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Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch)

Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch) [Kindle Edition]

Ann Leckie
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Unexpected, compelling and very cool - Ann Leckie nails it. I've never met a heroine like Breq before. I consider this a very good thing indeed. (John Scalzi (Hugo Award-winning author of REDSHIRTS))

Total gamechanger. Get it, read it, wish to hell you'd written it. Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice may well be the most important book Orbit have published in ages. (Paul Graham Raven)

It's not every day a debut novel by an author you'd never heard of before derails your entire afternoon with its brilliance. (Liz Bourke

Using the format of a SF military adventure blended with hints of space opera, Leckie explores the expanded meaning of human nature and the uneasy balance between individuality and membership in a group identity. Leckie is a newcomer to watch. (Library Journal (starred review))

Leckie's novel cast of characters serves her well-plotted story nicely. This is an altogether promising debut. (Kirkus)

We are incredibly excited about this first novel from Leckie. ( (included in 'This Fall's Must-Read Science Fiction and Fantasy Books'))

It engages, it excites, and it challenges the way the reader views our world. Leckie may be a former Secretary of the Science Fiction Writers of America, but she's the President of this year's crop of debut novelists. Ancillary Justice might be the best science fiction novel of this very young decade. (Justin Landon Staffer's Book Review)

The sort of book that the Clarke Award wishes it had last year ... be prepared to see Ancillary Justice bandied around a lot come awards season. (As it should be). (Jared Shurin Pornokitsch)

Leckie uses familiar set pieces-an expansionist galaxy-spanning empire, a protagonist on a single-minded quest for justice-to transcend space-opera conventions in innovative ways. This impressive debut succeeds in making Breq a protagonist readers will invest in, and establishes Leckie as a talent to watch closely. (Publisher's Weekly)

Leckie's debut gives casual and hardcore sci-fi fans alike a wonderful read. (RT Book Reviews)

First rate, rollicking space-opera with plenty of action, intrigue and adventure ... a fabulous debut. (The Skiffy and Fanty Show)

Book Description

Space opera for fans of Iain M. Banks and Michael Cobley - a warship is destroyed but her artificially intelligent mind remains in a single human body - why was she destroyed and will she find revenge?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 5 Nov 2013
By Sara
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I finished this book and did something I haven't done for years: I started over at the beginning. Several weeks later, I'm still thinking about it.

Leckie knows exactly what she is doing with her ideas and uses them to enrich the structure of the prose as well as the story. Particularly interesting is the AI's split identity, which leads to some beautiful city-wide scenes handled with technical mastery. However, it's the characters that drove me to the second readthrough. Leckie vividly paints the central cast through the PoV of the central character, Esk, a strong and matter-of-fact voice with glaring emotional holes that become slowly obvious through her actions and through what she does not report. The settings are vibrant, the emotional arcs are like a punch to the gut, and the structure so well done that I kept intending to do chores but was unable to put the book down after the end of each chapter.

The only indication this is a first novel is a couple of pacing hiccups in the climax, but for me that would merely have knocked this book down from six stars. I have no hesitation in giving it five. Even though the story was satisfying on its own I am eagerly awaiting a sequel.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Space opera with a twist... 16 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of things like Ian M. Banks, you'll enjoy this one. With sentient starships and their humanoid avatars, this story takes a thought-provoking look into what makes a person, in both a figurative and disturbingly literal sense. One of those books I just couldn't put down, I blasted through this one in a weekend. Wholeheartedly recommended!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and unusual 2 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Breq is unique but she wasn't always. Once Breq was a spaceship, Justice of Toren, comprising thousands of corpse soldiers, each with a shared identity, one of many such vessels spreading the influence of the Imperial Radch around the Galaxy. Breq is now alone, her vessel destroyed, and she has only one goal - to take vengeance on Anaander Mianaai, the lord of the Radch, who exists in an almost infinite number of forms. Breq is also our narrator and it is through these strange eyes, this unusual perspective, that we witness the events that brought Breq to her single-minded purpose.

