My rating: 4 of 5 stars
While situated in the same fictional universe as the author’s debut novel, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, and picking up with a secondary character’s story right where that one ended, A Closed and Common Orbit manages to convey a wholly different feeling and to explore an altogether different theme. The novel tells two – apparently – unconnected stories, that of an AI’s that has been transplanted into a human body and that of a cloned little girl who escapes the artificial working environment for which she was created. The storylines come (rather predictably) together in a satisfying way. And, as the journeys of discovery of the two protagonists come to a close, the reader is left wondering where the third novel of the projected trilogy will go. I gave this one only four stars because of the slow pace of some of the scenes, but the characters – which are Chambers’ greatest strength – are as compelling as in her previous novel. In one word? Bravo!