The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Rosemary Harper, the main character of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, takes a job as a file clerk on a rundown spaceship called the Wayfarer in order to escape her painful past. When the Wayfarer is hired for an incredibly dangerous mission, Rosemary and her new crewmates—a ragtag mix of humans and aliens—must learn to trust each other with their lives, and soon she grows to consider them family.

This book is a little light on plot, but heavy on character development and warm feelings. The real standout, though, is the worldbuilding. The author clearly put a lot of effort into creating diverse alien cultures that feel truly alien, and showing how their different values and customs would interact. I’d highly recommend it to fans of the TV series Firefly or anyone who likes carefully crafted sci-fi worlds and heartwarming stories about found family. If you enjoy this book, there are three more in the Wayfarers series, most recently 2021’s The Galaxy, and The Ground Within.

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