Thursday, 25 August 2016

Book Review - Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

One of the reasons I enjoy reading science fiction is that it oftens tackles big (or at least unusual) ideas. That is the case with this book, but it's crafted in such a way that it blends easily into the narrative. This core idea of multiplicity, so the inhabitation of a single consciousness into multiple entities isn't a new one, but is explored here with skill, and it weaves well into the story.

The story opens with another interesting process, and that is absorbing a society into another. This part helps base the characters and reveal more about the world around them. The author does well here to blend this with the narrative without too much exposition. This establishment fills the majority of the book, a little more than I would expect as it essentially build up, but it's entertaining enough in its own right to not be a problem.

For me the real meat of the story comes in the second half of the book, and while this was the stronger part, I also felt that there could have been more. It's often a tricky balance as to how much detail an author includes about an unfamiliar world in their story, I would have happily read more about the main character's journey to their ultimate destination.

The conclusion did feel a little weak to me, especially considering the strength of what came before. It opened up some possibilities though, and did do more than enough for me to purchase the next book in the trilogy!

I enjoyed the writing style, it conveyed information well, without being too laboured. It's a definite sci-fi read though, and expects some basic knowledge of sci-fi concepts. It's not hard sci-fi, but a familiarity is useful. I notice that it won a good selection of awards, I personally don't think it's quite that good, but it's still a decent read.

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.

Click here to buy Ancillary Justice from Amazon

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