The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers

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“The truth is, Rosemary, that you are capable of anything. Good or bad. You always have been, and you always will be. Given the right push, you, too, could do horrible things. That darkness exists within all of us.”

This is the kind of book that makes you remember why you fell in love with reading. This is the kind of book that feels so powerful you can’t believe it exists. This is the kind of book that sets your very soul on fire and makes you want to do better. This is the kind of book that instills a hope so great that you feel like you could make a difference. This is the kind of book that you won’t be the same after finishing.

I recommend this book to every single person in this entire galaxy and to whatever else is out there and still unknown.

Also, please know that there is no semblance of a review that I could write that would do this book even a percent of justice or let you know even an ounce of how much it impacted me. But I’m going to try my best, because this book deserves nothing less.

I suppose the easy thing to say is that this book is about a crew, traveling through space on the Wayfarer, exploring the galaxy and taking on new adventures. And a new crewmember has just arrived, not knowing what to expect.

“They were reminders of what a fragile thing it was to be alive.”

(Beautiful fanart of the crew by SebasP!) 💗

Rosemary – A human who has just left her home planet to join the crew on the Wayfarer.

Sissix – An Aandrisk and pilot of the Wayfarer. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read in my entire life was seeing Rosemary learn about Sissix’s hatch family, feather family, and house family. Seriously, it’s so beautiful that I don’t even have words. Sissix not only beautifully gave me a polyamorous story line, but also the f/f romance of my dreams.

Ashby – The captain of the Wayfarer. My soft and strong boy. Nothing but all the love and respect in the entire world for my captain.

Jenks – A technician on the Wayfarer. I will say I think the moment I fell in love with this book was when Jenks asked Lovey, “What kind of body do you want to have?” One of my biggest pet peeves in all of literature is when authors give AIs genders. And seeing Lovey decide what she wanted to be… friends, I don’t have words for how beautiful it is. You all know that I’m pansexual, so maybe I’m stretching here, but I think Jenks is my new pansexual hero, by the way.

Lovey – The AI of the Wayfarer. My heart, my soul, my everything. Becky Chambers is seriously an expert word weaver to make me feel all the things that I feel for Lovey.

Dr. Chef – A Grum and the most amazing doctor and chef upon the Wayfarer. A highlight in this perfect book was seeing Dr. Chef become Dr. Chef and everything that had to do with Grums. Again, so beautiful and I would happily trade lessons for his soup, too.

“You Humans really do cripple yourselves with your belief that you all think in unique ways.”

Corbin – Human and algaeist on the Wayfarer. Likes to be alone, and that’s okay.

Ohan – Sianat Pair and the navigator of the Wayfarer. They help Sissix and keep to themselves for the most part. But the end of this story really blew me away involving them.

Kizzy – A technician on the Wayfarer. Never, have I ever, read a character that I felt I was personally more like than Kizzy Shao. From her being so talkative, to always trying to be cheerful and positive, to her playing dating sims and loving all food, especially all things spicy, to her loving so unconditionally. I will never answer another bookish question of “what character are you most like” with bits and pieces from other books, because I truly see all of myself in Kizzy. Oh, and her being Asian warms my damn heart, too.

Friends, I have never fallen in love with fictional character the way that I fell in love with all the members on the Wayfarer.

“Time could crawl, it could fly, it could amble. Time was a slippery thing.”

(Beautiful fanart of Rosemary, Kizzy, and Jenks by Izzi Ward!) 💗

One of my favorite things in all of literature is reading about found families and having that be a pivotal aspect to a story. Friends, I feel bad praising any other book before this one, because this is the found family of my soul. I have never read a book with a better found family in my entire life, and I don’t think I ever will.

This book also emphasizes the importance of respect; respecting peoples’ pronouns, peoples’ bodies, and peoples’ feelings. And the representation in this book is honestly unparalleled. From different species, to different races, to different genders, to different sexualities, to different mental health issues, to different bodies types, to different upbringings, to different cultures, to different traditions, to different religions, to different social settings, to so much more.

This book touches upon gun control, and how no amount of weapons will ever make a person feel safe. How filling a home with devices meant to kill will never make a person feel more safe. I live in the United States, so I see people constantly going back and forth about gun control every single day, but I will never put more value on a soulless piece of metal over a piece of an actual person. And that’s the hill I’ll maybe die on because firearm assaults kill about 13,000 Americans each year.

