Rosemary Harper doesn't expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and, most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman, she's never met anyone remotely like the ship's diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot; chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks, who keep the ship running; and Ashby, their noble captain.
Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy - exactly what Rosemary wants. It's also about to get extremely dangerous when the crew is offered the job of a lifetime. Tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is definitely lucrative and will keep them comfortable for years. But risking her life wasn't part of the plan.
In the far reaches of deep space, the tiny Wayfarer crew will confront a host of unexpected mishaps and thrilling adventures that force them to depend on each other. To survive, Rosemary's got to learn how to rely on this assortment of oddballs - an experience that teaches her about love and trust and that having a family isn't necessarily the worst thing in the universe.
©2014 Becky Chambers (P)2016 Tantor
From the first 30 minutes I knew ,because of the amazing narration, that this was going to be one of those stories that would have me making a bee line for my ear buds as soon as I had any and all free time. As an avid Sci-Fi enthusiast I was gripped by the colorful and memorable characters who's personal stories were interwoven into a thought provoking interstellar journey through the emotions and morals of a galaxy that although set far in to the future, mirrors many of the same issues and feelings that we face everyday. Hilarious,touching, and at many times suspenseful this book does a fantastic job showing that no matter the differences between to entities, there are far more similarities that connect us. The narrator vocally weaves a tapestry of emotion and really beams her talent through with a imaginative blend of voices the seem to breathe life into the many species that grace this story. This is by far the best audiobook I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.
At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like this. It starts off very preachy and within the first few chapters there is: an inter-species love affair which is forbidden, a sexually liberated female from an even more sexually liberated species, a woman with two Dads, a little person who remains little by choice, a cook/doctor whose species starts out female but becomes male, the use of the pronoun "ze", a "privileged" human feeling guilt over her wealthy upbringing who leaves it all behind and the only white guy on the ship is a total dick. All of this diversity converging into one crew felt very contrived and I was getting annoyed but I stuck with it and I was pleasantly surprised. This is a very warm novel with exceptional character development. I'd almost call it a sci-fi cozy, but that wouldn't do it justice.
You can't help but love and feel for all of the crew of the Wayfarer. I was choked up several times and longed to have a cup of "Happy Tea" at the crew's kitchen table. Everyone (for the most part) is very accepting of each others' differences. I came away from the book feeling uplifted. If I could give this 4.5 stars I would. I will definitely continue the series.
The author uses alien species to view humanity from an outsider's perspective. Many of the main characters are alien, and I was fascinated with how they had to alter their natural behaviors and instincts to interact with humans. It was also very entertaining to learn how funny and/or odd they thought some of our ways were.
I loved the fact that the story was about the characters and their relationships with each other. Sure, there's plot and world building and all that. But the story's focus is on the crew, and the bonds they share. By the time you finish, you'll feel that bond too, and you'll be sad to see your time with them come to an end.
She gives each character a unique voice, and uses them to convey emotions with honesty and depth. She also never brings attention to herself. You'll forget that she's even there.
It's the journey that matters.
Buy this book. It's like the best parts of Firefly and Mass Effect have been put together to create something more than the sum of its parts. Prepare to laugh out loud. Prepare to cry real tears.
Because of a review by my friend, Cheryl, I couldn't wait to read this book! And it was everything she said it was and more!
I picked up the Kindle copy from Amazon and the Audible version to go with it. It made a perfect go to sleep book at night. I was able to have my girl dreams of space travel and meeting new creatures. Oops! If there's one thing I learned from this book is that we don't consider the aliens creatures. They are just beings that are different than us. Often in many ways, they are superior to us that we should expect that. But as the author points out just because this being looks like maybe, um, a giraffe from earth, doesn't mean it has the intelligence of a giraffe from earth. It may actually have the abilities to move back and forth in time or travel in a different dimension. This was a good lesson for me as I like to write science fiction about other beings on other planets.
The narrator, Rachel Dulude, brought this book to life in ways I don't think could have been possible to just read or even with the text-to-speech. She was able to separate the characters and beautiful ways, so you knew exactly who is talking without even reading it.
I do want to read this book again. Maybe when I'm more awake, to see how it is she actually built these characters and her plot and her worlds. It was very well written! And I can hardly wait to be able to afford and read her next book in the series!
If you like science fiction that isn't all men and war. If you like science fiction that uses imagination with science possibilities, this book is for you! Well done, Becky Chambers!
Beautifully realized fully dimensional characters, in depth and unique cultures and politics, true-feeling relationships and development, story so believable I walked away feeling like I knew the characters personally. Far from a harrowing grimdark grit fest, this story is full of compassion, collaboration, and diversity, while still being suspenseful, compelling, and extremely satisfying. Chambers has a beautiful and inclusive take on gender, relationships, lifestyles, and what it takes to be a hero. The narrator does an incredible job of voicing a wildly varying cast. Just read it, it's so so SO good!
Chambers's world building and character building is solid, but the plot is episodic. There were a lot of little adventures that all resolved quickly, taught us something new about a character and was neatly resolved (kind of like a TV show). She doesn't devote enough time to the main over arching journey (in my opinion), and so the end result is a softer version of Star Trek.
Still, the book was feel good and enjoyable, and refreshingly light compared to much of the sci-fi I've read. I chalked it up to an excellent beach read/listen.
I liked the premise and the characters. I'm excited to see the next instillation of the series, which is out now, make its way to audible.
Only issue I had is that there were many times (chapter changes?) where the story shifted omniscient POV without any pause, which was very jarring. It didn't even sound like the narrator was starting a new paragraph.
Overall great read
The way the author connected me emotionally to the characters so quickly.
I cannot choose. I loved something about each of them.
She brought life to each character and the characters are so diverse.
Could you fall in love with an AI?
Please write more
I think the headline for this review says it all. It appears to me that the author uses science fiction to explore interspecies relationships to justify/promote lesbian relations.
The narrator sounds like she is reading to children.
No redeeming qualities.
A great ensemble cast with beautiful dynamics among them. Fun, comforting. But no real plot! Lots of little episodes, but tension never develops except for short, half-chapter intervals.
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