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Some justice to the hype
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
Reviewed: 2014-11-18, 21:31, My Rating: 3.5 out of 5, review contains spoilers: No
In my interim post on this (audio)book I praised the narrator (Adjoa Andoh), commented on the uneven pace of the two timelines, and the gender ambiguity. This latter actually ended up delivering a perception of an all-female cast, despite the occasional reminders that this was not the case. It might be an interesting exercise to read the book, to see if this still comes through, but, meh.
The timelines did eventually converge and the story assumed the guise of a fairly routine space opera, without the cleverness of writing the distributed viewpoint to sustain it. It was rather less convoluted than a typical Ian M Banks story or an Alastair Reynolds tale, but this is her debut at novel length, so probably to be expected.
There's a super-weapon in there - we're saved from the infodump on how it works (Clarke's 3rd Law applies ) until the very end. There's a Jekyll and Hyde opponent, and a rather unsatisfactory showdown, given that we know in a firefight how deadly Breq (the protagonist) is.
There is then a chapter of picking up the pieces, in which the dictator chooses to keep her conscience armed, which Van Vogt-ian act saves the novel from a pedestrian 2.5- or 3-star rating.Ancillary Justice on Amazon