Cover Image: Floating Hotel

Floating Hotel

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is a very slow burn read. I found it quite relaxing and I also took my time reading through it. It’s a lovely story, nothing traumatic, just a story of a luxury cruise ship in space with a mystery going on in the background.

I liked it!

My thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this book! It was a fun space adventure with lots of different characters, all from various backgrounds, and it was fun to read all of their POVs. Although some parts seemed a little bit slow to start, I found it really picked up by the end and I loved the short but sweet read.

Was this review helpful?

I love Becky Chamber's books and when I saw that Floating Hotel has the same vibes as her books, I was interested straight away in requesting. And for one, it truly is! This was a charming book and I enjoyed reading it immensely. This book was cozy, heartwarming and wholesome at times, and at the second half, fun due to the "mystery" subplot. I really liked the multi character POV but it definitely made it harder for me to get attached to the characters (although I have soft spots for Ooly, Azad, Daphne, Dunk and Carl). However, I still think that the execution was great because although we are reading from different points of views and about different lives all the time, there was still a thread connecting these POVs together with the other characters popping up (of this, I'm comparing it with another book that also has a multi character POV that I've read once and didn't like, because it wasn't able to add anything to the story at all. So I really appreciate Floating Hotel for that).

Was this review helpful?

Although framed as a science-fiction novel and set aboard a hotel floating in space and to a degree living on past glories, this could just as easily have been set on an ocean liner in the 1920s, and would perhaps have been the better for it - there is precious little here to appeal to sci-fi fans, whereas readers of the likes of GK Chesterton or Graham Greene would probably find a lot to recommend this title.

The plot, such as it is, revolves around the search for a mysterious character who is attempting to undermine the galactic empire, and is nicely told through the eyes of various characters. However, the main character in the book is probably the hotel itself, which is nicely described. The other characters - other than a couple - are less well drawn. The story is developed nicely throughout the book with information being drip-fed.

The author has tried to be inclusive, one of the characters using the 'they' pronoun - however, this looks like a late addition to the story as there is at least one place in the novel where the character is referred to as 'he'.

An enjoyable read, but don't expect hard sci-fi, this is more of a lightweight, enjoyable read, but better drawn characters would have earned an extra star.

Was this review helpful?

Delightfully bittersweet, soft science fiction tale for fans of Becky Chambers. Character driven with a touch of suspense!

I loved this from start to finish! In a lot of ways this is like a love letter to folks in the service industry: the magic they create, the community they share, the good and the bad days. This is an exploration of the magic of connections between loved ones, enemies, strangers, and friends.

The narration is so lovely. There are achingly pretty lines:

"Sometimes when Azad was translating she could almost feel a human presence on the other side of the paper, like the shape and warmth of a stranger's hand against a pane of frosted glass."

There are also abruptly funny moments:

"Mataz sighed. 'Don't you think it's sexy when a man doesn't know what's going on?'"

If you want a delightful read that is curious and whimsical while grounded in great character work, please pick this one up!

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely love this book!

At it’s heart, this is a novel all about redemption, resilience and rebellion. It’s less sci-fi and more mystery, less fantasy and more crime. Even though it’s set hundreds of years into the future on board a space-travelling hotel, this book is all about the working class characters — their pasts, their presents, their dreams (unfulfilled or not), and their uncertain futures. Each character is rough and rugged but deeply lovable too; their relationships become deeper than you think; the ending is bittersweet.

This might just be my new favourite book, just for the characters alone. However, I fully loved the multi-character narrative, the non-linear nature of the chapters, the epistolary ‘dispatches’, and the way the mystery was drip-fed into multiple climaxes…this was a beautifully crafted book in all aspects. One I will definitely be recommending and rereading.

Thanks to NetGalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley for a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Floating Hotel is the story of the Grand Abeona, an elegant and luxurious spaceship hotel, journeying around the galaxy. A magnet for the lost and those with pasts best left in the past, the Abeona is staffed by a colourful crew of misfits, outsiders, and runaways, thrust together into a found family.

