Record of a Spaceborn Few

By: Becky Chambers

The humans knew when they left their dying planet for deep space that their future rested in the success of the unborn generations. When constructing the ships that would become their homes, the humans focused on producing self-contained and self-sustaining systems that would provide anything the travelers would need. The ships became known as the Exodus Fleet and within the confines of the windowless walls beat the heart of a proud and thriving culture.

However, living is man-made ships in the vacuum of space is extremely dangerous.

Tragedy strikes the fleet when one of their homesteads suffers a spontaneous decompression that blows a hole in the ship and kills tens of thousands of people. In the wake of the disaster, a mother, an archivist, a grounder, a child, and a caretaker of the dead must find their places in the fleet. They must decide if a life on solid ground would be better than one in the stars.

Oh thank God, guys. I can finally breath again. Woooooo, that was a tense couple months of me being wicked pissed at Becky Chambers for the travesty that was A Closed and Common Orbit. But I am nothing if not someone who gives second chances (except to you E. L. James because fuck you). For the sake of this review, Just assume every complement I give Chambers excludes her writing of her second book. Okay? Okay. So here it goes, Record of a Spaceborn Few…art!

I appreciate that Chambers has a knack for creating fictional cultures and a talent for producing stories with overwhelmingly positive messages. Even in the face of death, she find the bright side. As a cynic, I can appreciate that because we all need a refreshing perspective every now and again. Faith in humanity restored even if it is fictional.

I was glad that this novel had more of the flavor and heart of the The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. This is a warm story filled with characters trying to find themselves and I appreciate the variety of perspectives. We never just get stuck with one person at any given time. The narrative is constantly changing and seeing how the characters are connected is pretty awesome. I wanted to know who would stay with the fleet and who, if anyone would leave. I wasn’t disappointed.

Some aspects of this book made me thing of the book Leviathan Wakes, which is pretty cool because I enjoyed the themes that were similar. The Exodians were like Belters in a way with their cultural differences and ways of life.

In a way I wish there was another book after this one for this series but sadly this universe and these characters are only in this trilogy. That’s okay though because I at least feel like I got a lot of adventure, the aliens were fleshed out, and the ends were wrapped up nicely.

Looking forward to seeing what Chamber’s next book, To Be Taught If Fortunate, is like. It’s short, and I have a feeling it will be a quite different experience compared to this book.

Overall rating: 4.5

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