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

Posted On 2 January 2017

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closedandcommonA Closed and Common Orbit (AC&CO) is the second in the Wayfarer series by Becky Chambers.  I really enjoyed the first book and was very keen to pick this one up.  AC&CO, much like No.1, was a completely unexpected surprise for me.  I always feel a little tentative when picking up science fiction, it isn’t my comfort zone I suppose, and the very notion of space opera makes it sound even more daunting, but Becky Chambers manages to create stories about different worlds, different planets, different species and their lives in a way that makes them accessible, heartfelt and compelling.

Firstly, I would mention that although AC&CO takes place in the same universe as A Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet it isn’t really a sequel although it does include one of the characters from the first story.  I would say this is more like a spin off that continues the story of Lovelace.  It has a different feel to the first.  ALWTASAAP was almost like a bunch of mini stories affecting the crew of the Wayfarer as they went on their journey from A to B.  AC&CO has a much stronger focus on two main characters and their own journeys of personal discovery and fulfilment.

Secondly, I don’t really intend to focus too much on the plot but to leave that element as a surprise.

Thirdly, if you love a story that relies on great characters then I think you’ll enjoy this as much as I did.  Pepper and Lovelace are both wonderful to read about.  I won’t deny that Pepper was my favourite, I just couldn’t help myself, her backstory was made of totally  horrendous and yet unputdownable compelling reading material.  Lovelace also made for some heart wrenching material as she went through her own series of touching and sometimes embarrassing anecdotes.  There is also a small but equally likeable supporting cast.

The story is told with alternating chapters from both characters and the chapters jump back and forward between past and present – with both stories sharing some uncanny parallels.  What I really enjoyed about this and the first story is Chambers attention to detail.  She has a very low key way of developing different worlds and cultures that just make them easy and fascinating to breeze through.  Her attention to detail and the way she seamlessly blends it into the story make for one very satisfying complete package.

As I said above, I don’t really want to say too much about the story as it would spoil the read and so I appreciate that this probably comes across as a very short review with not very much to say but I can only say that isn’t a reflection on the book at all.  I thoroughly enjoyed this and in fact I thought it was even better than the first in series.  A book that makes you feel for the characters, a storyline that hooks you from start to finish and a series that I have no hesitation in recommending.





11 Responses to “A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2) by Becky Chambers”

  1. sjhigbee

    Yippee! Thank you for a great review. I haven’t yet got my hot little hands on this one, but thanks to your review, I certainly shall have no hesitation in doing so:). I loved the first one, but was a tad rocked when I heard that it didn’t particularly follow on and was quite different from the first book. Your writeup has reassured me to still for for it, though…

    • @lynnsbooks

      I can’t believe how different the style of writing was tbh. I really liked this one though – the close attention to two really fascinating stories was great for me and the character development was excellent.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        I’m going to HAVE to get hold of this one – preferably before the end of January…

  2. Nathan

    I didn’t realize this was coming so soon. Seems like I just read Angry Planet yesterday. Wait, maybe I reread it yesterday…

    • @lynnsbooks

      Actually, now you mention it, they do seem fairly close together! I came late to the first book though. This was definitely my preference – I just loved the closer attention to two particular story lines.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Tammy

    Definitely going to try to start this series this year, I’m so curious after reading so many great reviews:-)

    • @lynnsbooks

      I loved the second one – the first is good but the second is really my cup of tea. And, you don’t have to have read the first – although I would recommend it if you have time because you might prefer the feel of the first.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Yep, you and I both had similar thoughts on this. I prefer the more personal, intimate feel we got with Pepper and Sidra’s stories here. Makes me wonder what her third book will be like. And I had a great time on this readalong!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I’m very curious to see what she does next – it seems like she likes shaking it up a bit.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    I’m looking forward to this one 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      This was my favourite of the two without doubt – I love great characterisation.
      Lynn 😀

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