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review 2018-04-21 10:10
Mundane Fiction in Disguise: “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Becky Chambers

“Lovers are fun, but kind of stupid, too. They say stupid things to each other and they ignore all their friends because they’re too busy staring, and they get jealous, and they have fights over dumb shit like who did the dishes last or why they can’t fold their fucking socks, and maybe the sex gets bad, or maybe they stop finding each other interesting, and then somebody bangs someone else, and everyone cries, and they see each other years later, and that person you once shared everything with is a total stranger you don’t even want to be around because it’s awkward.”

 

In “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” by Becky Chambers

(No, I didn’t get the quote wrong; it’s really in the book ipsis verbis)

 

Should all speculative fiction be written in a fantastical, hyper-imagined future where everything is new and shiny and different?

 

Having a rich panoply of characters make 'walk on' appearances engages the reader and helps them to develop a richness, texture and depth to a work. The reader can determine whether or not one of these 'extras' connects to the story-line elsewhere - and an impressionistic sketch of these characters and their activities actually requires that the reader puts in some effort in constructing the world in which the characters operate. Roger Zelazny used this device quite well, and I enjoyed it: discontinuities were everywhere, and hints and ephemera enhanced the story. I didn't want to see everything in a well-lit room. I tried Larkin when I was twelve, then when I was sixteen (yay for required reading as part of my British Council English education.) Much preferred Tennyson and then I was in my late twenties. 

 

 

If you're into a Mundane-Fiction--in-Disguise, read on.  

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review 2018-04-10 14:01
The Angry Chef - Anthony Warner

He made me cry. Honestly when I read the quote from page 245 "'A hospice patient admitted for end-of-life care said that one thing she really wanted before the end was to eat a few slices of French baguette with butter, but refused the ofer from the hospice chef as she was fearful of taking carbs that would "feed her cancer cells"' Catherine Collins RD, fellow of the British Dietetic Association." any diet that demands a terminally ill person is wrong to have something they really want to have is evil. 

Now I'm not in that situation, but I am someone who has to deal with dietary restrictions day in and day out, I'm technically gluten sensitive because I had to give up gluten before a formal diagnosis (gastroenterologist: there's healing damage there, whatever you're doing, keep at it), but I respond quickly and upsettingly to gluten present in my foodstuffs (and this has been verified but an accident or two), so on one level I'm quite happy with the fashion for gluten-free but dammit I would love good French bread, or even one dinner out where I had freedom to explore the menu more. 

Another quote that hit more for truth is "Cancer is a complex, shapeshifting disease that has staggered and confounded the best researchers for a hundred years. (p.247) and I would love to shake it in the face of the people who tell me that I asked for, ate for, lived for, the Hodgkins Lymphoma science threw into remission 15 years ago. 

This book is a mildly sweary, angry with bad science, rant about how our diets seem to have become the latest battleground for morality, how what we eat has become a heavily charged moral issue with some claiming that only by following their creed will we be purfied from this "too, too solid flesh" and achieve some sort of living purity or sainthood, freed from illness and pain, having learned the lessons of purity and wellness from the chosen few.

Yes it's a bit more sweary than some people are comfortable with but I'd say it's no more sweary than I would be if I was talking to people on the topic. There are some citations and it could do with a suggested reading list but overall I found it one of the best books on eating that I've read in a long time.

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review 2017-10-06 13:54
This reminded me of Guardians of the Galaxy but without all the fighting scenes…mixed with a little Avatar
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Tantor Audio,Becky Chambers,Rachel Dulude

Book Title:  The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Author:  Becky Chambers

Narration:  Rachel Dulude

Series:  Wayfarers #1

Genre:  Science Fiction, Space Opera

Setting:  Deep Space

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot:  4.2/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  4/5

Addictiveness:  4/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  3.8/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  4/5

Ending:  4.5/5 Cliffhanger:  Not so much…

Steam Factor: 0-5:  3

Total:  4.3/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

 

 

I would call this a fun, laugh out loud kind of Space Opera.  A character-driven story with fantastically sapient-diverse characters, which is why I was reminded of Guardians of the Galaxy.  With similar character descriptions and the life-affirming sentiments found in Avatar. Yes, there's swearing and sexual situations aplenty.  Which really just added to the quirkiness of this story.

