Review: Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
Orbit / #3 of 3, Imperial Radch
“The point is, there is not point. Choose your own.”
This review remains spoiler-free for all three books, apart from character mentions (so you’ll be aware of a couple of people who are still alive as of Ancillary Mercy).
As with Ancillary Justice, I’m struggling to write a review for Mercy that doesn’t for sound like incoherent gushing because I loved it so much. An example of how much: I picked it up today with the idea of flipping through to find a quote for the beginning of the review, and two hours later realized that I hadn’t moved and was halfway through rereading it. Most of this book is people just talking to each other, politicking and navigating personal relationships, and yet it is completely spellbinding and impossible to put down. Moments of suspense and action are combined with social commentary and a rich array of thematic material about how people (some of them AIs) negotiate sentience, decision-making, personhood, privilege, feelings, self-determination. And did I mention the protagonist being a singing spaceship?!? These books are amazing. Ann Leckie is amazing.
Continue reading Book Review: Ancillary Mercy (Ann Leckie)
Review: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Science Fiction – #1 of 3, Imperial Radch Trilogy
“If you’re going to do something that crazy, save it for when it’ll make a difference, Lieutenant Skaaiat had said, and I had agreed. I still agree. The problem is knowing when what you are about to do will make a difference… The single word that directs a person’s fate and ultimately the fates of those she comes in contact with is of course a common subject of entertainments and moralizing stories, but if everyone were to consider all the possible consequences of all one’s possible choices, no one would move a millimeter, or even dare to breathe for fear of the ultimate results.”
I already expressed some pre-review excitement on this blog. That entry can basically be summed up with the following:
- Ancillary Justice is a book about a SENTIENT SPACESHIP that enjoys SINGING
- And it’s amazing
Ancillary Justice takes place during two different periods of our starship protagonist Breq’s existence. Created as a tool for the expansionist Radch Empire, one timeline focuses on her experiences as a segment of twenty bodies (ancillaries) enforcing for the Empire on an annexed planet. In the second timeline, she has only a single body, and she is outside of Radch territory and on a mission of her own. What happened to Breq and what she is doing now are gradually revealed in an exciting and fantastic space opera, and possibly my new favourite book ever.
Continue reading Book Review: Ancillary Justice (Ann Leckie)
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!!! !!!!!!!!
Continue reading Singing spaceships: a pre-review of Ancillary Justice