Book Review: The Galaxy, and the Ground Within (Wayfarers #4) by Becky Chambers (Three Stars)
“Remember children, their shells still white.”
A gentle take on Enemy Mine. Agenda-driven story. An appropriate agenda, but Chambers so carefully checks off each item that this story with be dated ten years from now. The plot, such as it is, is a framework on which to hang sermons.
‘You engaged in bloody theft and you called it progress, and no matter how much better you think you’ve made things, no matter how good your intentions are.’
A disparate group of dissimilar species (including no humans) are trapped together. Most have to deal with their inclinations, if not their xenophobia, to get along. Stress, verbal conflict, and a crisis to draw them together. Assumes every species everywhere chooses its gender, and it’s the biggest deal of their lives. Gratuitous profanity.
‘What are we, if not strangers and not friends?’ ‘I have no idea.’
The biggest character shortfall is that all the disparate creatures think, feel, and will like humans. There’s no sense of other about them. Entertaining discussions of cheese, dancing, and tickling. Occasionally stumbles over her own effort at pronoun sympathy.
There was only one absolute in the universe, Roveg was (relatively) sure of, and that was the fact that there were no absolutes.
This series started well, but apparently commercial and ideological considerations overcame the urge to quality. They’re still good books; just not as good as Chambers demonstrated she’s capable of.
‘Vehlech hra hych bet,’ ‘May it be to your liking.’