 

My only issue may be with the narration because sometimes I was lost in regards to who the characters were and what was going on.  I think it may have been due to there not being a significant silence between scenes.  I'm certain there were whole scenes that I missed out on because I was just…lost.  I didn't always know whose head I was in, either.  It would have been beneficial to have a full-cast narration to differentiate the characters.  I believe it would have a made a huge difference.  Despite this, I still feel Rachel Dulude did a decent narration.

 

Will I continue this seriesYa know, I didn't know this at first, but the next two books are considered stand-alone just set in the same Universe…so yeah, I’m totally going to read (or listen to) them too.

 

 

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text 2017-10-01 13:48
September Re-Cap
The Fixer - Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Mad: A Novel (Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know Trilogy) - Chloé Esposito
The Last Magician - Lisa Maxwell
Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon
The Pact - Karina Halle
The Kind Worth Killing - Peter Swanson
The Orchard: A Memoir - Theresa Weir
Everything Under The Sun - Jessica Redmerski,J.A. Redmerski
World After - Susan Ee
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet - Tantor Audio,Becky Chambers,Rachel Dulude

 

A mediocre reading month...some good...some not so good, some good but long (everything under the sun).  I listened to more books than I physically read this month by far, including a re-listen/read for an old favorite.  I did not read a single arc...I think that's due to me feeling like I don't want to be a guinea pig for new books.  Essentially, that's what you are, after all, which is the price you pay for being able to read books before they come out.  I'm just not sure if I want to do it anymore.

 

 

 

(eBook) The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Finish Date:  09/02

3.8/5 STARS - GRADE=B

 

(Audiobook) Mad by Chloe Esposito

Finish Date:  09/03

4.3/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

Finish Date:  09/10

4.5/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

(Audiobook) Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Finish Date:  09/12

3/5 STARS - GRADE=C

 

(eBook) The Pact by Karina Halle

Finish Date:  09/13

2.7/5 STARS - GRADE=C-

 

(Audiobook) The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

Finish Date:  09/16

4/5 STARS - GRADE=B+

 

(Audiobook) The Orchard: A Memoir by Theresa Weir

Finish Date:  09/20

3.5/5 - GRADE = B-

 

(eBook) Everything Under the Sun by Jessica Redmerski

Finish Date:  09/24

4.7/5 STARS - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) World After by Susan Ee

Finish Date:  09/25

4.8/5 Stars - GRADE=A

 

(Audiobook) The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (review pending)

Finish Date:  09/30

4.3/5 STARS - GRADE=A-

 

10 books Total for a total of 4,083 pages (including audio).

7 Audiobooks and 3 ebooks.

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-09-21 09:23
I loved the Irish history and legends that coursed through this book
The Shadows - Megan Chance

I went into this book with a little trepidation. Despite normally not doing so, I had managed to stumble across a few of the other Goodreads reviews before I started, and they weren't all glowing. Pacing seemed to be a major concern from a number of reviewers and lack of plot driven excitement. 

Well, I'm happy to say that while the story as a whole was slow, I didn't find it dull. When working with trilogies or series it can be difficult to get the world building and plot driver levels correct to keep your readers engaged and provide the information they need. 

Megan managed to introduce a large cast of characters, each with complex backgrounds in a way that didn't overwhelm the reader, provided teaser information and whetted the appetite for books 2 and 3. 

Complexity of characters was lacking in some of the later introduced characters, but I'm sure they'll be explored in more detail in the next book/s. The main cast had quite a lot of time to unfold their natures to the reader and do so in a manner that I don't really trust yet, but I feel that was the intention. 

It feels to me that Megan will portray a character in a certain way to start, only to have that original idea smashed by some later revelation. This is quite ingenious as it allows for character growth that the reader experiences too.

I loved the Irish history and legends that coursed through this book and long to delve further into the Sidhe and Fianna. 

The biggest blow to this book was the love triangle. I am hoping it is redeemed later in the trilogy, but I'm not holding my breath.

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in return for an honest review**

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