Literature Reviews

Book Review: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

the long way

Rating: ★★★★★

Title: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Author: Becky Chambers

Genre: Science Fiction

Publication Date: 13 Aug. 2015 (1st edition)

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Where to buy: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Summary: “Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.” (Source: Goodreads)

The Good

I have never been so invested in a group of fictional characters. Becky Chambers has shown us all a lesson in characterisation. What I loved about this novel is the small details about each character and how they truly add something to the overall character-driven plot.

The main themes are culture, diversity, identity, and family. The crew is a multitude of species with all different ways of living and communicating, very similar to the concept of family. In addition, Chambers addresses racism in her world by combatting it, instead of reinforcing prejudice which overall adds to the idea that the future is a much brighter place than where we are now. Another aspect of the novel which I loved was the discussion of gender where some characters change sex throughout their lifetime or use different pronouns, such as xe or they.


However, from the blurb, I was expecting a limited third person narrative, and I am truly glad that the author, Becky Chambers, allowed readers into the minds of her characters. In addition, I did not grow attached to any of the characters as such, but I grew attached to them all as a unit, the Wayfarers.

Why did I read it?

I did not expect to love this novel due to its genre; science fiction novels usually don’t appeal to me. I picked it up on my 22nd birthday earlier this year as I had heard good things – that is an understatement entirely.

Does the author have other works?

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet is the first in the Wayfarers trilogy. The sequel is A Closed and Common Orbit and the last in the trilogy is Record of a Spaceborn Few, which is yet to be published.


I am sincerely looking forward to reading the sequel, A Close and Common Orbit, where I hope to learn more about the amazing, adorable, hilarious Wayfarers crew.

– Melissa Jennings



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