Friday, August 10, 2018

Book Review: Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers


Title: Record of a Spaceborn Few
Author: Becky Chambers
Series: Wayfarers #3
Publication Date: July 24th 2018

Synopsis: "From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope.

Centuries after the last humans left Earth, the Exodus Fleet is a living relic, a place many are from but few outsiders have seen. Humanity has finally been accepted into the galactic community, but while this has opened door for many, those who have not yet left for alien cities fear that their carefully cultivated way of life is under threat.

Tessa chose to stay home when her brother Ashby left for the stars, but has to question that decision when her position in the Fleet is threatened.

Kip, a reluctant young apprentice, itches for change but doesn't know where to find it.

Sawyer, a lost and lonely newcomer, is just looking for a place to belong.

And when a disaster rocks this already fragile community, those Exodans who still call the Fleet their home can no longer avoid the inescapable question:

What is the purpose of a ship that has reached its destination?"

My thoughts: Oh, words can barely say how much I love Becky Chambers' writing. The way she uses words, the way she builds her characters, the way the interact and think about things - all of it is just wonderful and sometimes heartbreaking and just... joyful.

This is the third book in the Wayfarers series, and with the first book: Long Way to a Small Angry Planet being one of my favourite books of all time, I am perhaps a touch biased about this series. Granted, while I did enjoy the second book, A Closed and Common Orbit, I didn't fall in complete love with it. So I was a little nervous going into this one, even whilst still being excited to delve back into Chambers' words.

I needn't have worried. Becky Chambers has created some characters that I just adored, each one trading off chapters. Sometimes this style doesn't work so well for me and I find myself just wanting to get back to a favourite character, and suffering through the other chapters. This wasn't the case for Record of a Spaceborn Few. Each character was complex and wonderful to read, and, while I did have a favourite (Eyas), I still wanted to read from every point of view.

I cannot even describe how deep and affecting Chambers' can be with her words and the things her characters go through. I think some people reading this book may feel that things don't really happen, or, at least, they don't happen very quickly most of the time. But it is the exploration of what it is to be a person, and emotional relationships, and how different people relate to one another - this is what makes me adore her writing so much. This is what I will always come back to.



{I received a review copy of this book from Hachette. Thank you so much!}

A favourite line from the book: "She didn't know how her guild would proceed. But she knew they were Exodan. They were Exodan, and no matter what threatened to tear them apart, tradition held them together. She flew back toward the ship, ferrying her temporary charge, reciting the words the First Generation had written. 'Here, at the Centre of our lives, we carry our beloved dead. We honour their breath, which fills our lungs. We honour their blood, which fills out hearts. We honour their bodies, which fuel our own...'"

You would like this book if: You liked Long Way to a Small Angry Planet; you enjoy scifi with a focus on what it is that makes us people.

Rating:  10/10

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