Becky Chambers will forever have all of my love and respect. That’s it, that’s the review.
Just kidding, but really that’s all you need to know about this short novella. I’m not usually a fan of short stories, as I tend to think they either a) have no point or b) end far too quickly. However, To Be Taught was just perfect. It was the perfect length, there was the perfect amount of intrigue and the perfect amount of story. Everything about it was fantastic.
I should probably tell you what it’s about before I continue to gush about one of my favourite authors. So, in To Be Taught, we’re following a four-person space crew as they go on an expedition to survey life on other planets. There are four planets in total, and there are different things to learn from each of them – about the planets, about the astronauts themselves, and about each other.
To be honest, Ariadne wasn’t the most intriguing protagonist, but I could deal with that because the exploration of the planets and the people was so lush and vivid that it made up for it. I completely felt what they were all going through, even though I have never and absolutely will never go into space myself.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot itself because this is such a short book that I could summarise it in a couple of paragraphs, but just know that Becky Chambers handles everything with respect and grace, and it turns out to be a very hopeful story about the human race. It gives me chills and other good feelings every time I think about this novella.
Also, I’m just going to end this review by saying that the planets thing was SO CLEVER and I had to gush about the progression and the parallels to everyone that would listen. This is super vague, because of spoilers, but PARALLELS.
Read the book.
Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity says
I’d have laughed if you really hard finished your review there. Sometimes there are books (and novellas) that you want to say just that because you shouldn’t need to say anymore. Folks should see the author and just know. I am gonna read this anyway so who even cares you only want to be vague to avoid spoilers, it still sounds good.
Haha I should have done!