#FridayFlashbook: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

A bookblogger roundup on a book that’s been around

Many thanks to Gary Mitchelhill of Rapidsnap at Deviant Art for the banner picture!

On Fridays, I’m going to be sharing reviews on a book on my TBR that I keep hearing about. Today I’m sharing reviews for Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, often cited as an optimistic choice and nominated for many awards that don’t typically give the nod to a self-published novel.

Today’s roundup includes a thumbs down, which I’d generally prefer to do. Reviews are in alphabetical order—the audiobook review is at the bottom.

From the publisher: When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The ship, which has seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.

Grab the Lapels

A rave review.

Everything about this novel is phenomenal. Not one character is alike, and all are engaging in their own ways. Chambers manages to write about culture, xenophobia, homophobia, colonialism, science deniers, religious extremists, consent, love, the nuclear family, language — just loads of stuff. And the author weaves it in so carefully that the book is never heavy handed. 

Melanie, “The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers,” Grab the Lapels

Logos con Carne

Not a fan.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book at all.

There are matters of taste versus quality, and there certainly are quality things not to my taste. I want to be clear that I do have complaints about the quality of the storytelling. If it was up to taste, I probably would have liked this book.

On paper, the framework is exactly the sort of thing I enjoy — a “small scruffy crew of misfits on an independent spaceship.”

Wyrd Smythe, “Chambers: Small Angry Planet,” Logos con Carne

Muse with Me

A somewhat critical review.

It’s rare that I feel so utterly positive about a book that I had a somewhat glaring issue with. Within the first 50 pages or so, as Rosemary becomes acquainted with her new crewmates and job, I was ready for the story to kick into a higher gear. Worldbuilding and introductions had been laid down, and I was ready to get a sense of what the underlining conflict to this novel might be. The titular “small, angry planet” that they’re traveling to serves more as a foreboding presence to be confronted at the climax of the story, so in the meantime, I kept waiting for a more persistent, present conflict to make itself known.

Ryan Carter “Book Review – The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers,” Muse with Me

Space and Sorcery

A review from a reader who expected “Firefly vibes.”

The overall tone of the novel might appear overly rosy-hued at times, painting a picture that goes even beyond the theme of the unified, strife-free galaxy envisioned by Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek: as the crew of the Wayfarer is on warm and friendly terms with each other, so are the various alien races peopling this universe, and even the few exceptions don’t seem able to shatter this balance.

Maddalena, “The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet  (Wayfarers #1), by Becky Chambers – #SciFiMonth,” Space and Sorcery

A Take from Two Cities

An audiobook review of the version narrated by Patricia Rodriguez, and somewhat negative.

Sadly I’m feeling rather underwhelmed by this series starter when I really expected to enjoy it. I’m a lover of sci-fi and the idea of a fun bunch of species romping the galaxy sounded right up my street and in some ways it was.How I wish, so fervently, to rise like Lazarus from the yawning depths of my shelves, that I may reach you before you sail downstream to the thread of future wherein you chance upon, This Is How You Lose The Time War. Though under the glittering constellations of my own beloved worlds, I still long to be your vanguard of yet unseen worlds, to carry once more the banner of warning upon which I break both time and heart.

Micky, “The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet,A Take from Two Cities

Someday I’ll get through that TBR and have a chance to review it myself—it sounds like a solid escapist read.

Happy Friday!

#FridayFlashbook: This Is How You Lose the Time War

A bookblogger roundup on a book that’s been around

Many thanks to Gary Mitchelhill of Rapidsnap at Deviant Art for the banner picture!

On Fridays, I’m going to be sharing reviews on a book on my TBR that I keep hearing about. Today, it’s the widely admired epistolary novella published by Saga Press (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) that shows up frequently on r/fantasy, Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s This Is How You Lose the Time War. Today’s roundup includes a thumbs down, which I’d generally prefer to do. Reviews are in alphabetical order—the audiobook review is last.

Before We Go Blog

An analysis supported by quotes. Ryan Howse is often very funny, although you can’t necessarily tell from this particular review.

Some people have said there’s not enough plot in this book, but I disagree. It’s just that the plot is essentially a romantic drama with science fictional conceits mixed in. The last act of the book does start putting the screws to the characters after their relationship has been built up, but it’s not a nail-biting thrill ride because that’s never what this book was about.

Ryan Howse, “Review – This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone,” Before We Go Blog

The Fantasy Inn

A brief, but evocative, rave.

From the moment Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone announced they were co-writing a novella, it immediately became one of my most anticipated SFF releases. I was dying to get this book, blurb unseen – because with these two authors, there was no doubt it would be amazing. And weird.

Sharade, “This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar et Max Gladstone,” The Fantasy Inn

The Thirteenth Shelf

A clever critique in the form of a letter. Review includes “Notable Aspects,” rating, and a TL;DR section.

How I wish, so fervently, to rise like Lazarus from the yawning depths of my shelves, that I may reach you before you sail downstream to the thread of future wherein you chance upon, This Is How You Lose The Time War. Though under the glittering constellations of my own beloved worlds, I still long to be your vanguard of yet unseen worlds, to carry once more the banner of warning upon which I break both time and heart.

Rin, “Book Review: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone,The Thirteenth Shelf

Tiny Navajo Reads

An audiobook review; narration by Cynthia Farrell and Emily Woo Zeller.

 I honestly didn’t realize it was written by two authors until I started listening to it. I could hear the differences between the two letter writers and when they were read aloud, I could image Red and Blue indulging in their letters to each other, letters that are forbidden, letters that acknowledge there are differences in the other side, even if it doesn’t always seem like it.

Ashley, “Tiny Navajo Listens: This Is How You Lose the Time War,” Tiny Navajo Reads

Someday I’ll get through that TBR and have a chance to review it myself—I’m not sure I’ll like it, as I’m generally not a fan of epistolary fiction, but it seems like I really need to have checked out to be able to call myself a fantasy bookblogger.

Happy Friday!