Unusual second-person narrative. A little odd at first, but it grew on me. Strange that a main character does not have an inner voice.
The book alternates between two stories. There is the present day plot and a back story. I don‘t want to give too much away, I think it is more fun not too know going in. For a long while I suspected that the main narrator was leading us astray. I wasn‘t quite sure, who the narrator really is. Again, I don‘t want to give too much away…
“What is it that makes language a far more powerful—and risky—tool for gods than it is for even humans? What is it that makes gods gods? What am I?“
And what a fascinating narrator it is. Slow, ponderous, but there is tension there under the surface.
Leckie likes to screw with our perceptions and common expectations. I like that. She talks about what is the right thing to do and about perspective…
If I ponder it long enough—as, indeed, I have had plenty of opportunity to do—I can see several potential lessons or morals one might draw from such a tale, and no doubt many of them would be salutary, or at least salutary for someone.
Non-normative gender roles and life choices play into the narrative. Not because the story revolves around them. It does not. They just are. Someone else called it Leckie‘s shtick. She does it well.
I liked this book and I would happily have read another few hundred pages of it. Leckie is pretty much an insta-buy for me now. I don‘t claim to fully understand what she writes, but the journey is fun and fascinating. ★★★★½
Halfway through the book I jumped from the ebook to audio, which was finally available in my country shortly after the original publishing date, but too late for my impatient self. Adjoa Andoh narrated The Imperial Radch trilogy and narrates here again. Excellent! Makes me want to listen to more books read by Andoh.
The Ones Who Stay and Fight, ~ 13 pages, ★★★
Additional short story at the end of the ebook. Not quite sure what to make of it.