I’m still not quite sure if I enjoyed this book or not. It’s fine, but for the large majority of the book I just thought it was OK. I feel almost guilty for saying that, because the book is just so nice, but that’s kind of all that it is. Ironically, I’ve been saying that I want light and fluffy fiction, nothing too deep or heavy, and yet when presented with one of the lightest and fluffiest books I’ve come across in a long while I’m left picking through the cotton candy and complaining about the lack of substance. In addition there were several parts of the book that felt preachy, and even if I agree with the message the book gets across that doesn’t mean I want to be hit over the head with a two by four about it.
There isn’t really much of a plot, the book is much more episodic in nature. It feels very much like a television show you read instead of watch, and that episodic nature is in addition to the very strong association with Firefly and Farscape I get from the novel. The book starts when Rosemary joins the crew of the Wayfarer as their new clerk. The Wayfarer is a wormhole creating ship, making long distance travel possible in space. They get a job to create a wormhole to a planet whose inhabitances have just joined the galaxy-wide alliance. The nature of the area around this planet, and the war-like species, makes this a long haul run and potentially dangerous. The book basically follows the crew as they make their way there, and thus investigate the various ports in the galaxy.
The world building is good, though it suffers from something that has become a tiny pet peeve of mine in alien based science fiction; where there are many different cultures of humanity but only one culture from each alien species. Though to be fair, one other alien species gets two (but only two) cultures in this book. For the most part though, the other alien species are a monolith and humanity is diverse and unique. It bugs me ok? I will say that the fact that humans aren’t viewed as the major players in the galaxy is a nice touch.
I can absolutely see why this is earning a lot of praise. It’s a super comfortable world to be in, and I understand why people are already talking about this being a comfort read. I just found it to be a meh book; I kept looking for more… something to make it more interesting. I think if you’re a fan of space opera type books you should at least check it out though.