I didn’t even read the blurb on the back of the book (well, it was an e-book) before I started reading Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. The only thing I knew about it was that it won All The Awards in 2014, so I thought I should give it a shot.
Because I didn’t know anything I then had this fantastic experience of figuring out what exactly I was reading about that went something like this:
- Protagonist is not human, cool
- Protagonist seems to be able to occupy multiple bodies at the same time oh wow EVEN COOLER
- is she
- yes yes she is A SENTIENT SPACESHIP!!! !!!!!!!!
And at this point I did remember hearing that the main character in Ancillary Justice was agender but somehow what no one mentioned is that the main character is agender BECAUSE SHE’S A SPACESHIP
Sentient ships are super cool, and I don’t know if I’ve ever had one as a first-person narrator before, so I was just happily sitting there thinking that this is great, I am reading a book with a spaceship as the protagonist, how could life get any better?
Then I discovered that the protagonist is a sentient spaceship who LIKES TO SING.
Two of the things I am most excited about in life are science fiction and singing in choirs (I have been singing in at least one continuously since age 6 and I have a personal best of being in 5 at once). I love them both passionately. So a choir of a spaceship’s ancillaries is the unexpected dream I never knew I had coming true.
The result of this—plus all the other awesome things about Ancillary Justice—is that when I tried to write a review I just came up with incoherent all-caps strings of phrases like “SPACE CHOIRS” and “SO AWESOME” combined with exclamation marks. In fact, since reading Ancillary Justice I relate really strongly to the Space Core (Portal 2 spoilers in the link!) for his inability to talk about anything other than space, because I too have suddenly found myself incapable of carrying on a conversation. The person I am talking to will be trying to say something about the weather or work and all I can respond with is, “That’s great but have you heard about this book IT’S ABOUT A SPACESHIP THAT SINGS!”
So to sum up, I have a a lot of thoughts on this book – which aside from my superficial enthusiasm for the premise is really excellent – and will post a review of in a couple days when I am feeling a little more objective and had a chance to reflect a bit. Also, Breq is my hero and the next time someone asks me what I plan to do with my music degrees (which, for the record, is ALL THE TIME) I’m telling them I’m going to become a spaceship choir.
ETA: I have now finished a real review here.