Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

If everything that happens is the will of Amat; if nothing can happen that isn't already designed by God, why bother to do anything.

Why I read this book?

This was the November pick for the Sword and Laser Book club. It sounded like a very good book, so much that my boyfriend wanted to read it too, so we decided to get it with Audible and listen to it while driving to the lab.

What the book is about?

The book is told from the point of view of the Ancillary Justice of Toren a AI whose main "body" was a Radch spaceship and that also used to have hundreds of ancillary bodies, all connected to one same mind. Through the book we learn what happened to all of her bodies and to her as one episode describes us the present and the next the past until the story merges. This new single body, called Breq, is dealing with being a single identity, learning how to be human and getting all the way to get revenge.

Final thoughts

Both my boyfriend and I really enjoyed the book!. At first it was hard to get used to the absence of genre distinction amongst the Radch, but before you realize it you stop thinking about the characters as a he or a she and just concentrate on the story alone; it was a nice twist on language and it accentuates the fact that genre doesn't really matter for the story.

Another good point is the struggle of the AI being one or several and how this unity could be fractured. I think it was an interesting take on how we are also one and several at the same time. Even more, the fact that most of people would consider the Ancillaries as just machines incapable of feelings or moral clashes.

The whole political situation of the Radch was very well written too, a nice critique I think to the belief that people are just civilized if they are doing stuff the way we do them. A continuous thought during colonization centuries ago and actually still around, sadly.
Also the position on religion, I found it very interesting how the author created the whole Radch mythology that would also absorb the basics of religions all over the planets they "civilized"

Celeste Ciulla, the narrator was amazing, not only doing the different voices but giving a "mechanic" voice to Breq while filling her sentences with full intentions.

If you are going to do something that crazy, save it for when it will make a difference.

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