A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers readalong final week
Today is the final week for our readalong of A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers. This week takes in Part 3 to End and is hosted by Mogsy at The BiblioSanctum. Please be aware that spoilers will be lurking below so if you haven’t read this book yet and are intending to do so you might want to get out of here!
1. At the end of the last segment, we got to meet Laurian but this week we got to know him better in Jane’s sections and learn how he factors into these flashbacks. What do you think of his and Jane’s relationship and how has it impacted your understanding of the bond between Pepper and Blue?
Well, to be honest I kind of figured out that Laurian and Blue were one and the same character. It made sense with the strong bond that he and Pepper seemed to share. Nothing like risky business and dangerous ventures to bring two people close together. I think that Oouoh said the same thing to Pepper when he highlighted how obvious it was that the two of them were so close. Speaking of Oouoh what a great character – I wouldn’t mind having a comforting hug from Oouoh when needed.
2. In this section, we saw how Jane finally made it to the GC. Sidra, in her storyline, also makes headway in freeing herself from her programming and has developed a new kind of relationship with the kit. In a way, both of them managed to accomplish what they set out to do, but what do you think they each made of their results?
I thought the lightbulb moment for Sidra when she suddenly realises she’s missing her kit and the closeness and involvement that it allows her to share with others was really excellent. The whole ‘finding a purpose’ storyline was really clever as well I thought. Overall it was a great defining moment for Sidra and I really liked the direction it took.
Jane had a bit of a rotten time. I realised that she was suffering from malnutrition and assumed that was why she was so tired before she made her escape but, wow, she was carrying a whole lot more health problems than I realised – I felt exhausted on her behalf. I felt really sorry for her though, to have gone through so much, to have escaped, to have made it in a shape being held together with sticky back plastic and string and then to have Owl taken away from her – that was harsh.
3. When the seeds of Sidra’s plan started to form, what were your thoughts? Did you have any concerns about what she might do and how things might end?
I think my concerns for Sidra’s plan were threefold: firstly, concerning Tak and whether she could pull it off with her emotions running riot and giving her away. I did have a momentary concern when something seemed to be happening to Sidra’s programming and (linked to that) I also wondered if Sidra might end up being over written completely somehow! Other than that – yeah, I wasn’t worried at all (haha not much).
4. What did you make of Sidra’s comments on the nature of “Purpose”? How well do you think her views match with the examples we’ve seen so far in the story?
I liked that Sidra finally reached this conclusion and was able to adapt her own purpose. It was sensible and spot on for all the characters when you really think about it. Jane (and all the Janes) were created with a purpose – even though it was a horrible storyline – that still remains true. When Jane became Pepper she came up with another purpose for herself that was really quite similar so was able to carry on in a way that would probably make her feel comfortable. Blue – I’m not really too sure what his original purpose was but clearly he creates art to be pleasing to others as does Tak. Owl had a very nurturing and caring role and that was consistent throughout the story. I liked the idea of this – I’m not sure that we maybe think of it in quite so simple a fashion but even so it has a certain ring of truth.
5. What did you think of the ending, and/or any closing thoughts?
Well, I was surprised, very pleasantly. I really expected something to go horribly wrong and as it was it seemed like everyone had a really good outcome – I still keep thinking I’ve missed something – I was so convinced that something nasty was going to occur.