The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet
Genre: Science fiction
Year published: 2014
Date finished: September 4, 2016
On the cover of The Long Way to a Small Planet there is a two word quote from Ann Leckie (author of Ancillary Justice and other books) it says
Great fun!Indeed it is. I might describe this book as good new-fashioned space opera. I know, the phrase is good old-fashioned XXXX but this book isn't old fashioned at all. The protagonist has run away from home (old) but .... is female (newish) and is an adult (now that's different!). She joins a spaceship crew (kind of old) but ... the crew is multi-species (new) and the aliens are interesting!
The spaceship is called Wayfarer and it makes tunnels in space to allow interplanetary travel. The captain is Ashby Santoso. He's human and is a good man. He's perhaps the most (or only) stereotypical character in the book. His technicians are Kizzy - an irrepressible woman who seems like a teenager - and Jenks - an adult human who is very, very short and is in love with Lovelace who is the ship's computer. The doctor and chef is known as Dr. Chef because his real name is a huge stream of music that is possible because his species has multiple throats. The pilot, Sissix, is reptilian.
There are lots of aliens and, unlike old-fashioned space opera, they don't fall into "evil" and "good" - they are all complex. The plot is pretty straightforward, it's well done and keeps the pages turning, but it's the characters that really kept me interested.
There are some attempts at higher level meaning in The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and these aren't bad, but the author is at her best when she sticks to the fun and the story. I am glad that The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is the first book in a series and amazed that it is the first novel by Becky Chambers. She funded the novel via Kickstarter. She lives in California with her spouse. Her Twitter handle is @beckysaysrawr .