Book Review: The Never Tilting World

Hello everyone! Today I finished my re-read of The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco. After really loving The Bone Witch trilogy I was so excited to see what Rin would do next and this really does not disappoint! It’s described as Mad Max and Frozen combined which is such a weirdly fitting description.

Star rating: 5 stars

So, what’s the book about? It has four points of view – they are Lan, Arjun, Odessa and Haidee.

Odessa and Haidee are twins on opposite sides of the world – Odessa living in the rainy darkness and Haidee in the scorching dry of the desert. Neither know of each other’s existence as something happened with their mothers in the past to cause The Breaking of the world.

Lan is a Catseye who is charged with protecting Odessa. She used to be a ranger, and was the only one who returned from her previous expedition meaning she is suffering with a lot of survivor’s guilt. Arjun lives in the desert, getting by on scraps with the other orphans that live with him. But one day he meets the young Goddess Haidee and his life changes forever.

The book follows Lan and Odessa on their journey to The Abyss, with a mirroring journey taking place for Haidee and Arjun. I loved each and every character and their point of view, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be Haidee. Rin really masters the balance between character development and action in this book as it blends elemental fantasy and science-fiction to build a futuristic world. I loved that the world-building mixed technology with magic.

Overall, another hit from Rin and I’m going straight into the sequel next. Have you read any Rin Chupeco before? What did you think? I highly recommend her books.

Spotlight: Becky Chambers

“The only way to really appreciate your way is to compare it to somebody else’s way. Figure out what you love, specifically. In detail. Figure out what you want to keep. Figure out what you want to change. Otherwise, it’s not love. It’s clinging to the familiar–to the comfortable–and that’s a dangerous thing for us short-term thinkers to do. If you stay, stay because you want to, because you’ve found something here worth embodying, because you believe in it. Otherwise…well, there’s no point in being here at all, is there?”

Science fiction is always very hit and miss for me – sometimes it’s too technical, sometimes it misses the character-driven aspects of fiction that I love. Then I discovered Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series and I fell in love with the quiet plots, fascinating character stories and the cultures of entirely new imaginary species that are so detailed they could be real.

There are 3 books to date in the series, with a fourth to arrive in 2021. They can be read in any order, but I chose to read in order of publication. The first is The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, which I have now read twice. It focuses on Rosemary, a young girl who is looking to escape her past by joining a long-haul spaceship where the crew is made up of multiple species. The second is A Closed and Common Orbit, which takes the AI from book one, Lovelace, and puts her in a body kit. Lovelace becomes Sidra, and the book centres on her friendship with Pepper, whose past is explored alongside the main plot. The Third book is a Record of a Spaceborn Few, which may have my favourite quote ever written in it. It follows a group of humans born in Space who live on Fleet – a very large space platform that houses the descendants of humans that left Earth behind. The characters are at different stages of their lives – a mix of parents and children.

What I love about Becky Chambers is the diversity she brings to her characters, whether through culture, gender or sexuality. It is so interesting to read about the cultures and worlds she creates because they are incredibly detailed and unique, without being over-complicated. The plot in each book is quiet which allows the character journeys to shine.

These books have made me laugh and cry and I empathised with many of the characters – particularly Rosemary from The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and Kip from Record of a Spaceborn Few. Everyone feels a bit lost at times and Becky captures that emotion beautifully. They also have beautiful covers. I highly recommend reading them, and I can’t wait to read Becky’s novella: To Be Taught if Fortunate.

Let me know if you loved these books just as much as I did!