Someone please tell me why i’ve been putting this book off for so long? I went through a stage a while ago i felt brave enough to buy it and have it on my shelf as something i might actually read in the future. One of my friends absolutely adores this book, and with a gentle push from her to choose it for this months book club pick, i finally picked it up.
I had absolutely no idea going in to The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet what to expect of it. I’m not a huge fan of Sci-Fi and tend to find a lot of the terms that are used confusing if they’re not written incredibly well. Apparently, i didn’t listen to anyone when they said this book is absolutely incredible. I was told more recently that this book is an exploration of humanity and what it means to be a person. That is the kind of thing i’m definitely more interested in, so i was a little less nervous going in.
First of all, Becky Chambers’ writing is stunning. It’s lovely and straight to the point with having so much emotion attached to it. I found the way she wrote the build up of friendships and relationships stunning and really down to earth (ha) and human. I cannot be more grateful for her incredible writing. Also she found a way of making this book completely uncomplicated. There are a lot of names and terms to be learnt with any Sci-Fi i imagine, and this was no exception, however Becky made the writing of it so simplistic and really explained everything you needed to know in a really digestible way. I was shocked about how much i understood.
The pace of the book was something that i really needed at the time i read it. Occasionally i really love a book that is extremely character driven and has little going on around that. This is that book. I love the way the characters were explored and their relationships with each other were the focus of the book. From characters that had known each other years to brand new ones, and everything in between, it was a lovely exploration of how you treat other people, what is acceptable and more so than anything, some great lessons around racism were thrown in here. I completely fell in love with the characters and felt really connected to them instantly, which hasn’t happened for a very long time for me with a book. I adored Sissix and Ashby, and ended up loving the whole crew of the Wayfarer.
I can’t talk about this book without discussing the LGBTQ+ elements. It’s something that i knew was subtly added to Becky Chambers’ work and i was excited about, given our LGBTQ+ book club. There is quite a lot of representation within this story. There is a character that seems to represent transgender people, there is some same sex couple representation and a whole other bunch of good LGBTQ+ content in there. It was really lovely to read something with gender and sexuality so casually inserted in to it, it didn’t feel like the big deal and shock that many authors make it out to be.
I feel as though i could talk about this book forever, but it would get quite dull for you quite quickly. I want to reiterate that i absolutely adored this story. It’s the first time i’ve fallen in love with a bunch of characters in a very long time, and the first time i’ve fallen in love with a Sci-Fi story at all. I never wanted this book to end, and i’m so happy there’s two more companion novels for me to fall in love with.