Ancillary Justice is an unusual novel, reflecting the nature of its narrator. Breq has lived in one form or another for thousands of years but in many ways she is socially naive. This expresses itself in her language. She can communicate with most races but not necessarily correctly. She doesn't readily know gender pronouns; everyone is `she' unless Breq is corrected. This has the rather peculiar result that we are not sure whether we are being introduced to men or women and, as we work this out, there are surprises. However, for me, this reinforced how little gender can matter when a story's narrator has far more basic identity problems to solve. While this use of the `she' pronoun has been an issue for some readers, it mattered little to me and I enjoyed the rare excuses for humour that it provided to the novel.

The novel opens on an icy planet with a moment of inexplicable mercy by Breq. She finds Seivarden lying in the snow, close to death. Seivarden had once been one of Breq's human crew members, many hundreds of years before, and there is no reason for her to be there, let alone still alive.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique, Strange and Addictive. 30 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Science fiction by it's very nature has many different concepts ideas and thoughts. After all when you have the universe at your keyboard why not? However much of it is derivative and repetitive. That's why I tend to read it in waves, because I'll OD on it and then lose interest for a while and then read other genres.

When I downloaded this I was just about at that stage. Probably if I had bought another sci-fi book I wouldn't have read it all the way through before I lost interest. However, Ann Leckie has done something special here. She has written a unique book in a tough genre to do that.

The four stars I gave this is possibly a little unfair when most of the book is a five star effort. This was for the start which was a little tough going as it deliberately left things confusing and hard to pick up. Even after reading the whole book I never really understood the sex of some of the characters. This is because it's written from the point of view of an ancillary to a destroyed space ship Justice of Toren who has no concept of the different types of humans. Everyone is 'she' and that means you have to think hard about the context.

Essentially the story is about the fracturing of an all seeing all knowing quasi-religious overseer who rules an empire of humans called Radchaai. It's an internal struggle where one part of the collective conscious is fighting the other part when both sides know what the other is thinking. It's mental chess. The ancillary of Justice of Toren, Breq, is after some revenge against losing itself because of the internal fight.

Once I fought my way past the first part of the book during which I almost put it aside I realised I was reading a book of rare excellence. Clever, well thought out, full of novel concepts and perhaps a bit of a dig at religion.

Very satisfying ending too.

Overall a book well worth a read if you want something refreshing and different.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for part 2
A complex and original world that sucked me in and took me on a very intriguing journey. Left me wanting more.
Published 4 hours ago by Paulg
5.0 out of 5 stars This was really good - an amazing first book by an obviously talented...
This was really good - an amazing first book by an obviously talented sci-fi writer. Worthy winner of the 2013 Nebula Prize and a good tip for the 2014 Hugo! Read more
Published 1 day ago by Dr. M. F. Keating
2.0 out of 5 stars Having looked for something "different" in SF I gave this ...
Having looked for something "different" in SF I gave this a go and found it wholly disappointing. Read more
Published 1 day ago by C. Mee
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but not great either
Maybe so many great reviews spoilt it for me - I was expecting something exceptional and it really isn't. Read more
Published 4 days ago by John W
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great read thought provoking
Published 5 days ago by rufus
4.0 out of 5 stars The Culture crossed with the Roman Empire
Ancilliary Justice starts with its central character, who goes by the alias of Breq, on a wintery planet in search of a weapon with which she hopes to revenge events from 20 years... Read more
Published 8 days ago by P. G. Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars I love hard science fiction
Superb in every way. Complex, compelling, and with surprising poignancy and humanity. I love hard science fiction, and this first effort by Ann Leckie is quite amazing. Read more
Published 14 days ago by William Donelson
4.0 out of 5 stars Culture, Revelation Space now read Imperial Radch
worried i'd never find a book as gripping as any of Banks' Culture or Reynolds' Revelation Space series, i stumbled on this. Read more
Published 14 days ago by AvidReader
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Top end sci fi, the type of book that is very hard to come by. A class act, thanks!
Published 18 days ago by Average Sci Fi Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding
The beginnings of a new Le Guin. A privilege to watch this author grow. I'm buying the next one immediately.
Published 19 days ago by MadaboutDana
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