Floating Hotel manages to perfectly blend cosy, slice of life stories, intriguing characters, and sci-fi, with a plot that seems loose at first, but really ramps up from around the halfway mark. Managing to increase the stakes and urgency but maintain the heart, this book is exceptional. I particularly loved Carl, Daphne, and Dunk, but the whole cast of characters was fantastic.

Was this review helpful?

Dnf at 30 %

If you like a cozy and boring story about a hotel in space, then this is perfect for you.
Every chapter is told by another person. After a few pages, you think: "Oh, I really like this character" but then it's already the next chapter with someone else telling the story and it's very hard to get into it if you just do not care about the character.
Since I didn't finish it, I can't really judge this book very well but I definitely got the feeling of misfits.
And the interesting setting was unlike everything I've read before.

Maybe I will try to read this again at some point.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. :)

Was this review helpful?

Floating Hotel is a wonderfully impressive Sci-Fi novel that gave me cosy fantasy vibes, despite the complex web of intrigue the plot weaves. I was already a fan of Grace Curtis having read and loved her debut Frontier last year - having now read Floating Hotel, I can confirm she is an author whose books I’ll always make time to read whenever they’re released!

Two books in, and Grace Curtis is already making a name for herself as a master craftsman of distinct and interesting Point of View characters in her novel. As with her previous book, we rarely get a repeat character giving a chapter perspective in Floating Hotel, meaning the narrative is passed between different characters like a relay race! In terms of scale, I think Floating Hotel is attempting something far more ambitious than Frontier. In a hotel setting, the result is a fabulously rich and all encompassing feel to the novel, where you really get to know all the cast members in exquisite detail. The world of the book seems to grow perpetually bigger as we add in more of these POV chapters, as each character has their own background, their own friends and familial connections - were the novel any longer, I think I would struggle to keep all the side characters in my head!

One drawback I personally found with the book is that some of the plotlines felt a bit neglected amongst everything that was going on, while others ended up a little rushed. Without spoiling anything, I thought the Lamplighter plot had a good setup and some brilliant tense moments in the novel, but ultimately fell a little flat for me. Similarly, I think the conference plotline could also have been better if it had a little more screen time in the novel; the setup chapter for this thread was excellent, and I quite liked the conclusion too, but this is a thread that disappeared for a good chunk of the middle.

Ultimately, I love how the book maintained a cosy feel despite the bustling atmosphere and large cast. I think the comparison to the Grand Budapest Hotel is a good one, and I also see a touch of Downton Abbey in there too! While I feel the book does try to achieve an ambitious amount, and while I think some individual parts could be improved, I really enjoyed reading Floating Hotel and seeing all the plotlines weave around one another.

Was this review helpful?

This was such an entertaining cosy read, i loved the science fiction aspect of it, and the world buidling!

Was this review helpful?

Well I don't read a lot of sci.Fi, But I can actually say that This book has actually changed my mind I feel like i'm a big fan.

I really loved the plot behind This story I thought it was absolutely fantastic It really did Call the carpet from under my genuinely.Thought I would know what was gonna happen next and then I didn't and what happened.I just did not expect.
The whole book was pure delight.

As for the characters I absolutely loved the main character Full of charm full of wit and really Courageous In very many ways.

There's nothing that I would want to change about this story.It genuinely was entertaining And I just got more and more engrossed in every page.

As for the writing, I thought it was just perfection.There isnothing else that need to be Said.

Thank you again to the wonderful publishers for letting me review this amazing

I'm rating A huge galaxy of five stars

Was this review helpful?

It was a warm,cozy and visual read. I Loved the ability of the author to create a incredible characters driven and captivating story while maintaining an immersive background!

All this just to say that I read this in one setting and gave him 5 stars!

Was this review helpful?

So at first I got Hotel Magnifique vibes, with mysteries surrounding the hotel and staff seemingly not who they say they are. The more I read the more I realised it wasn't like Hotel Magnifique at all, but it's own story.

I did get very confused in parts as it went between past and present and I wasn't always able to discern if I was reading a characters past or not. Other than that I felt like the story was solid and I was invested in finding out who the lamplighter was. I think it was revealed at the end, but I'm not 100% certain if we did find out the truth.

