Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel 2014
The spectacular debut novel nominated for every major science fiction award in 2014, Ancillary Justice is the story of a warship trapped in a human body and her search for revenge. Winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Nebula Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, a James Tiptree Jr. honour, and a Kitschie. Currently shortlisted for the Hugo Awards.
They made me kill thousands, but I only have one target now. The Radch are conquerors to be feared - resist and they'll turn you into a 'corpse soldier' - one of an army of dead prisoners animated by a warship's AI mind. Whole planets are conquered by their own people. The colossal warship called The Justice of Toren has been destroyed - but one ship-possessed soldier has escaped the devastation.
Used to controlling thousands of hands, thousands of mouths, The Justice now has only two hands, and one mouth with which to tell her tale. But one fragile, human body might just be enough to take revenge against those who destroyed her.
©2013 Ann Leckie (P)2014 Hachette Audio
"Thrilling, moving and awe-inspiring" (Guardian)
"Signals the arrival of a hard science fiction author who just might fill the gap left by Iain M. Banks. Ancillary Justice is a highly original novel . . . an intelligent slow-burner. Highly recommended" (Independent on Sunday)
"You will be truly astounded at how Leckie has fully fleshed out a universe and is asking and attempting to answer the difficult questions that many authors never even address in science fiction" (Buzzfeed)
"Unexpected, compelling and very cool - Ann Leckie nails it. I've never met a heroine like Breq before. I consider this a very good thing indeed." (John Scalzi, Hugo Award-winning author of Redshirts)
"Total gamechanger. Get it, read it, wish to hell you'd written it. Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice may well be the most important book Orbit have published in ages" (Paul Graham Raven)
"Establishes Leckie as an heir to Banks and Cherryh" (Elizabeth Bear)
"It's not every day a debut novel by an author you'd never heard of before derails your entire afternoon with its brilliance." (Tor.com)
"Using the format of a SF military adventure blended with hints of space opera, Leckie explores the expanded meaning of human nature and the uneasy balance between individuality and membership in a group identity. Leckie is a newcomer to watch." (Library Journal)
"Leckie's novel cast of characters serves her well-plotted story nicely. This is an altogether promising debut." (Kirkus)
"Our #1 pick for the year's best science fiction or fantasy book . . . this Iain M. Banks-esque tale was the book that made us most excited about the future of science fiction in 2013." (io9.com)
"It engages, it excites, and it challenges the way the reader views our world. Leckie may be a former Secretary of the Science Fiction Writers of America, but she's the President of this year's crop of debut novelists. Ancillary Justice might be the best science fiction novel of this very young decade." (Staffer’s Book Review)
"The sort of book that the Clarke Award wishes it had last year ... be prepared to see Ancillary Justice bandied around a lot come awards season. (As it should be)." (Pornokitsch)
"Leckie uses familiar set pieces-an expansionist galaxy-spanning empire, a protagonist on a single-minded quest for justice-to transcend space-opera conventions in innovative ways. This impressive debut succeeds in making Breq a protagonist readers will invest in, and establishes Leckie as a talent to watch closely." (Publisher’s Weekly)
"Leckie's debut gives casual and hardcore sci-fi fans alike a wonderful read." (RT Book Reviews)
"First rate, rollicking space-opera with plenty of action, intrigue and adventure ... a fabulous debut." (The Skiffy and Fanty Show)
"A sharply written space opera . . . tackling ideas about politics and gender in a way that's both engaging and provacative . . . a gripping read that's well worth a look." (SFX Magazine)
The sort of book you are excited to tell everyone you are reading. Complex and thought-provoking without sacrificing engaging plot. Could not stop listening. Narration was impeccable - great character voices and accents throughout. Added a sense of dry humour to the main character that really made her feel more "human". Highly recommended! I'm downloading the next one right now.
The idea of AI running facilities was great.
Orn, completely loyal to the end.
Eskia (spelling). Great voice. So many African intonations.
Sucks you in as it builds up to a great ending with a really classy hero/heroine.
"Interestingly feminist SciFi"
That headline might do the novel more harm than good but I mean it in a totally inclusive engaged way, I'm male and the book feels written by a woman in command of her view of the future, a future just a dystopian as a million others but there's something really different here, I was believing, the world created is complete and different while being relatable... OK I'm not writing this well, just try it, it's really intelligent.
The story isn't the easiest to follow but the narrator's use of accents helps a great deal. She does a brilliant job with the complexity of the names, particularly the lesser. I'm not sure the book is up to all the hype -- I've read more exciting SF books but it's intriguing enough. Worth a listen.
"space opera for beginners"
Well, it was descibed as a space opera but rather lacks the depth and complexity of its peers that define the segment. Unfortunatetly the story did not grip and the associated narration was vaguely soporific leading to lapses in attention. An average story and reading.
