Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3)

By Becky Chambers

Rating: 5 stars

I think it took me longer to warm up to this book than it’s taken for previous Wayfarer books. There are more PoV characters and fewer aliens (there’s really only one who plays a role in the story) so it takes a while to get into the swing of things. Early on, things felt quite… negative isn’t quite the word that I’m looking for, but several of our PoV characters didn’t enjoy their life in the Fleet, and the book needed to show us that, to show us how the characters would react to it and develop.

Moreso than the other Wayfarer books, this one doesn’t have much of a plot. There are five PoV characters and the book interweaves their lives and uses their eyes to show us the Exodus Fleet, the people who live there and their ways of life. It mixes the old and the young, the incomers and those who feel stifled. We get a sort of alien PoV with the xenopologist who is visiting the Fleet and we get segments of her essays to provide another viewpoint of the Fleet.

I was rather gutted when Sawyer died. I can see how his death was the catalyst for change and moving other stories on, but I felt for him. He was just a kid, and although he didn’t understand the Fleet, he was desperately trying. I so wanted the Silver Lining to be like the Wayfarer and for him to find a life there, and it was heartbreaking when he discovered that it wasn’t to be. And then to be killed by something so random was sad.

By the end, I was, as I had hoped, completely smitten by the book. Like the other Wayfarer books, I suspect it will benefit from a rereading, which, unlike many series, this series definitely gets. It doesn’t take much to make me blub these days, and I found myself welling up an awful lot, at both sad and happy bits, and bits where people showed courage and realised who they were and where they came from. Say it with me: “From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope.”

Book details

ISBN: 9781473647602
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Year of publication: 2018

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