A Closed and Common Orbit

Paperback, 364 pages

English language

Published Aug. 7, 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton.

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4 stars (8 reviews)

Once, Lovelace had eyes and ears everywhere. She was a ship's artificial intelligence system - possessing a personality and very human emotions. But when her ship was badly damaged, Lovelace was forced to reboot and reset. Now housed in an illegal synthetic body, she's never felt so isolated. But Lovelace is not alone. Pepper, an engineer who risked her life to reinstall Lovelace's program, has remained by her side and is determined to help her.

7 editions

The two main characters just weren't for me

3 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed the worldbuilding and the story, but I felt like I had to do the work to relate to the characters. They both start off at points in their lives that are unique, interesting - and hard to wrap my head around. The author does a great job giving them distinct voices and letting them grow over time, but I just found them too far removed to really get into the book.

The secondary characters, however! I really loved reading about them from the perspectives of the protagonists, and as always, the interactions are wonderfully crafted.

feel good but real scifi too

4 stars

i enjoyed A Closed and Common Orbit even more than the prequel one. (which has not enough story to keep up--for my taste at least) i think of it as a kind of double bildungsroman, with two developing characters between which the novel is split.

Chambers connects her scifi(-world) convincingly and smoothly with the problems most of us are facing and can relate to. it's how scifi should comment the present. and although the focus is always on the personalities, there are also a lot of social themes and thoughts.

a lot of readers mention the caring characters throughout the story, which make it so satisfactional to follow. I can support that! but it would be sad to think, it's just another form of escapism, a tweak to the genre. this is a shortcoming of understanding the themes Chambers is working on.

the real impact makes Chambers skill in building …

gentle and fierce

4 stars

I found this much more emotional of a read than I expected. The questions about what makes a person a person, and a home a home, and a family a family, not to mention what is the relationship between ourselves and our physical bodies— it’s a lot to handle! And the book does is so gently even as it’s really fierce on valuing lives and loves. Anyway. She’s so good, Becky Chambers.

Review of 'A Closed and Common Orbit' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

This is the sequel to The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. If you haven't read that book this review might be a little spoilery.

At the end of the book, the Artificial Intelligence, Lovelace, that runs the spaceship is put into a body kit to be transferred off of the ship. For Lovelace this is a huge adjustment. She is used to monitoring the vastness of space. She is used to having cameras in all the rooms of the ship. She is used to having a constant flow of information from the data stream that she is hooked into. Now she sees only through her eyes. She doesn't know the answer to any question that she is asked. She feels fragile and vulnerable.

She is taken in by Pepper, an engineer that helped with her transfer. Pepper takes her to her home and tries to teach her how …