"Once in a while comes a book with rave reviews ..."
... that leaves you wondering why.
For around 3/4s to 4/5s of the book it bounces between the past and the present so you know what is happening and why. Nothing so wrong in this but in both cases, at no point is there any pace or excitement. The story just goes on like a second paragraph making you wonder when the story is really going to start. Even when it starts to pick up it still feels flat and unexciting. It's more a fantasy novel with a sci-fi back ground, but again that is no problem if it works, here it's just fluff on the side, what you're left with is almost a monologue.
The final chapter was actually quite good and lead to excitement over the next book, but I won't be going there as that could well be the same, lots of chapters of nothing then one or two leading you on to the next stage.
There is then the actual reading of the story. For the most part Adjoa Andoh does a very god job, however she uses different accents to fit different character backgrounds. One of them is rasta in style and I found that one very hard at times to listen too as words became indistinct. I think at times she was just forcing it too much.
In summary, I for one can not understand the fuss. This is not a well written story with a sci fi background, but more a plod along leaving you trying to stay awake.
"Brilliant! A great story and characters"
Narration was excellent, full of depth and really bought the characters to life. The story moved well and kept true to its central premise.
The plot is excellent, how the lead character deals with and explains her/its predicament is brilliant, really keeps you in, and surrounded by, the story.
She understands the book extremely well, she uses the subtle intonations of her voice to perfectly build the characters and really helps you get a mental image of them.
Its not how I listen to audiobooks in general but I think it benefitted from occasional breaks to let the concepts sink in.
I'd recommend this and I can't wait for the sequel.
"Clever, big idea space opera with some smart ideas"
Some of the reviews have compared Ann Leckie to Iain Banks, but I think Arthur c Clarke is a more apt comparison. Leckie has none of the world building disease that can both enliven and infect banks novels, instead her style is very minimalistic in its exploration of the world in which her characters inhabit. Her style reminds me more of Arthur Clarke's foundation series than anything Banks has written. Very enjoyable, and a delightful and very skilful take on casting nearly all the primary characters as female or gender neutral. The plot falls a bit flat in spots, but still a very very worthwhile read for anyone who's enjoyed proper big idea sci fi. Can't wait for the next one.
"Left me divided but intrigued"
I can't really decide if this is really rather brilliant or whether I have been taken in by the glowing reviews. Certainly the idea that the main character is a spaceship is compelling, and I really was quite won over by this singing warrior. My problem is that I did find the first three quarters of this story incredibly confusing, with characters occupying multiple bodies, and being referred to as both male and female. I found it only really started to make sense towards the end. I also thought there was a slight corniness to the story line but maybe I am just being cynical. One part of me wants to go on and listen to the rest of the series and another part thinks once is enough. I am full of admiration for the narrator who had to tackle some really tongue twisting names but did think some of her accents were distractingly peculiar.
If you are a lover of science fiction and are able to devote your complete attention to the story then I think you would find this rewarding.
""save it for when it will make a difference""
This is a beautifully crafted story, a journey planned, one step at a time, by the sole surviving unit of a destroyed ship to take revenge on the destroyer. The present travel is interspersed with the revisiting of what came before and how the decision to embark on this action occurred. As another reviewer has commented, Ms Leckie's style is reminiscent of Iain M Banks with lovely prose, great imaginative plotting with room for philosophical pondering and, of course, horrendous given names. Given especially this latter, the narrator does a remarkable job and her dialogue characterisations are excellent. However, her voice did not seem to me to quite capture that of the main protagonist. But this is a small point.
Although Ancillary Justice is the first in a series, it has a satisfying ending and can stand alone. However, I, for one, cannot wait for book two and have already downloaded Ancillary Sword.
"Well that's ruined sci-fi for me forever."
As a first experience of the sci-fi genre Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice was too good, to the point that all other reads seem under-developed; lacking the presence, character development and world building of this fantastic novel.
Initially the book is challenging, and that is why the audio book is so fantastic because it doesn't give the listener time to dwell too much on what the author is trying to do. Once I relaxed into the strange narrative structure and the constant use of "she" which was initially confusing, I found a novel that made comment on class, race and privilege in ways I had never read before. It was an angry read, with a furious murderous protagonist who was none the less deeply sympathetic and likable. I have listened to it twice and the second time I had to resist the urge to begin the novel again a third time.
It is read brilliantly by Andoh as well. She captures the accents of tyrannical overlords, newly promoted captains and racist colonists each in such a way that it clarified exactly what was going on in each situation in ways that I never would have fully developed as I read. The songs as well that Breq is always singing to herself are realised as little ditties that constantly come out and give the book an emotional centre that might have been lost otherwise.
Get this book, I don't even mind that it has made a whole genre pale in comparison.
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