Lisa Eckstein's Reviews > Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
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really liked it
bookshelves: read-2014

The world of the novel is built on an epic scale, with a story that spans planets, an empire that rules much of the universe, and huge armies and spaceships for conquering and occupying planets that aren't yet part of the dominant civilization. Like all the best science fiction, the book adds new elements to these familiar tropes, most notably the form taken by our narrator, an artificial intelligence embodied simultaneously as a spaceship and as the soldiers of a conquering army. It's a strange and clever concept, and Leckie executes it with skill. What really makes the whole book work is that despite the epicness, this is one character's very personal story of loss and vengeance.

As you might guess from that description, there's a huge amount of complexity to the world and the story. I appreciated how carefully information was doled out. The plot never became bogged down with exposition, and sometimes by design I didn't yet have quite enough information and had to keep reading to piece together the puzzle, which is something I enjoy. This is the start of a series, but the first book does come to a satisfying conclusion, so it's possible to read it as a standalone. I'll definitely be continuing on, though.

Leckie has written a couple of interesting essays in which she discusses the multiple identity of her protagonist and the choice of gendered pronouns in the novel. Both of these contain some information that you might prefer to encounter first in the course of the story unfolding, but you could also safely read them in advance.
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Reading Progress

May 24, 2014 – Started Reading
May 25, 2014 – Shelved
May 25, 2014 – Shelved as: read-2014
May 25, 2014 –
7.0% "This is a fascinatingly complex setting, and I'm still getting my bearings, but I like it."
May 28, 2014 –
24.0% "There's a lot to absorb in this story, but it's all presented well enough to keep me engaged through air travel and sleep deprivation."
June 3, 2014 –
67.0% "I love how more and more complexity keeps getting introduced, without ever bogging the story down."
June 4, 2014 – Finished Reading

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