schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
[personal profile] schneefink
I earn money now, so I can buy more books! Excellent.
After many recommendations, I finally read "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet," and then found out that there's already a sequel too, great. I enjoyed both books a lot :) They're smaller in scope than many SF/F books, especially the second one, but I didn't mind. It felt kind of comfortable, even. Both books had a very warm and positive atmosphere, which was very nice, and put a big emphasis on people making friends and growing closer, which I love.
I'd read reviews saying that The Long Way doesn't have a very strong plot, but it didn't bother me because just like shows like e.g. Leverage it's so character-focused that character development becomes all the plot I need. (Actually it kind of reminds me of fic.)
Also, I always love when I start shipping characters early and then they actually get together :) I really liked the amount of space/focus the romance(s) got, I thought it was just right.

A Closed and Common Orbit doesn't have more plot, I'd say, but a clearer direction. Tbh at first I was disappointed when I found out that the sequel didn't focus on the crew of the Wayfarer, but they were at a pretty good/narratively satisfying point at the end of book 1 (exception: Corbin, imo; I really wanted at least another conversation between Corbin and Sissix) so it made sense. The new main characters' stories didn't grab me until page 160 or so (more accurately when Jane 64 told Pepper to run, and when Sidra met Tak), but after that I became very invested in their stories. I didn't even realize that Pepper didn't have Owl in the present until the posting of her search for her! Then the story became even sadder, and I also noticed more the parallels of Pepper missing Owl and trying to help Sidra. I really enjoyed Sidra's struggles with her kit and fitting in and finding a purpose, and I really liked Tak. The happy ending was beautiful :) (ETA: I did wish for a bit more stuff toward the end, e.g. maybe another 2-3 chapters of Pepper's backstory. Maybe I'm just greedy.)

I really love the worldbuilding in these books. I like the history/politics background, generally positive and optimistic with cooperation between many races, but with plenty of dark sides too, from historical events to marginalized groups etc. Most of all I loved the races: they were varied (to a degree – many share many similarities with humanoids), they were interesting, they were all unique, and I just loved all the details about their cultures. Especially the Aandrisk and Aeluons, which we learned the most about.
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