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With no water, no air, and no native life, the planet Gora is unremarkable. The only thing it has going for it is a chance proximity to more popular worlds, making it a decent stopover for ships traveling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop.
At the Five-Hop One-Stop, long-haul spacers can stretch their legs (if they have legs, that is), and get fuel, transit permits, and assorted supplies. The Five-Hop is run by an enterprising alien and her sometimes helpful child, who work hard to provide a little piece of home to everyone passing through.
When a freak technological failure halts all traffic to and from Gora, three strangers—all different species with different aims—are thrown together at the Five-Hop. Grounded, with nothing to do but wait, the trio—an exiled artist with an appointment to keep, a cargo runner at a personal crossroads, and a mysterious individual doing her best to help those on the fringes—are compelled to confront where they’ve been, where they might go, and what they are, or could be, to each other.
1. I’m so upset that this series of perfect heart-warming found family space opera goodness books is over and I’m never going to be okay.
2. As a standalone, The Galaxy and the Ground Within kind of makes sense but I 100% believe you should read these books in order so that you can a) witness the universe coming together and b) see more from the minor characters or previously mentioned sapients that Becky Chambers introduced before.
Anyway, now those two points are out of the way, I can focus on this review. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. It’s not my favourite book in the series (there’s a whole blog post and video on that coming up in the near future), because Record of a Spaceborn Few is just too perfect. But The Galaxy and the Ground Within was also incredible.
I loved how Becky Chambers brought together some minor characters from previous books (mostly Pei, I mean Pei), and also reintroduced some sapient species that she had mentioned before and gave them actual storylines and personalities and backgrounds. I didn’t realise I was missing out on these until I read this book.
As always, there’s a little bit of a plot and the story moves along. There are dramatic moments, sure, but the main focus of this book is the characters. As always. I loved meeting them all and watching them all interact.
Being introduced to Speaker was wonderful and I think she was my favourite. The topic of disability, amongst others, was covered and I greatly appreciated how it was handed. I also loved all the other characters though, particularly Roveg and Tupo.
I’ve been struggling to get my thoughts on paper for days now, and I am still struggling. I was supposed to be doing a full video review of this book but I’m not sure I’m up for it. As always with books that are absolutely perfect to me, I am having a difficult time conveying my thoughts and finding things to talk about that aren’t just DFSFKHFK READ THIS BOOK.
This is my mess of a review, thank you for reading.