Title: A Closed and Common Orbit
Author: Becky Chambers
Series: Wayfarers #2
Genre: Science Fiction
Narrator: Rachel Dulude
Length: 11.5 hours (365 pages)
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release Date: October 20, 2016
Recommended for fans of: found family, space science fiction
Content Warnings: animal death, child abuse, child death, slavery, confinement, grief
Lovelace was once merely a ship’s artificial intelligence. When she wakes up in a new body, following a total system shut-down and reboot, she has no memory of what came before. As Lovelace learns to negotiate the universe and discover who she is, she makes friends with Pepper, an excitable engineer, who’s determined to help her learn and grow.
Together, Pepper and Lovelace will discover that no matter how vast space is, two people can fill it together.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet introduced readers to the incredible world of Rosemary Harper, a young woman with a restless soul and secrets to keep. When she joined the crew of the Wayfarer, an intergalactic ship, she got more than she bargained for – and learned to live with, and love, her rag-tag collection of crewmates.
A Closed and Common Orbit is the stand-alone sequel to Becky Chambers’ beloved debut novel The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and is perfect for fans of Firefly, Joss Whedon, Mass Effect and Star Wars.
When I first realized this book is not a direct sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and instead follows a couple side characters instead of the main crew I fell in love with, I was disappointed. I loved the found family Becky Chambers developed in book one and I wanted to spend more time with them.
However, I ended up loving how the change allowed Becky Chambers to develop more facets of this galaxy. The story is written in dual timeline. The “present” timeline focuses more on Lovelace as she adjusts to her new life in an illegal AI body “kit,” while the flashbacks explore Pepper’s childhood as a genetically engineered runaway slave.
This book introduces new types of found families and friendships that I loved just as much as the crew from the first book. The writing is so lovely and insightful, and even though this is set in a future that is very different from life on Earth today, the universal themes of everyday life transcend space and time. This is not primarily an adventure story; it’s a story of humanity, survival, differences & togetherness, and relationships of all kinds. And there’s a heist!
I don’t hype this series enough based on how much I love it, but it is a must read!