Record of a Spaceborn Few

by Becky Chambers

Sunday, October 8, 2023

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I’ve still got the same dilemma I had with book 2 of the series. Got to give it five stars as it’s just as good as the others. I think I might prefer book 2, but this is a really nice addition to the series. I like how the books are just loosely connected. You could certainly read this one out of order, I don’t think very much of the first two would be spoilt for you if you did.

This one is the story of the Exodan fleet, the original spaceships that left Earth as the planet was failing, and how people continued to live their lives on these ships even after they found other species and other planets. There’s a wide cast of characters with interesting roles and lots of intriguing trivia about life on a spaceship. Among many other things I liked the stuff about composting dead bodies and funeral rituals and about how if you grow up with the view of your stars beneath your feet then that’s what’s normal for you and being on a planet where they are overhead seems weird. I liked the questions about trying to find your niche in a place where food and shelter are provided for everyone, but you’ve got to do something. A central question is whether the Exodans are a dying society that’s no longer useful or if they should welcome newcomers to their way of life. The many voices with different takes on all these things make it an interesting read, and I was surprised when the story found a natural conclusion.

I did think that this was the end of the series but I’ve since found there’s a fourth book, obviously I’m very much looking forward to that. I like the positivity and inclusiveness these stories exude and I’ll be sad when they are done.