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Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Ancillary Justice

by Ann Leckie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Imperial Radch (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,4682022,483 (3.99)1 / 423
  1. 50
    Ghost Spin by Chris Moriarty (libron)
    libron: Ancillary Justice is great - but for a nuanced, riveting treatment of AI, Moriarty has her beat, hands down. I hope to see more rigorous explorations in future of what Leckie has limned in her first outing.
  2. 50
    The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (lquilter)
    lquilter: Fans of either Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness or Leckie's Ancillary Justice should enjoy the other. In common, the pacing, character-centered perspective obscuring aspects of the universe, political machinations, far-future setting, and treatment of ethics; also interesting for its simultaneous foregrounding and backgrounding of gender.… (more)
  3. 30
    Ring of Swords by Eleanor Arnason (libron)
    libron: Arnason's depiction of an alternative (alien) gender/social structure is awesome. I hope Leckie can flesh her own ideas out further beyond pronoun ambiguity in forthcoming books.
  4. 20
    The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Both are optimistic space operas that focus on the characters and their relationships.
  5. 20
    Foreigner by C. J. Cherryh (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Leckie has said that Cherryh's Foreigner books were a big influence on Ancillary Justice and sequels
  6. 20
    Fool's War by Sarah Zettel (Dilara86)
    Dilara86: Sentient AIs and spaceships
  7. 20
    A Matter of Oaths by Helen S. Wright (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Some of the dynamics in Leckie's Ancillary Justice remind me of the much more obscure single-volume space opera Wright's A Matter of Oaths about two warring immortal emperors and a protagonist with a mysterious connection to them- if you like one, you may like the other.… (more)
  8. 10
    A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge (electronicmemory)
  9. 10
    The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: Utterly different in tone, this also features the "mind" of a ship and the people she interacts with.
  10. 10
    Embassytown by China Miéville (electronicmemory)

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English (208)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All (210)
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
While there were some interesting concepts behind this book, it was incredibly slow moving, impeded by the author documenting every thought, every gesture, every emotion and every reaction. Each character is referred to with title almost every time. Gender is vague, some characters referred to as "she" by the narrator and "he" by another character, and no reason is provided for the ambiguity. And can we really conceive of a society so well developed that considers it risque to be seen without gloves? (By the way, how do people ritually wash their hands before entering the temple?) I find it a sad commentary on the state of science fiction that this book won so many awards. ( )
  wdwilson3 | Aug 10, 2017 |
I wanted to like this book more but, really some parts felt like I was reading a word salad. Like the descriptions always wanted you to read into them and, I'm not really good at that sometimes. Also it has the "Too Much Too Fast" disease where it's tossing names at you left and right and expecting you to keep track of them. Seivarden, Uppers, Lowers, Ors, Tanmind, planet names, Justice this, Mercy that, One Amaat One, etc. It was hard to keep them straight at who really mattered and who was just an extra in the cast. It also didn't help that the book flip flops between past and present for a while.
The plot itself doesn't really start until the middle of the book when the stuff in the past finally happens, leading up to now.
The story itself isn't really "Mind Blowing" as some of the blurbs put it. Shin Sekai Yori is kind of mind blowing when it does the big reveal! This was a simple revenge story.
A person goes out, and gets revenge on the one who wronged them. Only this time it's a ship mind and not just some humans.
Overall it isn't a bad read, and certainly doesn't have all the sexism that's in Sci-Fi however it wasn't the SUPER AWESOME read that people made it out to be.
If the idea of an all knowing all seeing ship is interesting "On A Red Station Drifting" does something like this as well, with ancestors and implants and such. ( )
  Maverynthia | Jul 27, 2017 |
I want to start that this really should be more like a 4.5 star review, and me not giving it a full five stars has a lot to do with the fact that my reading of the book was sort of unfortunately chopped up because of library return policies (which is my fault, not the library's!) But this book was such a rich world that I'm excited to explore more; I really felt immersed in it, and think Leckie did an amazing job conveying this experience that is in a lot of ways totally alien. I also think that the plot is so incredibly- how to articulate this. I really think that what she's set up is incredible because it's so not easy, and especially for Breq, there are things that are just out of her power even as much as they frustrated me. It's a sort of main character/hero that's unlike anything else I've encountered before, and it really challenged me as a reader in my reactions and understandings of the character, and how I felt about those actions over the course of the book. So, so impressed with that part of the storytelling, honestly.