I loved the relationship between Daphne and Rogan, I wish we got more of them and I wish we found out what happened to everyone after the events of the book. As it stood, the story ended with Carl and nothing more was really said about the other characters. I'm wondering if this is a red herring ending so it's up to our interpretation.

Either way I really enjoyed this read and it read it in a day.

Was this review helpful?

A cosy science fiction featuring a series of vignettes, slices of life of the crew and guests, with hints towards a mystery connecting them all. There's a strong sense of found family amongst the crew, misfits that finally found their place amongst life abroad the Grand Abeona Hotel.

There was a very big visual aspect to this book. You felt yourself meandering through the halls of a luxury spaceship hotel, experiencing what starts out as an average day on board but the little hints of a greater mystery catching up with the staff.

It's definitely more of an escapist easy read. A sense of "come on board and leave your troubles behind". Certain characters stick to you more closely than others, and I get the feeling this will vary from reader to reader. But without a doubt it a story full of heart, which I throughly enjoyed.

Was this review helpful?

this was an absolute joy to read. i am desperate for a physical copy so i can pick it up to re-read anytime!

Was this review helpful?

First, I must confess my mistake. I thought this was a direct sequel of Frontier, Grace Curtis' impressive debut and I was slightly disappointed to find that it wasn't. But, by that time, I had already started reading and it have probably been rude to stop at that point. And then I didn't want to stop. And then I wouldn't have stopped even if the building was on fire. It did take a few chapters but the story dragged me into it but not kicking and screaming; more fast page-turning and nervous thumb-chewing.

In (unfair) comparison, Floating Hotel is a bit more light-hearted than Frontier. Frontier had a habit of being a bit grim and showing the worst in people. Floating Hotel is the exact opposite. It starts with a young boy running away from a terrible family. He stows away on the Grand Abeona Hotel and is treated with kindness for the first time. Forty years later, he is in charge and is giving the same offer to other runaways that find their way to the hotel. The main feeling is of found family, a trope I always enjoy and I loved the personalities that we met aboard the Abeona. Although the story does have it's moments of darkness, there is much here that could be called cozy. And it is cozy, just like the first mug of hot chocolate Carl ever tasty - warm, embracing but with some slightly bittersweet notes, particularly at the end.

I loved the setting and the atmosphere of this novel. I loved the beloved but now slightly seedy hotel, which was so rich and classy in it's hay day but it now all a bit rough around the edges. I loved how the staff areas were so much more shabby than the client facing areas (how very true to life that is!). I loved the piano-playing in the bar, the lack of automaton including the menus for the restaurant, the staff taking over the under-used cinema and watching banned films. It had a 1930's feel to it that I thought was delightful in a futuristic sci-fi story.

However, it is the people that really make this book come alive. The plot is good but I feel that it could possibly be a bit so-so if it wasn't for the diverse cast propping it up. I liked this motley crew and really enjoyed finding out more about them. Obviously, particularly everyone has a story, as Carl the Manager takes in all the waifs and strays, including those on the run from the law. It was fun to find out what everyone's background was but these were not delivered in mass info dumps. No, each person got a little side quest, relevant to the main story, that helped to tease out the information. I wondered at the beginning if this was a series of short stories based on the crew of the Abeona but the main story slowly came to life to weave it all together. Carl did seem a bit too hopeless to be managing a travelling hotel at first but, in the end, Kibble was right. Carl brings all the misfits together and forms a (mostly) cohesive team.

My only disappointment was the ending. Not what happened - that seemed appropriate although extremely sad. It seemed a little bit rushed to me and, although the epilogue gave some answers, I would have liked to know more of the aftermath. It's quite hard to explain without some massive spoilers (which I won't do), so I won't try but I just thought that it ended a bit suddenly.

Once I got into the flow, I loved my time aboard the Abeona. The atmosphere and the characters really helped to drive forward a good plot into an excellent story. If character-driven, cozy sci-fi is your thing, then I would highly recommend Floating Hotel. And not once did I judge it solely by that beautiful cover! (Maybe a little...).

