Book Review: The Galaxy, And The Ground Within (Wayfarers Book 4) by Becky Chambers.

The Galaxy, And The Ground Within (Wayfarers Book 4) by Becky Chambers. Harper Voyager, 2021. 9780062936042. 336pp.

I’m a huge fan of Chambers’ good natured, character-centric Wayfarers series, and this, the final book, is on par with the other three. I was saving it for when I needed a boost, but after listening to Eric Molinsky interview Chambers on his Imaginary Worlds podcast, and finding out it’s the last book in the series, I read it immediately. https://www.imaginaryworldspodcast.org/episodes/becky-chambers-goes-wayfaring

The Five-Hop One-Stop is a small dome on a small, unremarkable world, Gora, at a crowded wormhole-to-wormhole transit point. Its proprietor, Ouloo, a long, furry alien, is determined to make her establishment and its array of products and services attractive and welcoming to all species. She’s also got to keep her awkward, curious child, Tupo, on course. After welcoming three shuttles and their pilots, who are in search of supplies, distraction, rest, and snacks (Ouloo specializes in the latter), Gora’s satellite system has a spectacular failure. No one can leave the planet until it’s safe. The three very different aliens are stranded together for days and forced to make the best of things. Each has xir own worries and needs, and as they get to know one another there’s a bit of conflict over differing points of view. Comedy relief is supplied, frequently, by Tupo.

Not much to go on in terms of a booktalk, I know. I could describe the different species, but nah — Chambers has done a great job sinking into their viewpointss and needs in the book, and too much detail would spoil the fun of reading it. It is worth noting that one of the characters is mentioned in another book in the series as the human captain Ashby’s romantic partner, though there are no humans in this book. The brilliant thing about Chambers’ series is you can start it anywhere.

I’m sad to see this series end, but excited to read whatever Chambers publishes next. In fact her next book, A Psalm for the Wild-Built, is already out.

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