Title: A Closed and Common Orbit
Series: Wayfarers, #2
Author: Becky Chambers
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Release Date: October 20th, 2016
Format: Paperback | 11 hours, 29 minutes
Length: 365 pages
Source: Borrowed from my local library
Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in an new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow.
Together, Pepper and Lovey will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.
I LOVED The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. I ate that book up. So when my library alerted me that the sequel was available, I didn’t waste time snagging it.
The thing is, the sequel is a stand-alone follow up that follows Pepper and Lovelace, not the crew of the Wayfarer. And although Pepper’s backstory is kind of heartbreaking, and this book had some bittersweet things to say about finding your place in life, I was a tad bit disappointed that I wasn’t following the further adventures of the Wayfarer crew.
So now that my initial disappointment with the book is out of the way: it was good. Solid science fiction. You don’t have to read the first book (but why wouldn’t you?), and it’s a very human-centric, character-driven narrative. We get Pepper then and now, and Lovelace as she figures out how to be real. There’s Becky Chambers’ adept use of perspective (I have never considered AI civil rights so much as I did while reading this book) and statements about how we humans treat each other when we think no one is holding us accountable.
I enjoyed the story, and I enjoyed the characters. I’m a bit nervous that the ending wrapped up so nicely. Is there gonna be a Wayfarers #3? All in all, it was a quick and interesting read that wraps up a loose end from the first novel. I recommend it to fans of the first Wayfarers novel, and fans of science fiction in general.