I also wanna address the gender issue bc I think that was the reason I read this book in the first place (in addition to it being recommended to me by about 10,000 people): this book challenged my sense of gender so, so well; I was constantly reminding myself that despite the pronouns, I shouldn't be assuming the gender of the characters, and then doublechecking that assumption and going "no it's just that gender is fake" and that was really challenging but also exhilarating and exciting as a reader??? So like MORE OF THIS IN ALL GENRES OF FICTION PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

Overall I really really did like this book, and I am looking forward to more of this world and all of its intrigues! ( )
  aijmiller | Jul 9, 2017 |
Wow... understand how this won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. Quite a read! ( )
  kephradyx | Jun 20, 2017 |
Breq is a human that used to be a starship, Justice of Toren. More specifically, she is an ancillary, which is a human who has been implanted with artificial intelligence, in order to become a part of a starship. Many of the ships in the Imperial Radch military have hundreds to thousands of ancillaries so that they can run the ship and all of its functions, take care of the human crew members and serve as "corpse soldiers." Once someone becomes an ancillary, they are no longer thought of as human, so those selected to become ancillaries are usually newly dead inhabitants of a world that the Imperial Radch is annexing. The ancillaries on a particular ship function as one unit along with the ship, so they are able simultaneously to call up information from any other connected ancillary. As there are so many of them, they can monitor not only the ship but the health and emotions of the crew members as well.

At the beginning of the book, Breq is cut off from her ship and the other ancillaries for some reason. She finds a person unconscious in the snow, whom she recognizes as a former officer from the ship (who is also Breq), on which they both served 1,000 years previously. Breq has a self-imposed mission of justice, but for reasons she cannot explain to herself, she decides to help Seivarden, who appears to be a drug addict now. The book goes back and forth between the past, from Justice of Toren's point of view, as we learn the backstory and to Breq's present and why she is motivated to seek justice.

At first, I found the book very confusing. The narrator, who we find out later is Breq, seems to be in many places at once, without any explanation. We don't learn Breq's name or why she feels cut off from her ship until further on, although Leckie is writing as though we should know this information. Eventually, we are slowly filled in as the book progresses. I honestly almost gave up on the book during the first 50 or so pages. However, I persisted since Ancillary Justice was a Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C Clarke winner. I'm very glad I did.

The Imperial Radch does not seem to distinguish between the sexes, and as an AI, Breq uses the pronouns "she" and "her" to discuss everyone she comes across, including herself. We learn during the book that Breq is confused by gender and does not always get it right - Seivarden is actually male, and it is not clear, at least to me, whether Breq is male or female. This is sort of the opposite of The Left Hand of Darkness which I read earlier this year.

Leckie has a unique idea and does a great job of world building once you finally get there. Not only do we learn about the Radch, who are apparently aggressively annexing the universe, we also learn a little about the culture of some of the assimilated planets too. A clash of cultures on an annexed planet becomes important as it is behind the reason that Breq seeks justice.

It is interesting that there is something of a parallel between the ancillaries, who can be thought of as slaves, and the leader of the Radch, Anaander Mianaai. Just as the ship and its ancillaries are interconnected, Anaander Mianaai has many clones who have a single consciousness. So both the lowest of the Radch society and the highest of the Radch society function with many bodies and a single mind, while the ordinary citizens are just one mind in one body.

Once I got past those first 50 or so pages, I found the book very interesting and hard to put down. As the story rolled out, it became more intriguing as I understood Breq's desire for justice and couldn't wait to see how she fulfilled it. Leckie's writing is very smooth and fluid and easy to read. I've already started the next book in the series. ( )
  rretzler | Jun 9, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
A space opera that skillfully handles both choruses and arias, Ancillary Justice is an absorbing thousand-year history, a poignant personal journey, and a welcome addition to the genre.
A sharply written space opera with a richly imagined sense of detail and place, this debut novel from Ann Leckie works as both an evocative SF tale and an involving character study.
In which a zombie imperialist space cop gets caught up in a complex plot to—well, this enjoyable sci-fi outing gets even more complicated than all that.
Ancillary Justice . . tackles gender identity, imperialism, war crimes and more, and succeeds brilliantly in telling a fast-paced, moving and intellectually satisfying story of love and vengeance.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ann Leckieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Benshoff, KirkCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempen, BernhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nunez, BillyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my parents, Mary P. and David N. Dietzler, who didn't live to see this book but were always sure it would exist.
First words
The body lay naked and facedown, a deathly gray, spatters of blood staining the snow around it.
Surely it isn't illegal here to complain about young people these days? How cruel. I had thought it a basic part of human nature, one of the few universally practiced human customs.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Haiku summary
It's alive... or dead.
A.I. or human? Who cares!
She, or he, is BREQ!

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031624662X, Paperback)

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Breq is both more than she seems and less than she was. Years ago, she was the Justice of Toren--a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of corpse soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

An act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with only one fragile human body. And only one purpose--to revenge herself on Anaander Mianaai, many-bodied, near-immortal Lord of the Radch.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:02 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Now isolated in a single frail human body, Breq, an artificial intelligence that used to control of a massive starship and its crew of soldiers, tries to adjust to her new humanity while seeking vengeance and answers to her questions.

» see all 2 descriptions

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