The Galaxy, and the Ground Within - Becky Chambers
June 19, 2021
Goodreads Book Blurb:
With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop.
At the Five-Hop One-Stop, long-haul spacers can stretch their legs (if they have legs, that is), and get fuel, transit permits, and assorted supplies. The Five-Hop is run by an enterprising alien and her sometimes helpful child, who work hard to provide a little piece of home to everyone passing through.
When a freak technological failure halts all traffic to and from Gora, three strangers—all different species with different aims—are thrown together at the Five-Hop. Grounded, with nothing to do but wait, the trio—an exiled artist with an appointment to keep, a cargo runner at a personal crossroads, and a mysterious individual doing her best to help those on the fringes—are compelled to confront where they’ve been, where they might go, and what they are, or could be, to each other.
And sometimes fear is good. Fear keeps you alive. But it can also keep you from what you really want.
I am so sad I’ve finished the Wayfarers series. Because each book is basically a standalone within the same universe, I feel like I could keep reading them forever. I’m not getting tired of the characters or the stories, and I just want more.
I can’t stop viewing these books as futuristic character studies. In The Galaxy, and the Ground Within we’re back to exploring several different species and how they exist together in the galaxy. The characters are diverse, and their interspecies relationships have rich histories, which create stereotypes and complications within the group. Once again, each character is complex and honest, and I loved every insight into their unique personalities.
Most of this story takes place over a few days on the planet Gora; the short timeline and heightened emotions created a vibrant and exciting plot …
… It was sad to see these characters all part ways at the end, off to their original destinations. So much happened in a short period, and these experiences bound them together despite their eventual separation.
On a side note, it was great to have Pei as a POV character here. It created a strong link back to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and a sense of the series coming full circle in the end.
While I wish Wayfarers would never end, it is always nice to see a series end on a high.