Gods are people, too

The Raven TowerThe Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Audio: ★★★★★
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.

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What goes around comes around

The Snake's WifeThe Snake’s Wife by Ann Leckie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gods are meddling, again. Neither the gods or the people seem to be the better for it. There is a lot of suffering on all sides. Our main characters has to deal with his own share of suffering and horrific events. Leckie takes him into an interesting and surprising direction.

Great writing, depressing story though. Always a slight shimmer of hope in the distance, but ultimately everybody is pretty much doomed.

Another review mentions „What goes around comes around“, which is a great summary for this story! Very good, could not put it down. And as is often the case with really excellent short stories, I would have liked to have this as a novel, to be able to enjoy it for longer.

The Nalendar goes into a similar direction, but has a much lighter and playful tone. Plus it ends on a positive note.

Can be found here:

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Persistent gods

Uncanny Magazine Issue 2: January/February 2015Uncanny Magazine Issue 2: January/February 2015 by Lynne M. Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

„Nalendar“ by Ann Leckie

“Umri searched her memory for advise on being rid of a persistent god.“

Those pesky gods, not keeping their promises and dragging people into their business. Umri has enough problems (one, specifically) on her own…

What a fun read! If I wasn‘t a big fan of Ann Leckie already, this might have done it.

Can be found here at Uncanny Magazine:

And the interview going with it:

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Fabulous, give the woman another award!

ProvenanceProvenance by Ann Leckie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some nice plot-twists early on. At first the story comes off as a heist story, then moves into a murder mystery with a conspiracy plot and… moves on. Leckie’s world building is great. So complex and imaginative. And the plot just keeps making turns and twists and all of a sudden you are off into a totally different direction.

A little spoilerish from here on out…

I wonder if there will be a sequel? If so, I hope besides Ingray we will also see more of Tic and Garal. And the ambassador. She was a hoot. Spider or blob… The blob was awesome, by the way. She reminded me a little of one of the translators in the original trilogy. Comic relief, a bit scary, a lot weird and with deep insights. What great personalities Leckie creates!

Did those hairpins have some deeper meaning? I mostly just found them annoying. Are they supposed to showcase Ingray’s partial ineptitude at life? I am still trying to make up my mind about her. She’s not a very homogenous character. So insecure on one side and so shrewd on the other. But maybe that does fit with her upbringing.

Certainly a book with lots of food for thought. Only 4 stars though, as I got bored (a lot) in the middle. I want some Serbet, you can keep the Poik! Auto-buy for the next book, if there is one…

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Some fishsauce?

Ancillary Mercy (Imperial Radch, #3)Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lovely. I am sad that this is the end for the Imperial Radch. But then…

“Every ending is an arbitrary one. Every ending is, from another angle, not really an ending.”

Direct continuation of Ancillary Sword. A nice and fitting conclusion to the trilogy.

The humour and tongue-in-check of the dialogues was great and right down my alley. And Translator Zeiat made this novel, what a great character!

Loved Breq and how human she became in the last book. And not.

Loved the development of her relationship with Seivarden, who definitely did not have enough page time.

Loved the action sequences, loved the conversation about what makes one a significant being.

I will miss these characters, Athoek Station, the Undergarden… I would have loved to go through the ghost gate and meet the Presger.

Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy felt like one book and I think I liked them more than Ancillary Justice. The plot and characterizations were more intricate. Although I did like the plot of Ancillary Justice a lot, too, and the early days of Seivarden and Breq. I’ll need to think on that some more.

Some fish sauce in the meantime?

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