Audiobook Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet – By Becky Chambers, narrated by Patricia Rodriguez
When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that's 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.
But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptilian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful - exactly what Rosemary wants.
Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They'll earn enough money to live comfortably for years... if they survive the long trip through war-torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful.
But Rosemary isn't the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast, but spaceships are very small indeed.
I have rarely read a sci-fi book of such depth and obvious talent – and for this to be Becky Chambers’ debut novel is a feat in and of itself. The focus of the story is more on the stories of each of the characters, their backgrounds, how they got here, and how they will move forward together. Each crewmember on the Wayfarer is beautifully written and infused with emotion. As the relationship between Rosemary and Sissix blooms you will find yourself cheering them on. Without giving any spoilers, I was full on sobbing at one part and snort laughing at others. And at times I was absolutely floored by the philosophical questions it was leading me to, right up to and including the meaning of life!
Patricia Rodriguez was the first narrator I really listened to when I got into audiobooks and in my mind she is a queen amongst a highly skilled and lovely group of narrators. She gets into each character and gives them a voice that brings them to life in a way that makes them real in your head. If you had told me this was a production involving several narrators I would have believed you, she is that good at giving distinct voices to each character.
Honestly, what are you waiting for? This is a gem of an audiobook and well worth a listen!