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.
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.
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.
Poorly edited books bug me.
Performance: okay. Not spectacular, as some reviews have it.
Story: tedious. Characters are caricatures. Rosemary is the main character? Not really; there is no main character. I never came to care about any of them.
Much space exists between small bursts of action. Those spaces generally consist of ruminations on the subjects of diet, comparative anatomy, social structures and inter-personal angst.
I am amazed at the great ratings this audiobook has garnered. It must appeal to a demographic to which I do not belong.
Not only is the title a very brief precis of the story but, for once, the publisher's blurb is also pretty accurate as to the details of the story it describes!
Rosemary, on the run from a comfortable and privileged life that she's just discovered was funded by peddling armaments to escalate a dubious war, signs up as ships clerk on the tunnelling ship Wayfarer.
The Wayfarer is crewed by a most diverse group, probably the most diverse by any measure you care to choose actually! Each character is given a chapter or three in which too develop and the book is really a set of montages that come together really nicely with the overall story arc. There's nothing twisty or super thought-provoking, in fact, for the most part, it's about people being nice to other people!
This book reminded me of two things:
1) Nathan Lowell's "Trader's Tale from the Golden Age of the Solar Clipper" series. The main similarity is that both of these stories aren't so much exciting snippets of people's lives but a view into the life of, including the not so exciting bits like the toilet breaks and stopping for lunch. This doesn't make for a boring story in my opinion, I love the potential for immersive story-telling that this provides. Also, just to be clear, there's no shortage of action in the story; it's not all cleaning out the coffee urn.
2) There's a vibe to the captain and crew of the Wayfarer (and the Wayfarer itself come to think of it) that I found significantly evocative of the Serenity (from Joss Whedon's Firefly). I think this book would make a stupendous television series and the chapters really are perfect for serialisation as there's not usually an immediate spill-over from one chapter to the next.
The narration from Rachel Dulude was really well done, if a trifle slow. The character work made up for speed.
Overall, a really good book that ended too soon! I'm looking forward to more from Becky Chambers!
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
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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