This book also tackles colonialism, xenophobia, and racism at the forefront of this story. And how just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean that way is wrong or less. And how taking over and forcing your ways and your beliefs on anyone else will never be the right way.

“People can do terrible things when they feel safe and powerful.”

Yet, again, this book also leaves you feeling so much hope. And it reiterates how we are not to be blamed for the mistakes and wars that our parents started. How each one of us can make a difference, and truly lead a better and kinder future for the next generation.

Overall, I think it’s pretty obvious that I loved this with my heart, my soul, and the sum of my being. I will say that this is a very character driven story, and I know that’s not for everyone, but if you connect with these characters even a fraction of the amount that I did, you are going to love this book, too. Becky Chambers has created something so unique, so special, and so thought provoking. This is a very quiet book, but it speaks so loudly. This crew, these words, this book, they all mean more to me than I can express. Never have I closed a book and felt such an extreme feeling of hope before.

“…All any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play.”

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Content and trigger warnings for murder, death, loss of a loved one, PTSD depiction, grief depiction, blood depiction, and general war themes.

Buddy read with Imi at Imi Reviews Books! ❤

33 thoughts on “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers

  1. Becky Chambers is amazing and The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet is one of the best things I’ve ever read. I loved your review, and I’m inspired to find time to reread this book because I want to fall in love with them all again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awhhh, Alex! This comment is so thoughtful and just made my day – thank you! Yeah, this book so unexpectedly made me fall in love… I just… it is truly beyond words!

      Happy rereading and reading, love! 🧡xx

      Like

  2. Oh my God, you made this book sound so amazing and unputdownable that I just feel like I have to get it, no matter what, because it will change my life!

    I’m so happy it changed yours, Melanie, and made you remember what it was like to fall in love with reading for the first time – that is one powerful statement!

    Amazing review, love ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Awh, thank you so much, Mogsy! It was just… so perfect for me and came at the exact right time that I needed it, I swear! I hope the next one is just as magically for me! And I hope you’re having the happiest of reading, love! 💖xx

      Like

  3. OMG, Ashby! My favorite scene with him was when he was going to meet up with Pei for the first time, and he was like “I’m so psyched to get laid, but I want to be respectful of her and know she might not want to do that, but dude she’s so sexy, but maybe she’ll be upset about her most recent mission. I won’t force anything on her.” That, for me, was when I realized that this was a 5-star book. Like, that scene was everything, Ashby is everything.

    Also, I am still SOOOOOOOO heartbroken about Lovey!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LMAO! YESSSS! Legit, I was living for every scene with Ashby, I swear! And yeah… like.. I can’t even think about Lovey! It’s too soon! Haha! But this was such a damn perfect little powerful book! Have you read on to the others? I want to read them so bad, but I’m so scared! 💖xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve owned this novel and its sequel for nearly a year, I think, and I’m SO DARN EXCITED for them! I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about these novels, and the fact that the diverse representation is supposed to be stellar makes me look forward to this even more. I’m reading a lot of darker books for October, but I’ll definitely push this up on my to-read pile. Fantastic review – I love that you included fan art too!

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, thank you so much, Captain! I can’t wait to read and talk to you about the other two! I hope I love them just as much! And I hope you’re currently having the happiest of reading! 💛xx

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  5. I love this book so freaking much. And I’m so happy you loved it too omg (although I would have been shocked if you hadn’t). It inspired me to start reading again. To start my blog. To keep going. This book and the people within it are so beautiful. There were two moments especially where I was so incredibly invested/affected, (Lovey’s fate and the ultimate outcome with Ohan and Corbin). This book just held so many unexpected delights (Kizzy and Jenks’ friendship, Rosemary and Sissix, Ashby and Pei, respect for preferred pronouns and crying over AIs and wanting all the fire shrimp and !!). Just, ugh, my heart!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MY HEART, SHAI! And yes… yes to both these scenes and everything these pages hold! Such a powerful book. Truly the highlight of 2018 so far for me! And knowing how much it means to you? The TEARS! Ahhhh! Makes me love it even more! 💕xx

      Liked by 1 person

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