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NOTE I feel bad changing my rating and my review after so many people have liked this review but one of the commenters below convinced me that the central arguments I made in my original 2 star review were invalid And at risk of breaking the entire Internet I decided to listen to a reasonable argument and evidence and consider changing my mind In addition I decided to re Things I liked about ANCILLARY JUSTICE a list consider changing my mind In addition I decided to re Things I liked about ANCILLARY JUSTICE a list is she not everyone is actually she The protagonist is a SPACESHIP There is a scene where a space station is mad at the protagonist and the space station throws a tantrum and a spaceship who likes the protagonist is like omg space station is such a jerk and it is super cute omg A spaceship with FEELINGS People are hostile and angry at each other but then they become friends and then they are super LOYAL AND DEVOTED The spaceships are basically like dragons in Pern only they are spaceships Protagonist is one of those super stoic characters who have a lot of feelings but refuse to admit it I love that kind of character Semi soul bonded spaceships It s about an evil empire that s trying to stop being uite so evil it is told from the POV of someone from the evil empire but you get a lot so evil it is told from the POV of someone from the evil empire but you get a lot the perspectives of the people and places that have been invaded and colonised by the evil empire The different cultures in the book are well fleshed out and feel like different cultures I particularly liked the evil empire religion though I didn t get the sartorial conventions gloves It is structured so that alternating chapters recount two storylines one about a mystery that happened in the past and one about the mystery of what is happening in the future and I like stories that have a mystery at each end of the stick STOIC SPACESHIPS WHO SING SONGS I m almost wanting to give this five stars because I LOVED it but the first section of the book is very confusing in some ways by choice and I think that could put some people off so there you go 4 12 stars haThis is a great sci fi adventure following a character who is not man nor woman and don t even try to figure it out that s the confusing part But the character is fomerly HUNDREDS of people and a spaceship All at once Yeah ok once you can wrap that around your head it s SO GOOD this book How the author accomplishes the changes of POV when someone is than one person is beyond me It was deftly handled And the plot is gripping and interesting the other characters flawed but fascinating and I was angry when the book came to a close because I wanted the next one SO BAD Like I said the whole gender thing was confusing the lack and confusion of the main character about said subject I nderstand it s a big idea and concept that is clever and niue but I m not sure I followed it entirely A re read would clever and niue but I m not sure I followed it entirely A re read would And maybe I m just so weighted in NEEDING a gender for characters that I couldn t back A Little Kinder up and relax about it Who knows Anyway definitely a great book makes sci fi character based and great world building Highly recc Unexpected When I started this book I thought I was looking at a 3 to 4 star book Even by halfway I was still thinking 4 stars at the most But really it was always going to be a five star book and it took me to the 80% mark to grudgingly acknowledge this deserves a five star I say grudgingly because this book is not mysual cup of tea Call me shallow and infantile but generally speaking I like my space operas to have lots of space battles lots of fightingbattle scenes with a plethora of pew pew and viscera with smoldering slag in the aftermath I like my protagonists to have a sense of self assured cool about them Instead of cool I got ethereal and still a bit of cool Instead of the hero that shoots from the hip while watching a multitude of alien heads go pop pop pop this protagonist sings WHA How does singing dancing Broadway wannabe beat scary but cool tough guy with big gun that makes pew pew noises Well for a start there s no dancing but importantly our protagonist is a spaceship AI Further not only does our protagonist inhabit a warship but it also inhabits thousands of corpse soldiers or ancillaries human bodies that are reanimated and incorporated into the single consciousness of the ship TH. On a remote icy planet the soldier known as Bre is drawing closer to completing her JAPAN 1/1M3. uestOnce she was the Justice of Toren a colossal sta. ATS FREAKING INSANE And when this machine intelligence thousands of years old sings through her multiple human voices everybody listens That s the ethereal part and it s pretty cool as well That s not to say there is no violence but Leckieses it sparingly and though it may not be as gratuitous and visceral as I generally like it really didn t need to be When Ann Leckie does violence she times it for maximum punch and impactLeckie *also does a good job of communicating what a multi bodied intelligence would feel like from a first person perspective The *does a good job of communicating what a multi bodied intelligence would feel like from a first person perspective The is told from the POV of the ship Justice of Toren mostly from the perspective of her human bodies So you have a first person POV that is not limited to a single perspective and often does the job of an omniscient perspective and in a single coherent passage we can get multiple conversations and activity through bodies that are separated by distance all alongside the perspective of an intelligent warship operating and monitoring from orbit We also get those instances where one body will be doing something from the first person POV while a separate body is watching from a distance also still within the same first person POVThe other mind bending concept in this book is that the Radchaai the culture our ship AI belongs to don t emphasize gender and they Hechizos de amor use gender neutral pronouns Leckie opted tose She as the English proxy for the Radchaai gender neutral pronoun so as a conseuence the protagonist s narrative voice always The Parisian Prowler uses she regardless of whether referring to male or female Also the ship AI has trouble identifying gender and is constantly misgendering characters who are non Radchaai and oftenses the wrong pronoun still Cross My Heart and Hope to Die usually shentil corrected This left me with a few Oh moments when discovering characters I thought were female were actually male There are still some characters in the book that I m not sure about not that it matters But I found that fun rather than confusing I also like how Leckie gradually opens Travels of an Ordinary Man Australia up what turns out to be a complexniverse with complex Cultures And Concepts Without Info Dump Or Spoon Feeding This and concepts without info dump or spoon feeding This there is a little disorientation at the beginning but the process of discovery as the book progresses makes it all worthwhile and very cool Plenty of Aha momentsMind spinning concepts aside this is very much a space opera set in a niverse which features galaxy spanning Empires in a Universe where Earth is long lost to memory The story was interesting the pacing perfect and the concepts were well executed with plenty of meat for contemplating the nature of consciousness freewill and what it means to be humanThis is the first book in what is to be a series It can be read standalone but it has definitely wet my appetite for the next installment All of my various segments with one mind and voice rate this5 stars Most of my friends are married now and have 1 or 2 kids I like kids but once in a while you meet one of those kids that everyone adores and that is very clever and friendly but for some reason I simply don t get along with that particular kid Unfortunately for me Ancillary Justice is that kidIn Ancillary Justice we re following 2 plot lines for most of the novel In the present Storyline We Follow Bre we follow Bre last physical manifestation of the ship Justice of Toren s complex AI In the Radch empire ships are sentient and control a multitude of physical bodies called ancillaries After the destruction of her ship Bre is on a est to get justice for said destructionThis storyline alternates with a second narrative set 19 years in the past and explains what led to the destruction of the shipWhat makes the novel Everything a Band-Aid Can't Fix: A Teen's Guide to Healing and Dealing with Life uniue and is in my opinion the main reason for its huge success among critics are 3 stylistic elementsThe one most talked about is an element of the language of the Radch cause their language only knows one grammatical gender The Radch and therefore Bre refer to everyone as she So one of the main novelties of the book is that for some characters you ll have to figure out and decide on your own if a character is male or femaleThe secondniue element is the ship s ability to communicate with multiple persons in various places at the same time due to her omnipresence onboar. Rship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch the empire that conuered the galaxyNow .

