William
William asked:

I just finished my second reading of Ancillary Justice. (First time I have re-read a book within a few months!) Honestly, the book is even better the second time around. Erudite and superbly well-written, every sentence composed and balanced and clear. The pacing is wonderful. More poignant, more powerful. Have any of you read the book again (any so soon after your first read) ?

To answer questions about Ancillary Justice, please sign up.
Kenneth Hindle-May I found the exact same thing. I read Ancillary Justice just before Ancillary Sword came out, so I read one and then the other and then went immediately back to the beginning and read both books again. I don't think I've ever done that before. I only finished Ancillary Mercy a couple of weeks ago and I'm already feeling the urge to go back and read the whole trilogy all over again, and I very rarely re-read books at all.

Part of the reason is the compelling characters and rich story, but for me it's probably how dense the books are with issues. One of my favourites is raised in the second book: wherever Breq goes she heads straight for the bottom of the heap and starts agitating. Her desire is to improve the lot of the downtrodden, but does the upheaval she ultimately causes actually achieve that? Are those people ultimately better off? It's a similar argument to the more common one of, is it better for a man to be free and destitute, or a well-looked after slave? It's an issue that should give those of us on the progressive side of the political fence pause for thought, and that's just one issue in these books (one that doesn't get much time on the page at all, either).
Amber I haven't re-read it, but am pondering it. I concluded very quickly it would benefit from a re-read, if for no other reason than because the gender issue can be so distracting the first time through. It took a surprising amount of effort to let go of wanting to know the biological gender of the various characters (which undoubtedly was the very point Leckie was trying to illustrate) and looking for clues in the text. And with a plot this complex, that level of distraction can really be a problem.

I'm torn on whether to immediately re-read, or go on to Book 2.
Jeff Minor observation:
The story hits the ground running at 60 mph. Is it possible that your second reading of the book was more enjoyable because 1.) The first time your brain had to fill in the world aspects the author hadn't explained yet, and the second time you didn't have to 'guess' as much? and 2.) You were used to the author's style? I found the first few chapters exhausting because the authors style was a little sterile (which may have been to illustrate Breq's POV) and all this jargon was thrown at me with no explanation at all.
Rose Agreed! I enjoyed my 2nd reading very much. I think partly because of the complex point of view and the ambiguous gendering, during a first read you really have to pay attention to how the story is structured. I found that this distracted me a little bit from the themes, which I was more able to focus on in this second read. I've rarely enjoyed a 2nd read more, and will re-read the following two books right away!
Stephanie (Librarianish) Davidson Same! #1, then #2, then #1 again w/in 6 months. I found Justice much more engaging the second time around.
Kristina I read this book too fast the first time because I was in love with it. Maybe 2 weeks after finishing the sequel (thus maybe 3 weeks after my initial reading), I read the first one again. I picked up on details I missed and loved the book even more the second time around. This is an amazing book. The second one is great too (and I read it twice also).
Russsell Lundstrom Very well said. I look forward to my second reading.
Hélène Louise Second and third readings are always the best for me, but I need to wait some months before rereading a favorite book to appreciated the re-reading. In this case I did reread AJ (which I first read in January 2014) before leaping greedily on AS :D
But actually I know a lot of big-readers-friends who can - and do - it!
Pep I don't reread feminist YA stories with unambiguous plots.

Hell, I wish I had never read this one at all.
Image for Ancillary Justice
by Ann Leckie (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more