Becky Chambers first book A Long way to a Small Angry Planet was one of my favourite books of 2015. In fact probably one of my favourite books of all time. So I was very eager to read a copy of her follow up A Closed and Common Orbit. It isn't exactly a sequel as it doesn't continue the story of the crew of the Wayfarer however it is a companion novel as it is the story of Lovelace formerly the artificial intelligence system of the Wayfarer who in the final moments of the events of A Long Way... was transfered into a new body. In the new book Lovelace wakes up in her new body travelling with Pepper to her home planet. Pepper worked hard to reinstall Lovelace who renames herself Sidra and she helps her to adjust to her new life. In tandem with this is the story of Jane who escapes a cruel childhood and as you will no doubt quickly work out grows up to become gutsy mechanic Pepper. As in the previous book the writing is full of character development moments and wonderful learning experiences as various diverse species come into contact with each other, although with little space travel involved there is less of the Space Opera feel but the book is no less enjoyable because of this in fact Sidra's story is if anything even more compelling than A Long Way...
Those looking for pulse pounding action, war and explosions will be disappointed, but this book offers something much better than that, it's a masterclass in writing characters and in world building through a character's eyes.
Available now in hardback from Hodder.
Thanks to Hodder for a reading copy of this book.