her best material for the climax.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is pleasant and amusing and generally well written; a decent, above average read.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 1, 2016 – Finished Reading
September 12, 2016 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by William (last edited Sep 27, 2018 04:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

William Thank you for the review!

I thought this book was truly humane and brilliant. Also the following book, A Closed and Common Orbit. Both 5 stars. However, I'm now reading the third "Spaceborn Few" but it skips between characters a bit too often; a hard read.


Cathy An episodic space adventure—that is a good description of it!


William I’ve pre-ordered "To Be Taught, If Fortunate" from her.


Peter Tillman Re-reading the reviews (for somebody's bad list of good recent SF): I'm struck by the wide range of reactions. OK, most are 5 & 4 stars -- but 20% at the low end! And: almost 12,000 reviews! Over 75,000 ratings! Quite a debut. Good for her!


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