Lisa Jenny Krieg bio photo

Lisa Jenny Krieg

Anthropologist of human-environment-technology relations and author of speculative fiction

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Sweet, funny, original, touching. This is a nice story about Rosemary and the interspecies crew of the tunneling ship Wayfarer. Set on a difficult mission to bore a tunnel out in the rather hostile Toremi Ka space, thte Wayfarer crew has a long journey ahead before they reach their destination.

The book is an entertaining read, nothing too deep. I liked the rather equal distribution of male and female roles, and the non-stereotypical approach towards sex and gender roles and relations. There is the male, caring captain, the bizarre and fascinating female pilot, the chaotic female tech, the small male tech in love with an AI. The characters are sweet and lovable, and non-stereotypical. Nice. Also the challengs of interspecies relations are interesting, and remind of course of current discourses of racism.

The language is a bit simple and not exactly artistic: the dialogues are alright, but it’s not poetic or unusual, sometimes even a bit crude and forced. Everything is spelled out, nothing is left to guess or left between the lines. There is a clear plot, and everything important happens one thing after the other, clearly narrated. All in all, the book is not very deep, the characters are nice but remain a bit superficial. The read is enjoyable, but not challenging. The universe Becky Chambers created is cool, because it has some new ideas: tunneling, and the species, and the whole interspecies thing, it’s interesting. She pays attention to details, and it’s a colourful world. But it’s not very deep. I pretty much forgot the book the day after I finished reading it, which is really not a problem in and of itself, because you can’t read heavy stuff all the time.

Grade: 3.0/5.0