Was this review helpful?

Floating Hotel is an entertaining, bordering on cosy, science fiction novel told in a series of vignettes.

As the name vaguely suggests, it takes place on a hotel in space, the Grand Abeona Hotel. We begin with Carl, a stowaway and also the manager, who's a good introduction to the book as a whole before we get to meet everyone else.

My takeaway is that it was a nice read, I enjoyed the worldbuilding. I felt like the ship was 'real'. But as the book moved from character to character, I never became quite fully embedded in the story. At least I never yearned to uncover the plot. I was quite content to take it in in quite a relaxed manner, somewhat as if I was on a space cruise myself. Maybe that was the point?

3.5 rounded up.

Was this review helpful?

Despite their very different genres, Grace Curtis's second book, Floating Hotel, shares a lot with another sophomore novel I read recently, Adelle Waldman's Help Wanted. Both novels are about a group of service workers; both have a thin thread of plot but are ultimately character-led, flipping between the heads of their cast until we get to know them all. But Floating Hotel is set in a space hotel that charts a course by autopilot between distant worlds, in an Empire where talk of potential alien life is banned. A dissenter issues bulletins about what's really going on across galaxies, and an agent believes that the culprit is based at the hotel. The other obvious inspiration for this 'cozy SF' is Becky Chambers, particularly her first novel, The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet. Curtis's cast are all human, but you can see traces of the same kinds of archetype Chambers explores across her range of alien races: the misanthrope, the autistic guy, the once-elite itinerant, the practical woman with a traumatic past. This was a shame, in a way, because although I enjoyed this book, I spent a lot of it wondering why I didn't love it as much as I loved A Long Way. I wonder if Curtis's writing is just a tad too literary for this to work. I wanted to sink deeper into the setting and the individual lives of each of the characters, and I felt like the prose was almost too agile, not straightforward enough. For me, her style suited her more off-the-wall debut, Frontier, better. Having said that, Floating Hotel is still escapist, fun and atmospheric. 3.5 stars.

Was this review helpful?

I immediately fell in love with Carl, whose plucky decision to join the Grand Abeona Hotel probably saved his life. He is an absolute sweetheart. But this isn’t a sentimental read – there are also a number of really edgy, hardcore characters that feature. And one of them doesn’t get to make it to the end of the book…

This is a deceptive read. I started by thinking it was going to be reasonably upbeat and gentle, however as the story wore on, the general mood steadily darkens. We quickly learn the world beyond the Grand Abeona Hotel is run by a 500-year-old megalomaniac, who cannot bear to think of any other Life existing out in space apart from humans. The main character is Carl and having become the Manager of the Grand Abeona, his life is subsumed by the demands of running a luxury hotel catering to the whims of the entitled wealthy. I read one review, where the reader is very indignant that Curtis has sugar-coated the hospitality industry. But I don’t think that’s the case. It’s no accident that most of the longest serving staff are on the run – and Curtis doesn’t hesitate to show us entitled guests being difficult. And while I’m determined not to provide any Spoilers – I would just mention that the ending wouldn’t have felt half so upbeat and optimistic, if Curtis was depicting working in hospitality as the pinnacle of careers.

As for the mystery side of things, it is a slow-burn buildup where we gradually appreciate that things within the Grand Abeona are not as they should be. By the time the pace begins to pick up, I was thoroughly hooked. I’m not always thrilled with a book that appears to be one sort of read, only to discover halfway through that it’s something else. However this time around, I thoroughly enjoyed the mash-up and the cast of quirky characters, reading until late into the night to discover how it all works out. Recommended for fans of dark deeds set in space. While I obtained an arc of Floating Hotel from the publishers via Netgalley, the opinions I have expressed are unbiased and my own.

Was this review helpful?

A delightful mix of sci-fi, cozy mystery that kept me turning pages and having fun.
I appreciated the world building, the well rounded characters and the solid mystery that kept me guessing.
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine

Was this review helpful?