I just finished reading A Closed And Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, and I must say that I enjoyed this book quite a bit. On the back cover of the book, one of the review snippets states that it “is a very likable novel,” and I must agree. Likable is a great way to look at the book because I instantly fell in love with the characters.
This book is the second in the Wayfarer series. I loved the first book too, so I wanted to read the second thinking it would pick up the story of the Wayfarer crew from the first, but it doesn’t. I was a little disappointed by that at first. That was until I started to really get into this book. This book contains two stories that it alternates between.
The first story follows Pepper and Sidra: Pepper being a good friend of Kizzy and Jenks from the Wayfarer and Sidra, the Lovelace AI that is now placed in a fake body to pass as a human. Sidra ends up living and working with Pepper after realizing that staying as the AI on the Wayfarer might be too much for the crew. If you are curious why this is, you really need to read the first book. Sidra goes with Pepper and ends up struggling to cope with being restricted to a body instead of a ship.
The other story follows a girl by the name of Jane who ends up leaving a factory she lived at and ending up in a broken ship with an AI called OWL. As Jane grows older, OWL teachers her things and uses the skills Jane picked up in the factory to repair the ship in hopes of escaping the planet they are on.
The two stories are told in alternating chapters once the book reaches a certain point. I’ve read books that use this technique before and haven’t really liked it, but this one was done really well with both stories coming to a very nice close at the end that may or may not have brought a tear to my eye (maybe someone was cutting onions while I neared the end of the book. I’m not quite sure).
You can read this book without reading the first. The story and writing is good enough to stand by itself, but I feel like you might be missing out if you haven’t read the first book. Mainly because the first book is just so likable too. I’m really enjoying the way Becky writes her books and can’t wait to pick up the next one in the series. I just found out my library has it, so it won’t be that long of a wait. That makes me happy.
I highly recommend this book even if you aren’t much of a sci-fi person. I think most people that read this book will find something to love about it.
Author’s website: https://www.otherscribbles.com/
Goodreads Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29808780-a-closed-and-common-orbit