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 previously. The story of those events is told in alternate chapters where we learn about a universe which is home to the imperial Radch, whose artificially intelligent starships control networks of telepathic soldiers, created from the bodies of those unfortunate enough to have been conquered and killed by these interstellar Romans.
Breq, it turns out, is one such avatar, One Esk Nineteen, last survivor of the troop carrier Justice of Toren. That sentence is indicative of two of the key features of… Read more
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The blurb on the front flap of the dust jacket suggests that the primary theme of this autobiographical (?) story of a year working at J D Salinger's agent, is the young secretary/aspiring writer entering into correspondence with those who write to the literary great, who has refused to read their letters. In fact, like so many synopses, this is misleading, certainly that is a strand, but it is just one of many, and not the most dominant thread.
The book is primarily about two things, the end of the pre-digital publishing world, but more importantly about a young woman growing into a more self confident adult, with the catalyst for that transformation being, unsurprisingly, the… Read more
In the end I concluded that Canada is a good novel which explores some really profound themes, but boy did I find it hard work at times. It is probably a mark of the quality of the book that despite finding it difficult, and indeed verging on the turgid at times, I never wanted to give up on it, I always wanted to get to the end.
The central character is Dell Parsons, a school teacher on the verge of retirement, but the majority of the book is given over to an account of his fifteen year old self and the momentous events which knocked his life off course. The first part of the book is given over to Dell's life with his family, twin sister Berner, and parents uptight academic… Read more