2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Astounding science fiction,
This review is from: Ancillary Justice: 1 (Imperial Radch) (Paperback)
Ancillary Justice is the sort of book that wins awards - and with good cause. First, it is a vast space opera, with Banksian AI warships and space battles and intergalactic colonisation and such. Second, it has that "sense of wonder" that (apparently) defines SF. But, then, good lord, Ms. Leckie's also snuck in a character or two! It seems that one of those AI warships has - somehow - been trapped in the body of a human being (a sort of thawed human robo-zombie thing). How'd it get there? What is it doing? What is going on?
These (and other) questions are answered through the course of Ancillary Justice, which combines the aforementioned wild space operatics with sterling character development (you'll never feel quite so attached to an empathy-free, personality-free computer program ever again!), political chicanery, a good ol' fashioned whoddunit and - as if that weren't enough - some cunningly progressive gender politics. When you're seeing the world through the eyes of a billion tons of space-faring metal, the intricacies of gender - how we define it, what it means and all the culturally-imposed baggage thereof - tend to be forgotten.
This is a book that will please the traditional SF crowd with the drama and impress literary readers with the socially-savvy undercurrents: be prepared to see Ancillary Justice bandied around a lot come awards season. (As it should be.)