Ancillary JusticeD and se of an army of ancillaries on the groundSo there are some discussions where the ship speaks with multiple persons at the same time And The Conversations Overlap But the conversations overlap But is done without being too messy mostly only two conversations happen at the same time and the effect is not overusedThe third niue element is of course Bre herself cause she is not human To emphasize this effect the prose feels very cold and distancedFrom my point of view the success of the novel for each reader depends on how much you are personally fascinated by the niueness of those elements cause frankly the novel doesn t offer much beyond these elementsDue to the cold and distanced prose I was never really engaged in the novel It s like having someone show you an abstract painting of 5 triangles and explaining that those triangles represent something really clever My head may appreciate the explanation but all I really see are 5 rather boring triangles As you might see I m not a very artsy personAnd as a former philosophy student who did a few courses of philosophy of language the idea of the singular grammatical gender was one I could wrap my head around the singular grammatical gender was one I could wrap my head around ickly cause we did some very similar experiments with language and so the effect on me was not as fascinating as I hoped it would beSo to bring a little Freud into the discussion my Super Ego was able to appreciate Anne Leckie s efforts in creating a A Gin-Pissing-Raw-Meat-Dual-Carburetor-V8-Son-of-a-Bitch from Los Angeles uniue experience but my Id was frankly bored to death by the novelIt s major weakness in my opinion is the lack of an engaging plot The main narrative stands still for most of the novel and has to waitntil the past storyline catches pThere are multiple chapters in an abandoned hut where the characters do a lot of sitting eating and sleeping and the narrative only painfully crawls forward The second storyline in the past is far interesting in my opinion and especially the last chapters set onboard the Justice of Toren were my personal highlightUnfortunately the last third of the novel then just stays with the first narrative and comes to a conclusion I wasn t interested in and felt highly constructedThe second thing that didn t work for me at all were the characters Beside maybe from Lt Awn in the second
"storyline i wasn "
I wasn able to connect with a single character least of all with the main character Bre and her constant inconsistencies in character In one chapter she s very cold and distanced in the next she shows a lot of human emotion that seemed ncalled for I don t know if Leckie wanted to achieve the feeling of a character torn between humanity and rationality but this conflict is a rather over Party Politics in America used trope of SF and many other authors did it better in my opinionAnother character that drove me mad is Seivarden a Radch Bre takes care of in the main plotline His integration is a borderline offence to my intelligence as a readerHe is a mere plot device for Bre to achive something at the end of the book and it feels that this is his only purpose To make him not that obvious a deus ex machina element Leckie just lets Bre literally stumble over him in the first chapter Then of course he has nose for 250 pages so the author decides to let him sleep for most of the time or be Put off thy shoes unconscious To create the illusion of depth she attaches a random drug issue for him of all the boring standard flaws the mostnimaginative of them all that is never really addressed or taken seriously cause we all know that he s a plot device so why botherA thing I liked better was the world building The whole culture of the aggressive Radch with their devotion to religion and formality is really fascinating and some of the alien elements peaked my interestI personally would have enjoyed a bit in depth information because when Leckie does world building it was very interesting but most of the time we just get the information that we absolutely need to Range of Ghosts (Eternal Sky, understand what s going onSo to make an already long review not even longer I m not blind to the intellectual merits of the novel and cannderstand why people praise the book for itBut for me personally the basics of the book especially plot and character didn t work out so The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok unfortunately I can only say that this book was okay for me but nothing I really enjoye. N act of treachery has ripped it all away leaving her with one fragile human bodynanswered estions and a burning desire for vengeance. .

Ann Leckie È 4 Read


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