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Ancillary Justice

by Ann Leckie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Imperial Radch (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,9342802,142 (4)1 / 516
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.
  1. 81
    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)
  2. 40
    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.
  3. 40
    Embassytown by China Miéville (electronicmemory)
  4. 30
    All Systems Red by Martha Wells (chlorine)
    chlorine: Main protagonists are at least somewhat AI, and both books have a neutral take on gender.
  5. 30
    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. 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.
  7. 20
    Fool's War by Sarah Zettel (Dilara86)
    Dilara86: Sentient AIs and spaceships
  8. 20
    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.
  9. 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)
  10. 20
    A Fire upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge (electronicmemory)
  11. 20
    A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine (g33kgrrl)
    g33kgrrl: Both books feature complex, political space sci-fi with amazing characters and world-building.
  12. 21
    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.
  13. 00
    Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones (CelestiaJK)
    CelestiaJK: Both have interesting AI themes and a great understanding of human nature.
  14. 00
    Worlds of Exile and Illusion: Three Complete Novels of the Hainish Series in One Volume--Rocannon's World; Planet of Exile; City of Illusions by Ursula K. Le Guin (sturlington)
  15. 00
    Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey (g33kgrrl)
  16. 00
    Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee (souloftherose)
  17. 00
    The Lazarus War: Artefact by Jamie Sawyer (dClauzel)
  18. 00
    Lock In by John Scalzi (sturlington)
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English (277)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (279)
Showing 1-5 of 277 (next | show all)
I have been getting yelled at to read this book for years. I tried, really, but I just could not get into this. I finally decided to throw in the white towel and call it a DNF.

I was told that the book gets better, but I am not in the mood to suffer through trying to get to better. At 50 percent my major issues were that the world-building was not working for me, I could not get into the characters, and the writing was causing me keep mumbling to myself "what?!" and not in a good way.

I think the fact that the book is told through two separate POV/timelines is what through me off the most. I started having flashbacks to "The Girl Before" and am going to just beg authors to stop doing this mess. It's a gimmick that most often does not play out very well unless the two people have really distinct separate voices. For me the of Breq was not doing enough for me to care one way or the other.

The writing was hard to get past for me:

"I turned to look at her, to study her face. She was taller than most Nilters, but fat and pale as any of them."

What the hell is a Nilters. Why does this book keep introducing things and act like I should already know what it is?

"She out-bulked me, but I was taller, and I was also considerably stronger than I looked. She didn’t realize what she was playing with. She was probably male, to judge from the angular mazelike patterns quilting her shirt."

Blinks.

"She’d taken kef, I guessed. Most people will tell you that kef suppresses emotion, which it does, but that’s not all it does. There was a time when I could have explained exactly what kef does, and how, but I’m not what I once was. As far as I knew, people took kef so they could stop feeling something. Or because they believed that, emotions out of the way, supreme rationality would result, utter logic, true enlightenment. But it doesn’t work that way."

I swear most of this book reminds me of the time my friends and I went drinking in the woods and were having huge thoughts about space, stars, and aliens. And of course I was sober the next day and realized we were all talking out of our ass.

The flow was awful. It took me forever it felt like to just get up to 10 pages. I had to keep re-reading so much of the paragraphs before I would end up with 10 different questions when I would finish one sentence.

There are two other books in this series, and obviously based on this review I am not going to go forward with reading them. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
It was hard to get going with this book, but once I got about a sixth of the way in, I was able to keep moving forward. There's a heart at the core of the book that makes one identify with the immense and fragmented Justice of Toren, now represented only by a single ancillary, and though it was well enough resolved I was left wanting to read the sequel. Nice job. ( )
  dmturner | Jun 29, 2020 |
Full of ideas, certainly, but I need a bit more plot than this. ( )
  wearyhobo | Jun 22, 2020 |
Just as good as I remember! Starting on ‘Sword’ right away. ( )
  matthewmcvickar | Jun 21, 2020 |
This book is a frustrating mix of flashes of real depth and interest, diluted by meandering, confusing, info dump-y nonsense. The concept of the AI is fascinating, but - aside from a few crucial scenes - spotily executed. The ideas on language, translation and culture are good, but stiltingly conveyed through phrases like "the joke made sense in radchaai".

What this book needed was some serious trimming of random "cool" stuff and meandering expositions failing to clarify apparently important political events. For instance the gender thing... it's fairly easy to wrap your head around, is still explained over and over again, and doesn't seem to serve a narrative purpose. And it seems somewhat derivative. ( )
  systemfailure | Jun 16, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 277 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ann Leckieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Andoh, AdjoaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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.
Quotations
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
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. - Goodreads.com
Haiku summary
It's alive... or dead.
A.I. or human? Who cares!
She, or he, is BREQ!
(pickupsticks)

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