Ahoy there me mateys! I discovered this here space opera when perusing the 2016 Arthur C. Clarke shortlist. It sounded awesome. And it was.
The novel is the story of a ship called the Wayfarer and its crew. The ship is a tunneler that helps create the wormholes through space for other ships so that it doesn’t take light years to get from point A to point B. Luckily for this physics hater, the book only had basic introductions to the principals behind space travel and focused more on the plot and the world building.
The crew is certainly the heart of the story and they are its highlight. They are a multi-species crew and I frickin’ adore ’em. There are a variety of genders, nationalities, sexes, and personalities. The introduction to the world is told at the beginning through the viewpoint of a human from Mars named Rosemary but soon branches out to include the other crew members.
This is not a space opera with an overall massive scope or crazy inter-species politics. Politics exist and have ramifications for the crew but are not the primary plot point. Also while the world is as large as the universe, the viewpoint we receive is that of a single crew mostly inside their ship. Their forays onto other planets serve as spice and flavor.
In general, it’s a book that promotes tolerance. It is about creating a family that might not be the one ye are born in. It is about how life can shape personality and how even yer bad choices can be overcome. It is about self-discovery. It’s about secrets. It’s about seeing aliens through the eyes of different aliens. It’s about loss, grief, and choices. It’s about love.
I highly recommend me crew to pick up this novel and fall in love with the Wayfarer and her crew like I did. I would be glad to have any of them aboard me ship. Arrrr!!!
Side note: read a interview with the author here!
The author’s website has this to say about the novel:
When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that’s seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.
But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer. The crew is a mishmash of species and personalities, from Sissix, the friendly reptillian pilot, to Kizzy and Jenks, the constantly sparring engineers who keep the ship running. Life on board is chaotic, but more or less peaceful – exactly what Rosemary wants.
Until the crew are offered the job of a lifetime: the chance to build a hyperspace tunnel to a distant planet. They’ll earn enough money to live comfortably for years… if they survive the long trip through war-torn interstellar space without endangering any of the fragile alliances that keep the galaxy peaceful.
But Rosemary isn’t the only person on board with secrets to hide, and the crew will soon discover that space may be vast, but spaceships are very small indeed.
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