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Summary

Sunday Times best-selling author Becky Chambers returns to the Galactic Commons in the final instalment in her award-winning and critically acclaimed Wayfarers series.

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 travelling between the wormholes that keep the Galactic Commons connected. If deep space is a highway, Gora is just your average truck stop.

One of the many establishments present is the Five-Hop One-Stop, a place where long-haul spacers can stretch their legs (if they have legs, that is) and pick up fuel, transit permits and assorted supplies. The Five-Hop is run by an enterprising alien and her occasionally helpful child, who both work hard to provide a little piece of home to everyone passing through.

When a freak technological failure halts traffic to and from Gora, three strangers are thrown together at the Five-Hop. Grounded and 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 might be to each other.

©2021 Becky Chambers (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

What listeners say about The Galaxy, and the Ground Within

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A Wonderful Finale

As excellent as the rest of the series with the same vivid imagery, character gallery and slice-of-life dramatization that pulls you in from start to finish. Patricia Rodriguez, likewise, reprises her role with excellence, to the point I don't think I could ever imagine another narrator for this wonderful series.

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Too much navel gazing!

I just couldn't get into this book. Far too much navel gazing for my taste. I didn't make it past 3 hours.

Additionally, while I understand the use of 'xe' and 'xer' etc., for non-gender-specific pronouns, they are just such ugly sounding words, grating on the senses and making me wince every time I heard them.

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Another great book!

I'm not sure I can say anything that will do this book justice. ITS BRILLIANT!

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A beautiful, bittersweet goodbye to the Wayfarers

When my best friend bought my a copy of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet I wouldn't have believed how profoundly it would impact me. The Wayfarers series has fast become one of my favourite universes.

The series goes beyond the typical space opera trope to create a universe of characters that, whilst wildly different to our notion of humanity, bring to the fore what it is to be human. The series is beautifully portrayed through Patricia Rodriguez's narration, making it feel like a cosy peek into the lives of others rather than a voyeuristic.

With an entirely alien ensemble cast The Galaxy, and the Ground Within is no less relatable. It is a fitting, beautiful, bittersweet close to the series, and my hope is that Becky Chambers will one day revisit the Galactic Commons.

2 people found this helpful

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Nothing happens

Did you enjoy Wayfarers 3? Then you'll love this one.
Were you put off by Wayfarers 3 because nothing happened? Steer clear of this one. Some characters are stuck on a planet, they learn that they're not so different after all. That's the story. If you want the short version, go onto Youtube and watch the Aunty Donna sketch 'we're differen't but we're the same'. It does basically the same thing but in 3 minutes instead of 12 hours.

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more a series of conversations

I kept waiting for the scene setting part to finish, which it did with about 2 hours to go.....it lacked a story arc.

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Quiet but fascinating story well performed

Patricia Rodriguez has, once again, done a really good job of this work. Clear diction and characters.

If you have read any strangers-lost-in-stormy-hotel books then put aside your preconceptions. Yes there is a remote hotel on an uninhabitable planet. Yes, all the communications goes down. But there are no murders or conspiracies. Just a group of people, of different shapes and cultures, trying to get along.

This is where Chambers has made her name. Slow story telling with in depth exposition of non-human cultures.

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Another brilliant listen

Once again, very different to her other outings, but amazing non the less! This is a lot more self contained and only over the space of 4 days, but overall, it blends characters and drama really well. Once again, you tend to see well realised people in Becky's characters. It did cause me to cry a few times as is normal for her books, but it is worth getting invested in. I could be wrong here, but I believe this is the last of the Wayfarer books which is sad, but understandable. I look forward to reading what Becky Chambers puts out next.
As per usual, Patricia Rodriguez performed the voice acting really well and put in inflection in how the characters would say things and used (even if slightly) a different voice for each of the characters.

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A bit slow

The world building and characters were excellent as usual. I just wish there was a bit more action, my interest was wavering.

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Wonderful

Marvellous. Beautifully written with a gentle, socially aware storyline. Recommended without a reservation at all

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  • Kim
  • 10-09-21

best of the series

I really loved this book.it is sci fi with a great story and heart.