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Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie I wanted to read a space opera and thought, why not the Hugo and Nebula award-winning ANCILLARY JUSTICE. I read it rather slowly, with a break of 2-3 weeks somewhere in the middle. In retrospect, because of the book's accolades I certainly went in with high expectations. While I enjoyed the first person POV narration, I wasn't as close to the MC (Breq) as I would have liked, for most of the book. After certain events happened and I saw how it affected her, I came to like her more. The last 25% of the book was the most compelling and satisfying for me, and I liked the ending very much.

Pros: Fascinating technology system, in which human "ancillaries" are linked together into a sort of hive mind that runs a ship. This is the main spec fic element and it's undoubtedly crucial to the plot. The vast interstellar empire reminded me a bit of Dune and the world-building was excellent.

Cons: Also, her tendency to confuse gender (and use female pronouns for male characters) left me very confused. So did the fact that, in the first half of the book, the MC is not one human but many of them connected into a single unit, so they could see/hear/experience many things at once.

These complexities are undoubtedly part of why the book drew such critical acclaim, but I felt it made them a bit harder to read. On the bright side, the book ended on a high note and I *think* I figured out how the ancillary thing works (if not entirely the gender ambiguity) so I'm looking forward to Ancillary Sword.