Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1)
by Ann Leckie, Adjoa Andoh (Narrator)
A re-read. This is not a love story, it’s a story of revenge.
“If that’s what you’re willing to do for someone you hate, what would you do for someone you love?”
Breq is willing to do quite a lot. A lot of subtle tones that I missed the first time around and almost missed again during my second read. A many layered narrative, where you have to peel off layers to get to the heart of it all. My favourite part is still the evolving relationship between Breq and Seivarden. And the parts of the story set on Ors. Good stuff and worth the awards this book won.
“Choose my aim, take one step and then the next. It had never been anything else.”
Review from my first read in March 2017:
The beginning was a little confusing. Might be due to it being an audiobook, it’s a fairly new medium for me. Here are my slightly spoilerish thoughts.
Breq’s voice in the audibook works well for the character. I didn’t find her too neutral or emotionless. In the beginning she almost felt childlike, exploring and getting to know her world. As the book went on, she gained more emotions and more of a personality.
I found some of the dialects of the other characters a bit weird. Some of the voices in the audiobook also sounded a bit “too much” and not natural to me. But they all grew on me eventually.
It’s interesting that Breq used a female pronoun for all other characters, until she could figure out if they were male or female. And even then she often stuck to the female version. It made for an unusual reading experience. Ultimately it made no difference, if a character was male or female. Which was perhaps the point of the whole idea.
What I did find a bit difficult with the audiobook: Telling the other characters apart. And it was slightly annoying that I couldn’t see the spelling of the various names and places.
I liked the timeline alternating from chapter to chapter. The story only really took off for me with the convergence of both plotlines. I liked the story before that, too. But the pace was a bit too leisurely. The last 30% of the book finally picked up speed.
My personal highlight was the development of the relationship between Breq and Seivarden. The conclusion of the book’s underlieing conflict in contrast to that was just ok. Smart, but nothing earth shattering. Nice ending. And I am fairly certain that I will pick up the next book.
Sorry for my fairly lame review, literary mastermind I am not. Bottom line, I liked the book. A bit slow at times. Good plot. Good world building. Interesting characters. Loved Ors, loved Seivarden and the relationship of her and Breq. The last few chapters were fun. One gripping moment full of sadness. Good stuff.