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.
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.
Five hours in, and I'm going to abandon this book. It's too slow getting the story moving. The writing is uninspired. The characters are at the junior high level in terms of maturity.
The narrator is very clear, but the timing is off.
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
lots of discussion on how to understand other cultures, other peoples, being considerate, negotiating differences interspersed with occasional plot. Not much to surprise. Very little to argue with. Good time killer.
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