Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Hugo Review: Best Novel - A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers is about the value of love and life.

After three finalists that ranged from bleh to meh, it was nice to read something that was truly enjoyable for me. I was less than halfway through when I reached the "can't put it down" point and finished the book off in a very long sitting. I have not read the first book in this series.

I will note that I checked the e-book out from the library rather than use the copy of the book provided in the packet because the publisher only provided a PDF that was annoyingly watermarked.

The good: Very strong characters, each defined nicely and completely, with their own motivations and desires. The interactions between the characters was very real. I absolutely loved Sidra's questioning of herself and her body and wanted to tell her that every girl goes through a stage where they don't fit in themselves. Of course, her story is different, but similar. I enjoyed the descriptions of dances and parties and how Sidra enjoyed them. But most of all I enjoyed Pepper's tale, and how she became who she was. It was an amazing experience to read - a survival story mixed with a fitting in story.

The bad: I'm aware that there's another book in which the origins of how the situation at the beginning of this book happened. Without that context, I wonder if the story lost some of its impact? I won't know until I get a chance to read the first book (which is now on hold at the library).

Conclusion: While I love The Obelisk Gate, I find I'm slightly more inclined to put this book on top of the ballot for now.

Best Novel: I've read The Obelisk Gate, All the Birds in the Sky, Ninefox Gambit, Death's End and A Closed and Common Orbit. I need to read Too Like the Lightning.