So I’ve been putting this one off for quite a while. Because sometimes, when you read a really, and I mean REALLY good book, you’re just afraid your review will not do it justice.
I still think that.
But, despite that, I have decided to finally get to it and write the best review I can muster, because I just loved that book so much, I have to respect it in some way.
So this might be a long one.
Why did I love this book so much? Oh, I wish it was easy to answer that. There are just too many answers to this question. First of all, it’s just such a non-typical scifi book. It does not concentrate on plots, plans and big angry sciencey words.
(Sciencey is totally a word.)
It focuses on the characters, on their development and their dynamics. It also looks many societal problems deep in the eye and shows it to all be resolvable, if not in the most popular, but perhaps the most compassionate way. And the part that I love about it the most – it’s such a feminine scifi book. Let’s start with the fact that females don’t write scifi as often as males, and therefore more often than not scifi leans into the rational, cold direction (not necessarily always a bad thing). But this is such a personal take on scifi that you can see each character come alive, live and breathe, basically. It focuses on the individual rather than the whole big picture, which tends to be the case in a lot of scifi. I don’t know what some hardcore readers would say, but for me, as a female scifi fan, this is something I’ve wanted to see in the genre for so long, and I didn’t even consciously know that THIS was what I was longing for.
Other than that, let me just sum up why I loved it and why you should check it out in list form:
- It’s one of the most diverse books I’ve read (in general). In terms of race, LGBTQ and even general individual sentience. The things you will see here WILL expand your horizons. Even if some people might be uncomfortable with it, it’s such a great and healthy take on it. Personally, I loved the way Becky Chambers built her universe. It’s how I see mine.
- The author has made up so many new words for technology, societal things and even food! Not even mentioning all the races and even the vocab from some of them. I absolutely LOVED this. It just makes you so immersed in the book, it’s like it’s unfolding in front of your eyes for real. It’s such a great experience.
- It has so many races, some of which are VERY ingenuos. THIS is real scifi. Not just humanoids in blue and green. These are actual aliens, some of which think in very different ways or look and communicate in ways you couldn’t imagine.
- The character development is SPECTACULAR. I don’t think I can name a book which guides us so much through the personal paths of the characters. You actually see them changing, making progress. Deciding things. It’s what makes them really come alive. So alive you want to draw fanart. That never happens to me.
- The book just makes you so comfortable. Like you’re living with them on the ship. And when you’re snuggled in and safe, it plunges you ever so deep. And brings you up and down again. You will not be able to take your nose out of the book starting at about 50% and upwards that you will not even put it down to cross the street or get some sleep. Seriously. I read it while walking outside. Don’t do that, kids. JUST CANCEL ALL APPOINTMENTS TO READ IT.
- The ending. It leaves you absolutely craving for the next one, cause you just love the characters so much. And you care about what will happen next. The ending is somewhat satisfying, although not for everyone. Which is why you worry so much you can’t wait for the next installment.
To sum up… You should give yourself a gift and read this. Even if you’re not a scifi fan. I could compare it to “The girl with all the gifts” – if they say that is a zombie book for people who don’t like zombie stories, so this could also be said to be a scifi book for people who don’t like scifi. And yet, I think scifi fans will also love it.
I would really love to hear your opinion. Especially if you’re scifi fan and you read this, what did you think?
Also, I am planning to maybe write up another post in the future with character descriptions and a little more about them. I am curious if you are interested in that, so if you are, please comment and tell me!
Love to you all, and I hope we all stumble into books like this a little more often.