A Closed and Common Orbit

Wayfarers 2 , #2


Published Oct. 20, 2016 by HODDER & STOUGHTON.

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4 stars (10 reviews)

Once, Lovelace had eyes and ears everywhere. She was a ship's artificial intelligence system - possessing a personality and very human emotions. But when her ship was badly damaged, Lovelace was forced to reboot and reset. Now housed in an illegal synthetic body, she's never felt so isolated. But Lovelace is not alone. Pepper, an engineer who risked her life to reinstall Lovelace's program, has remained by her side and is determined to help her.

13 editions

reviewed A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (Wayfarers, #2)

The two main characters just weren't for me

3 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed the worldbuilding and the story, but I felt like I had to do the work to relate to the characters. They both start off at points in their lives that are unique, interesting - and hard to wrap my head around. The author does a great job giving them distinct voices and letting them grow over time, but I just found them too far removed to really get into the book.

The secondary characters, however! I really loved reading about them from the perspectives of the protagonists, and as always, the interactions are wonderfully crafted.


4 stars

Druha cast navazuje volne na predchozi dej, kdy Sidra, byvala lodni UI Lovelace, obyva lidsky telo. Je to opet poklidny, pohodovy cteni a plyne nak tak samo.

Kdyz se nad tim zamyslim vic, tak flashback cast je dost slusne propracovana a pride me tenhle dil o poznani kvalitnejsi.

Second story focuses on (not only) troubles of former spaceship AI moved to human body. There's also flashback to Chilli's childhood, painting careless society growing genetically modified kids for labor. It's somewhat more complex than first part and I like different timelines, despite being it a bit predictable.

feel good but real scifi too

4 stars

i enjoyed A Closed and Common Orbit even more than the prequel one. (which has not enough story to keep up--for my taste at least) i think of it as a kind of double bildungsroman, with two developing characters between which the novel is split.

Chambers connects her scifi(-world) convincingly and smoothly with the problems most of us are facing and can relate to. it's how scifi should comment the present. and although the focus is always on the personalities, there are also a lot of social themes and thoughts.

a lot of readers mention the caring characters throughout the story, which make it so satisfactional to follow. I can support that! but it would be sad to think, it's just another form of escapism, a tweak to the genre. this is a shortcoming of understanding the themes Chambers is working on.

the real impact makes Chambers skill in building …

made me cry more than once

5 stars

I absolutely adored this book. I realise that part of this is that it was a perfect little escape while I was stuck at home with covid, but I do also think it's really wonderful.

It has some similar strengths to the first in the series, in that it's mostly about the relationships between a few outcast characters that become a chosen family and just happen to be in space. But if anything I think it's better written (I guess Chambers getting into her stride with book 2), and benefits from being a more focussed story of a smaller number of characters. And has some weightier things to say about embodiment, the tension between fitting in and freedom, and loyalty & reciprocity.

I am excited about the rest of the series.

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5 stars
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5 stars