Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Book: Becky Chambers' "A Closed And Common Orbit"

I wasn't thinking much about reading books this year which is why I was a bit surprised when one of the first things I did when I got home from the trail was download a book to read.

The book, Becky Chambers' "A Closed and Common Orbit", is the sequel to "The Long Way to a Very Angry Planet" that I read last year.  That book was a very low key book buoyed by interesting characters.  The sequel, to my surprise, was also low key.  I was expecting a building story but what was offered was the story of two of the characters of the first book.

The book alternate between the character of Pepper, a tech in the first book, and the ship's Artificial Intelligence (AI) now in a humanoid body.  One storyline follows the AI as it learns how to be a sentient being under the tutelage of Pepper.  The other storyline is about a young Pepper.  The ten-year-old Pepper is a bioengineered child laborer who escapes from her factory and is raised by a shuttle AI stranded in a huge junkyard.  The two storylines mesh together nicely complimenting each other.

The climax of the book is, like the first, fairly anticlimactic and low key.  The book, and the series so far, is less about space opera action and more about characters and character development.  Fortunately, those characters are interesting to me.

I like this book but I think it's not for everyone.  I gave it four stars on Goodreads and I am looking forward to the next book of characters.

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