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Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch) Paperback – October 1, 2013
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"If you don't know the Ancillary series by now, you probably should. Ann Leckie's sociopolitical space opera almost singlehandedly breathed new cool into the stereotype of spaceships trundling through far-off systems amid laser battles. ... [Ancillary Mercy] earns the credit it's received: As a capstone to a series that shook genre expectations, as our closing installment of an immersively realized world, and as the poignant story of a ship that learned to sing."―NPR Books on Ancillary Mercy
"Powerful."―The New York Times on Ancillary Sword
"Unexpected, compelling and very cool. Ann Leckie nails it...I've never met a heroine like Breq before. I consider this a very good thing indeed."―John Scalzi
"Ancillary Justice is the mind-blowing space opera you've been needing...This is a novel that will thrill you like the page-turner it is, but stick with you for a long time afterward."―i09.com (included in 'This Fall's Must-Read Science Fiction and Fantasy Books')
"It's not every day a debut novel by an author you'd never heard of before derails your entire afternoon with its brilliance. But when my review copy of Ancillary Justice arrived, that's exactly what it did. In fact, it arrowed upward to reach a pretty high position on my list of best space opera novels ever."―Liz Bourke, Tor.com
"Establishes Leckie as an heir to Banks and Cherryh."―Elizabeth Bear
"A double-threaded narrative proves seductive, drawing the reader into the naive but determined protagonist's efforts to transform an unjust universe. Leckie uses...an expansionist galaxy-spinning empire [and] a protagonist on a single-minded quest for justice to transcend space-opera conventions in innovative ways. This impressive debut succeeds in making Breq a protagonist readers will invest in, and establishes Leckie as a talent to watch."―Publishers Weekly
"By turns thrilling, moving and awe-inspiring."―The Guardian
"Leckie does a very good job of setting this complex equation up... This is an altogether promising debut."―Kirkus
"Using the format of SF military adventure blended with hints of space opera, Leckie explores the expanded meaning of human nature and the uneasy balance between individuality and membership in a group identity. Leckie is a newcomer to watch as she expands on the history and future of her new and exciting universe."―Library Journal
"Leckie's debut gives casual and hardcore sci-fi fans alike a wonderful read."―RT Book Reviews
"A sharply written space opera with a richly imagined sense of detail and place, this debut novel from Ann Leckie works as both an evocative science fiction tale and an involving character study...it's also a strongly female-driven piece, tackling ideas about politics and gender in a way that's both engaging and provocative...Ancillary Justice is a gripping read that's well worth a look."―SFX (UK)
"It engages, it excites, and it challenges the way the reader views our world. Leckie may be a former Secretary of the Science Fiction Writers of America, but she's the President of this year's crop of debut novelists. Ancillary Justice might be the best science fiction novel of this very young decade."―Justin Landon Staffer's Book Review
"Total gamechanger. Get it, read it, wish to hell you'd written it. Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice may well be the most important book Orbit have published in ages."―Paul Graham Raven
"The sort of book that the Clarke Award wishes it had last year ... be prepared to see Ancillary Justice bandied around a lot come awards season. (As it should be)."―Jared Shurin Pornokitsch
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Top customer reviews
The first hurdle was the treatment of gender and pronouns. I had already heard about the premise, so I went into it knowing what to expect. Despite that, I still had to mentally adjust every time I started reading. I couldn't just slide right into the story.
Making me think isn't necessarily a negative quality for a book to have, but it did make immersion a little more difficult, so I feel it's worth noting that fact.
But even once I had that all worked out, the book still wasn't really grabbing me. I could appreciate the inventiveness of the premise, and Leckie's skill in writing from the POV of a multi-bodied AI. I'll admit some of those early chapters were confusing, when multiple conversations were happening at once. But it was well done.
Still, I was sort of ambivalent about the whole thing, and I'm not sure why. Maybe the pacing, which is fairly slow, especially in the "past" chapters. Maybe the tone, which for the first section of the book feels decidedly cool.
And then, about 1/3 of the way through the book, the payoff arrived.
This was what I had been waiting for. The long-drawn out set up of both the past and the present chapters had been leading up to this moment, where I would finally understand what was going on, what the conflict of the book was.
Turns out that I wasn't quite right - Leckie had more surprises up her sleeve. But that was the point at which the pace picked up, the tone warmed a bit, and I started to really connect with Breq/One Esk/Justice of Toren.
The last third of the book is a veritable whirlwind, and leaves me seriously wondering who I should be rooting for (besides Breq).
In sum, it's a wonderful book that takes a while to get going. It's a challenging read, but for me it was worth the effort.
These questions seem to be asked with more frequency as technology has advanced in the last few decades. They are questions that have been both well explored and poorly addressed in different mediums, from movies, to television, to literature. The question of what is human both addresses our future with artificial intelligence, and our past with who is a person, in racial terms.
It is hard to pin down what the central idea of this story is. The author tackles many issues that are currently relevant in our society; From A.I., to gender equality, to race, to imperialism and it's consequences.
There is much to be interested in with this book. This reader had a hard time fully expressing his (her?) love for this story. A fantastic read.
As a bonus method to make things more alien, the default sexual pronouns/titles are feminine. It really did keep slightly pushing me off balance seeing male characters referred to as "she" or "daughter". It added another layer of contemplation to the story
If you like Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep for the alien species, buy this book! If you like Bujold's Vorkosigan books for slick competence in the hero, buy this book. If you like stories about keeping promises, buy this book.
Plenty of sci-fi themes (AI, immortality, space travel) and the novel focuses on the consequences of taking them to their logical limits. My only complaint is that there isn't more attention to the science and technology on how they work in this novel's universe.
Overall I am glad I read it and would recommend it to anyone who likes a good space opera with political overtones.
No having the option to imaging the characters as I usually do, provided a new and interesting new way of reading the book and I think just that worth the experience.
The main plot is unique as well - a star ship AI being forced to live in a human body and moving around the universe with a vengeance mission - you don't find a lot of books like it out there.
Most recent customer reviews
I didn't really care for the nonlinear storytelling.Read more