Record of a Spaceborn Few is the third book in the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers. This instalment follows a new set of characters in a different place in the universe. I loved the first two books in this series (although I did find A Closed and Common Orbit to be a little heavy-handed at times) and plan to keep reading them. Chambers’ art of focusing on the universal themes of friendship, loyalty and compassion in a futuristic, sci-fi world is heart-warming to read.
The first two Wayfarers books had little plot and focused more on the characters. Record of a Spaceborn Few followed in these footsteps and then some. What is this book about then? It is about people growing and learning and trying to find their place in the universe. We follow several characters who are all linked to each other in some way, although they do not all meet each other. Each character is struggling with the concept of who they are and what they want out of life. We grow with them as they make mistakes, try new things, meet new people, and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to belong.
I’ve read The Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet by Becky Chambers twice now and I adored it both times. This made me nervous about reading the second book in the Wayfarers series, as I didn’t see how it could possibly live up to its predecessor. Luckily, two friends whom I trust posted positive reviews about it (Gaby and Ashleigh) so I was encouraged to finally pick it up.
A Closed and Common Orbit follows an almost entirely new set of characters who are going on very different journeys to those characters I met and loved in The Long Way. This concerned me at first, because I adored the characters in the first book and I didn’t want to leave them behind, but I think it was the right choice and it took me practically no time to fall in love with this set of characters. Now the characters from The Long Way can live on in my memory, without their story arcs being ruined or tainted. Some things are meant to end (take notes, JKR). In Common Orbit we follow two sets of characters. Lovelace is a newly rebooted Artificial Intelligence system who has been loaded into a “human” body kit. We follow her as she struggles to come to terms living inside a body that she is not designed for and understanding her place in this world. On alternating chapters we also meet 10-year-old Jane and Owl, whose story I will not go into that much detail about, as watching it unfold was a pure joy. Continue reading →