Short, unfinished, but sweet

Compulsory (The Murderbot Diaries, #0.5)Compulsory by Martha Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“IT’S NOT LIKE I haven’t thought about killing the humans since I hacked my governor module. But then I started exploring the company servers and discovered hundreds of hours of downloadable entertainment media, and I figured, what’s the hurry? I can always kill the humans after the next series ends.“

Fun, too short… maybe a deleted scene from the first novella? Plot bunny? Can‘t wait for that full-length novel!

Can be read for free here: https://www.wired.com/story/future-of…

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Long way is long…

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“As she woke up in the pod, she remembered three things. First, she was traveling through open space. Second, she was about to start a new job, one she could not screw up. Third, she had bribed a government official into giving her a new identity file.“

Rosemary joins the motley crew of the Wayfarer. And off they go. In a chilled, amicable way. If you want a fast-paced space opera, this is not it. Get a nice drink and some snacks and enjoy.

There might be some profanity. And mentioning of mind-altering drugs. And a cooking walrus with six pairs of handfeet. And Peter Dinklage as a mechanic (not really).

This book is all about the journey. The ultimate goal of their trip is almost irrelevant for most of it. We stop at various worlds and have smaller adventures—I wonder if the author had a bunch of novellettes stuck in her head and decided to string them together to make a book? The red thread is definitely lacking a bit.

This is about exploring the crew members of the Wayfarer and their relationships with each other and the world at large. Which can be fun and was for most of this. However, it did not bring the story forward or create a suspenseful tale. I was a little bored at times and wondering when we would get on with the main story arc. Character backstories were little more than fluff.

“That is the angriest looking rock I’ve ever seen,” Ashby said.
Aha, 81% and 420 pages in we finally got there! Indeed, a very long way. But then, really, the path was the goal and this part of the story wasn‘t all that important anymore by the time we finally made it. Just another waypoint. The last bunch of aliens deserved a deeper exploration than they got.

Anyhow, I have fallen in love with Ashby, Kizzy, Jenks, Lovey, Rosemary, Sissix and Dr. Chef and even a little bit with Ohan and Corbin. And that‘s what it was all about.

Just browsing through some of the other reviews and yes, exploring topics like sexuality, the right to die, the definition of motherhood and family, the validity of ones choices, all nicely done. I liked the exploration of different belief sets and cultures. It makes me despair a little sometimes, how little we learn and how intolerant we remain.

Lovely ending! It made me go „awwww“… why can‘t we all just get along? 😉

The pieces were floating free now. They had returned home.
She was exactly where she was supposed to be.

Will I continue with the series? Maybe. I am wondering what you-know-who will make of herself in the next book. Now I just need to read something a bit more grumpy…

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Blast from the past

Quarter Share (Golden Age of the Solar Clipper, #1)Quarter Share by Nathan Lowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and I already bought and downloaded Half Share, the second book in the series.

Short, fast paced, light reading. Call the hero Ishmael, really! And his middle name is Horatio. The author had me at the hero’s names. I read all the Horatio Hornblower novels as a teenager and loved them to pieces. I have re-read them many times over the years and still think they are among the best adventure novels I have ever read.

This books sticks to the feel of those books (minus the Napoleonic wars) and transplants the seafaring folk into space. But space is only a background setting for the actual plot here — the life and coming of age of a young man on a ship, how he settles into his new life of duty and faces the challenges he’s being confronted with.

The various main characters are charming and vivid, the humour is light hearted and all in all it’s a feel-good book that I found hard to put down.

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