The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

Harper Voyager. Jul. 2016. 464p. ISBN 9780062444134. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062444127. SF
The crew of the Wayfarer make a small living building wormholes to lessen the distances in interstellar travel. They are a diverse bunch, with one new addition: records clerk Rosemary, who signs on just as the ship prepares to go into deep space to construct a wormhole for an alien race long hostile to the rest of the Galactic Commons. What could go wrong? Like so many great space opera novels, this is really the story of the ship's crew as they band together in the face of danger. From Ashby, the affable human captain, to the marvelous extraterrestrial known as Dr. Chef (his two roles on the ship), there are many personalities here to love, and they all get a chance to shine. Rosemary, our newbie team player, predictably has a dangerous secret of her own.
VERDICT A huge hit in the UK where it was first self-published and now nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, this delightful debut space opera is less brisk in terms of action than is typical of the genre, but it is no less engaging.
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