As with Wayfarers 1, there are many interesting ideas in this story, although it fell apart disappointingly at the conclusion. Although I enjoyed much of the book, a couple of glaring science errors detracted from my pleasure - a 'tidally locked' moon has one face directed to its planet (as with our moon), but it does not have one face locked to the sun (and it makes no difference if the planet is also tidally locked). And harvesting the kit's kinetic energy to power the kit might seem attractive, but it just doesn't work! Or perhaps I should mount a wind turbine on the roof of my electric car, and charge my batteries as I go along? The conclusion disappointed because of some strange ideas about computer code. I've written self-modifying code, but it has never behaved even slightly like Becky's code.
Synopsis: One of the Wayfarer‘s crew has rescued Lovelace – or what was left of her – after the reboot, and taken her back to their home planet to adjust to life in her new body to spare her and the Wayfarer‘s engineer the grief of Lovey’s lost personality. But for an AI who’s used to being able to see and hear everything at all times and download any required information instantly and save it all in an expansive memory, life in a human-like body constrained by leftover inhuman programming protocols is confusing, confining, and terrifying.
What I thought: This is your feel-good reading book, your temporary Brexit antidote. Yes, there is danger, and loss, and pain, and grief – but there is also self-discovery, redemption, friendship, and joy. This is on my Hugo Novel longlist because I am still smiling and feeling uplifted, a week after finishing it.
I loved this book. It restored my faith that there can be science fiction that is not just about guns, explosions, and spaceships. The relationships between the characters were the focus for me, and these were beautiful and I really enjoyed the narrative. I actually read this book first, and then went back to read Becky's 'A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet'. That was also very good, but this one just edges it out as my favourite of the two.