Thumbs up for Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. Science fiction.
I’m not sure I liked this book—for my taste, too much politics and not enough emotion (though for understandable reasons: the main character is not human). But that did not stop me from staying up until 3:00am with my fingers glued to the pages because I had to know what happened. Ancillary Justice might not be a cheerful read, but it is a work of genius that deserves every one of its awards. Usually I try to synopsize the plot of the book I’m reviewing, just a bit, but because this beautifully-structured book unfolds like origami—you won’t know what is really going on for most of the book—nearly anything is a spoiler except what is on the back cover. Justice of Toren used to be a spaceship; now she has only a single human body, Breq, and she has a crazy plan of vengeance. Who she wants to punish, and why, are things you’ll only discover through time. Because of that, it gets off to a slow start; stick with it. Ancillary Justice is pretty much a necessity for hard science fiction readers who like a good idea bravely told, or for crazy writer-people like myself who giggle giddily with admiration as we watch plot threads intertwine like android ballet.
Ancillary units that only ever woke for annexations often wore nothing but a force shield generated by an implant in each body, rank on rank of featureless soldiers that might have been poured from mercury. But I was always out of the holds, and I wore the same uniform human soldiers did, now the fighting was done. My bodies sweated under my uniform jackets, and, bored, I opened three of my mouths, all in close proximity to each other on the temple plaza, and sang with those three voices, “My heart is a fish, hiding in the water-grass….” One person walking by looked at me, startled, but everyone else ignored me—they were used to me by now.
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