Reasons for Inclusion: Human characters are racially diverse, one alien species is poly-normative, and there’s a F/F relationship midway through.
Publisher’s Summary: Somewhere within our crowded sky, a crew of wormhole builders hops from planet to planet, on their way to the job of a lifetime. To the galaxy at large, humanity is a minor species, and one patched-up construction vessel is a mere speck on the starchart. This is an everyday sort of ship, just trying to get from here to there.
But all voyages leave their mark, and even the most ordinary of people have stories worth telling. A young Martian woman, hoping the vastness of space will put some distance between herself and the life she‘s left behind. An alien pilot, navigating life without her own kind. A pacifist captain, awaiting the return of a loved one at war.
Set against a backdrop of curious cultures and distant worlds, this episodic tale weaves together the adventures of nine eclectic characters, each on a journey of their own.
I really enjoyed this! The atmosphere is exactly what I want out of space opera: a quirky and (mostly) friendly crew of diverse species on a cobbled-together ship held together by genius engineers, and snippets of the crew’s life including little details (Sissix moulting, Dr Chef’s cooking, Kizzy’s shrimp, the “Boring Tea!” sign, almost everything Kizzy does…)
I loved hearing about the various cultures and species. I loved the stops along the way at the spaceport and then Sissix’s home planet. I liked that humans weren’t the dominant species who hurt others or the underdogs fighting for survival. They’re just another species, trying to succeed but with with the same bloody history as many other species behind them.
Charming and memorable characters, solid worldbuilding, and intriguing politics and philosophical questions make this book one of my favorites that I’ve read this year.