Friday, March 24, 2017

A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers #2), by Becky Chamberss

Hodder & Stoughton, ISBN 9781473621442, October 2016

Lovelace, the AI that operated on Wayfarer, the ship in Becky Chambers excellent first novel, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, decided she wanted a different life. A life in an autonomous, human-format body.

A life that, in the Galactic Commons, is rather inconveniently very, very illegal.

In this standalone sequel, Lovey has awakened in a new body which very convincingly imitates a human body, after a total system shutdown and reboot, which has left her with no idea why her previous installation wanted this new life with these new and strange limitations (such as not being connected to the Linkings fulltime.)

Yet  here she is, in this new, freer yet more limited form, still learning what it's like to be apparently human, traveling with the rather volatile engineer, Pepper, to Pepper's home to learn who she is in this new form.

Chambers explores both how Lovey adapts to her new circumstances, surrounded by biological sapients and cities that aren't bounded by walls, and the slow unveiling of Pepper's background, painful past, and loss of the only real family member she ever had.

There's a lot of excellent character building and world building here. It makes for a layered, textured world, and an even more satisfying reading experience than in the previous book.

Highly recommended.

I bought this book.