A Closed and Common Orbit

(Wayfarers #2)

Paperback, 364 pages

English language

Published Aug. 7, 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton.

ISBN:
9781473621473

View on OpenLibrary

5 stars (51 reviews)

Once, Lovelace had eyes and ears everywhere. She was a ship's artificial intelligence system - possessing a personality and very human emotions. But when her ship was badly damaged, Lovelace was forced to reboot and reset. Now housed in an illegal synthetic body, she's never felt so isolated. But Lovelace is not alone. Pepper, an engineer who risked her life to reinstall Lovelace's program, has remained by her side and is determined to help her.

8 editions

made me cry more than once

5 stars

I absolutely adored this book. I realise that part of this is that it was a perfect little escape while I was stuck at home with covid, but I do also think it's really wonderful.

It has some similar strengths to the first in the series, in that it's mostly about the relationships between a few outcast characters that become a chosen family and just happen to be in space. But if anything I think it's better written (I guess Chambers getting into her stride with book 2), and benefits from being a more focussed story of a smaller number of characters. And has some weightier things to say about embodiment, the tension between fitting in and freedom, and loyalty & reciprocity.

I am excited about the rest of the series.

Another Optimistic Read

5 stars

"A Closed And Common Orbit" by Becky Chambers is set in the same universe as "The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet" but follows side characters from the first book.

It took me a while to adjust to the new cast (I was still in love with the old cast!) but once I took a little break and came back to it with a fresh pallet, I really enjoyed it. I particularly liked how much the characters tried to look after each other.

gentle and fierce

4 stars

I found this much more emotional of a read than I expected. The questions about what makes a person a person, and a home a home, and a family a family, not to mention what is the relationship between ourselves and our physical bodies— it’s a lot to handle! And the book does is so gently even as it’s really fierce on valuing lives and loves. Anyway. She’s so good, Becky Chambers.

Review of 'A Closed and Common Orbit' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Lovelace is the AI that manages the Wayfarer — until she finds herself freshly rebooted, no memories, and migrated to a human body. Pepper, my favourite character from Long Way, finds herself playing mother-figure to Lovelace.

Becky Chambers is the supreme ruler of character-driven science fiction. No one else creates characters that readers get deeply invested in quite like she does. She gives us the very best of found family.

My one complaint about The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet was the lack of a clear, cohesive plot. The characters in this book are every bit as compelling — possibly even more so. But what separates the two books is that this one follows a more traditional story arc.

If you’re someone who lives for action-heavy, bang-bang-pew-pew science fiction, this might not be your bag. But if you (like me) love story that puts the focus on the …

Review of 'A Closed and Common Orbit' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I tore through the paperback in only two days as it combined two genres I really like: sci-fi and the upbringing of "feral" children. At first I was a bit disappointed that this book was not about the crew of the Wayfarer (or at least not all of them) but that quickly wore off because, like the first book, it was such an engaging read. It is told from two changing perspectives in two different times and still manages to keep up a steady pace and not get confusing. Again I was impressed by Chambers' skill in worldbuilding and character composition. And am looking forward to her next work, wherever it will take place!

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