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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Large scale Sci-Fi.

Good story improving towards end. Can't wait taking on the next book in the series!

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Fantastic!

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.

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Great exploration of AI ideas. Flat ending.

What did you love best about Ancillary Justice?

The idea of AI running facilities was great.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Orn, completely loyal to the end.

Which character – as performed by Adjoa Andoh – was your favorite?

Eskia (spelling). Great voice. So many African intonations.

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Great story Great narrator

Really good narrator and an old school sci fi opera downloaded book 2 already!!!

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  • Jonathan
  • 11-16-14

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.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • C. R. Broadhead
  • 03-19-15

Stick with it

Any additional comments?

Found this very confusing and irritating, but then listened again! Something I don't do very often.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • J D C TAYLOR
  • 03-19-15

Excellent narrator

Sucks you in as it builds up to a great ending with a really classy hero/heroine.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Kaggy
  • 10-06-15

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 09-11-14

Brilliant! A great story and characters

What made the experience of listening to Ancillary Justice the most enjoyable?

Narration was excellent, full of depth and really bought the characters to life. The story moved well and kept true to its central premise.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

What does Adjoa Andoh bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Its not how I listen to audiobooks in general but I think it benefitted from occasional breaks to let the concepts sink in.

Any additional comments?

I'd recommend this and I can't wait for the sequel.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Lulu
  • 04-29-15

Excellent narration

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.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Animar
  • 10-26-14

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.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • I Asimov
  • 10-07-15

Just okay

I listened to this book because of the huge number of awards it got. Ann Leckie is technically an excellent writer and the narrator did a very good job with lots of different accents etc for the characters. However although overall I quite enjoyed this book I found it quite dry and I'm not sure why it has won so many awards. I am going to carry on with the series though!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Gary Sereno
  • 09-12-15

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.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Norma Miles
  • 07-09-15

"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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amy
  • 08-12-16

Narration superb

Adjoa's narration of this book did more that bring it to life; it created life. Unbelievable talent. Though the story itself started a little slowly and was heavier than I prefer on audio (I tend to leave that sort of book to paper), the bodies and accents and on point portrayal of JoT drew me along until the end, by which time I'd laughed, cried, and fallen in love with every character.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • A Partington
  • 08-02-16

Brilliant Book, and a fantastic performance!

Any additional comments?

A brilliantly written adventure, with an intriguing premise! Breq is the last remaining part of a ship AI and is a very engaging character. This audiobook really kept me listening and is very suspenseful all the way through. The universe of the novel is well realised and seems plausible. Breq's difficulty with gender pronouns is a brilliant touch, which, while a little confusing at first really makes sense and is treated very consistently. The implied languages, societies, politics, religions and technology all hang together well. The different accents used by the Adjoah Andoh for the various characters were excellent and helped make sense of the social interactions in the story, indeed Adjoah certainly reads the book really well and made Breq a very believable character who engaged my sympathy. I thoroughly recommend this audiobook!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ilse Scheepers
  • 07-23-16

Fantastic audiobook

I already loved this book when I read it in print, and Adjoa Andoh's reading made it even better. Exceptional narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • brandon
  • 01-30-15

Great story once you get into it.

There is a fantastic story here and having finished it, it is clear why Ancillary Justice has taken so many awards. There is a lot to wrap your head around in the beginning, including the sometimes erratic use of personal pronouns, but it is definitely worth pushing through to the point where it all starts to fit together.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • emmoff
  • 11-17-16

Delicious space opera

Breq used to be a spaceship, or at least a fragment of the spaceship known as Justice of Toren. The spaceship controlled a large amount of ancillarys (corpse soldiers), conquered humans turned into Artificial Intelligences. Justice of Torrens was a multi bodied powerful AI also with a human crew and captain and conquering for the Radchaai Empire. Now she is just Breq, a singular AI being with full memories of her past. Breq wants revenge.
The first person narrative is brilliant especially as the novel jumps from past to present.
A debut novel no less, it certainly stays with you. Not stock standard by any means, thoughtful and provocative.
Liked Adjoa Andoh's narration so much that I listened to more books narrated by her.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Suzanna
  • 05-31-16

Complex and innovative science fiction at its best

This is a really interesting book. I found the audio book much easier to follow than the written book. This is a universe where great ships, space stations and cities are run by computer intelligences, who may have hundreds of flesh bodies, linked to the central intelligence. What happens if one body is cut off? What happens if a copy of the personality is changed? Read this book and find out!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 09-30-15

Automatically bought Book 2

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it is science fiction (i.e. not fantasy). It covers the social side as well. Well written and well read. Scratches my CJ Cherryh's Downbellow-verse itch.

What other book might you compare Ancillary Justice to, and why?

Hmm, the likes of Downbellow Station, Merchanter's luck and Rimrunner, all my favourite SF

Which character – as performed by Adjoa Andoh – was your favourite?

All are done well, she uses several accents and voices.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Indeed, though work and sleep rudely interrupted

Any additional comments?

The best pure social SF that I have read/listened to in a long time. Is also easy to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank
  • 05-18-15

Not for me

An obviously well written book but just not my cup of tea... too sic-fi heavy for me. Other reviewers said it got better half way through but I couldn't make it that far.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 05-17-15

Can't praise it enough

Awesome story in a unique and deep universe.

Loved the concepts and the way the narrative came out.

Beautiful novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Katy
  • 04-27-15

Ancillary Confusion

The narrator did a good job distinguishing the voices.
The story was convoluted and confusing. The AI of a ship is in it's last remaining body. It's true hard core sci-fi, in that it's so alien and confusing that you have to listen to half the book to get what is actually going on.
Yes it's a novel idea, and maybe that why it won so many awards, but it's slow to get to the action, and it's only by the very end of the book that you are actually getting into it - maybe worth it, if it was going to be a long series and you really wanted to get into it, but I've been put off and won't bother with the sequel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful