Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice

by Ann Leckie
4.1 58


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Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

The only novel ever to win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards and the first book in Ann Leckie's New York Times bestselling trilogy.

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy.

Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.

In the Ancillary world:
1. Ancillary Justice
2. Ancillary Sword
3. Ancillary Mercy

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316246620
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: 10/01/2013
Series: Imperial Radch Series , #1
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 67,629
Product dimensions: 5.74(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.13(d)

About the Author

Ann Leckie has worked as a waitress, a receptionist, a rodman on a land-surveying crew, a lunch lady, and a recording engineer. The author of many published short stories, and former secretary of the Science Fiction Writers of America, she lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, children, and cats.

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Ancillary Justice 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not certain this will be the Hugo winner in 2014, but I feel confident in predicting that this will be one of the finalists. Leckie has crafted a gripping space opera story while updating the genre with modern SF sensibilities. She seamlessly integrates her flashback story structure with well-executed immersion into the universe of the Radcha. There's more than a few "We aren't in Kansas anymore" moments scattered throughout the novel which, rather than breaking that immersion, help add to the feeling of being in this place and time. Her treatment of gender and sexuality is both front and center, but never overbearing. This is partly accomplished by skimping on the physical descriptions of the characters, both primary and secondary, made possible by the unique viewpoint character. She also deftly handles the novel concept of that viewpoint character being, at times simultaneously, a single individual, a gestalt mind bridging 20 individual bodies, and a starship. The story is brought to a satisfying conclusion, but it's clear she has more to tell us about this person and this world; I look forward to seeing the remainder of the tale unfold.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peter f. Hamilton's commonwealth books are amazing. Dan Simmons Hyperion books were really good too. Vernor Vinge Deepness in the Sky omg. This.......... I dont get it. I've never disagreed with other reader's reviews before but this is not great writing.
mcummings More than 1 year ago
It is no small feat that this is a novel narrated by a selfless AI who is also the most poignant personality. For me, books have flavors, superficial resonances that can usually be expressed verbally as “this books reminds me of FOO, but with BAR.” What Ann Leckie has accomplished in her debut novel is to give us a story that has all of the flavor markers and hallmarks of a classic C. J. Cherryh novel from the 1980’s, with the poignancy of a contemporary story. The novel is first and foremost a top notched space opera. But what has been fascinating for readers is that the language Leckie has chosen to use bring up questions of gender. This is certainly not the first book to talk to gender – even LeGuinn’s Left Hand of Darkness wasn’t the first genre book to go there. Leckie’s fresh approach, though, is in giving us a future society where gender is rendered equal not by neutering it, but by neutralizing it. By removing the bisect of male and female and using only the female gender to reference everything, the society of the Radch blurs the line. By submerging Breq, our AI product of Radch society, into other cultures, we begin to see the how arbitrary some attributes of gender are, and how much they can complicate what should otherwise be a simple worldview. One of the oldest tales is the tale of vengeance. What is justice, then, but vengeance wrought legal? But what if the system, the ruling mind that defines what is right and legal, is itself what has gone awry? Is the vengeance of ancillary component still justice? I am probably reading too much into this play of words between the title and the straightforward goal of Breq, but these are the kinds of thoughts you have when reading Ancillary Justice. Its really refreshing to find a book that satisfies both my simple interests (Space Opera with boom!) while still being thought provoking. And there was plenty of explosions and gun play. Just in case you were worried. Ancillary Justice was a wonderful read, and I look forward to more in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I began reading this in fits and spurts, which is not the best way to start any book, but about a third of the way through I finally wrapped my head around who and what the main character was and really started enjoying it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely nothing to read here. Move along home.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing novel. Concepts and views in a manner to keep you wanting more. The characters and subjects are expressed in way that allows you to feel their experiences. I have not read anything quite like it in a long time. I can see why this trilogy has won the highest honors in sciecnce fiction. After purchacing the first segment I immediately purchaced the rest of the trilogy.
Davidinwonderland More than 1 year ago
Brilliant. But, flawed. Deserving of a Hugo and Nebula award for it's magnificent world building and uniqueness, but sometimes it just hurt my poor feeble brain trying to figure out what was going on. Like Alistair Reynolds' early books, I enjoyed my confusion. Hopefully, like Reynolds later books, she'll clue us lesser minds into what's going on. I'll keep reading her cause I'd rather be challenged than spoken down to.
Pixiestyx More than 1 year ago
I received a free early review copy of Ancillary Justice, and I'm so glad that happened! The description had sounded interesting, and it definitely turned out to be my type of book. Leckie creates just enough mystery surrounding One Esk and Justice of Toren to keep you interested, but there are enough flash backs to help answer those questions when the timing is right. There's no sense of "too much suspense" or "too many questions"; it's nicely balanced. There is a large span of time covered, but handled in such a way that you don't feel as though you have missed anything significant. I really liked Breq/One Esk as a heroine, and Sieverian grew on me over time. This world of 1000 year old starships and their ancillaries fascinates me - excited that book 2 is available for pre-order and can't wait for it to be released in the fall!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An utterly entertaining scifi novel, which does what scifi is supposed to do, provide the reader with a unique conception of a future society while challenging our own understanding of life. The philosophical question of self/identity, spread throughout the book is well done and of course the plot is fun. A new protagonist that sticks out among the crowd of tropes endemic in so many works. One of the best books all year, the only drawback is having to wait for more. Highly recommended.
Anonymous 14 days ago
90 percent back story, 10 percent sstisfying action. Too much detail and silly names and dune - like family house hierarchy. Breq was great ending great.
pjb0222 7 months ago
The_Mechanic More than 1 year ago
After 3 tries at reading this I was able to get to page 40 before I gave up for good. After 32 pages I wanted the main protagonist to die just to shut it up, but I did find it consistently annoying. It is just heavy handed preaching with no story to support the preachy, there is no room to even let a story develop between the proselytizing. There is no back story to let you know where this is coming from, but men are strange and sinister. Because there is no story to drive along there is no pacing, it feels like the beginning of a Zane Grey novel, where the entire first chapter describes a purple sage bush, only the first 2 chapters are spent on misused pronouns and little else. When I buy a book I want to be entertained, there is no entertainment to be had in this book, it doesn't even try to preach to you, it preaches at you, your participation in this book and reader dynamic is neither needed nor wanted. If you want to be entertained and escape from this world for awhile, find a different book.
Klapaucjusz More than 1 year ago
I thought it impossible to find sci-fi book that is original. I was wrong, this book is. The book’s short description did not appeal to me at first. Berg is an ancillary, a “corps soldier”, a human body that is a part of the huge ship, controlled by and being a part of ship’s electronic brain. And then suddenly…she is not. The ship is a part of huge army that invades new planets eventually making them a part of the huge Radch Empire. But I got fascinated by the story after first few chapters and could not stop reading. One among many peculiar things is that Berg does not distinguish between genders and story is told in Berg voice. So I kept guessing the gender of main characters through the whole book. It was not annoying; it just added to book’s charm and my amusement. Book is amazing, it is a must read for all sci-fi fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read even if a little heady or strange with language and names. That didn't throw me. Want to read more now.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
I got about half way through and couldn’t do it anymore and gave up because of a couple of reasons. The story reads more like it could be a historical fiction than a sci-fi novel as there is very little…sci-fi-ish-ness(?). Where is all the amazing bits of future technology? AI transferred in human form, interesting but a bit contrite for sci-fi. Where are all the amazing planets and alien spices? Ice Devils? Doesn’t exactly make me think “hey the author put a TON of thought into that one”. To be honest I felt like it (aside from the artic setting of the future time line) we could be talking about Egyptians and their beliefs as much as we could be talking about an alien human race. Second is I didn’t think it was very well written. I never felt as if I was part of the story. When I read a book like this I want to feel the cold, taste the (apparently very crappy) food, visualize the scenery but I never got enough to work with. Then the author tries to be cute with the gender issue where everyone is a “she” until they’re referred to as a “he” for a while then back to “she”. I can see someone wanting to stir debate about how people see certain characters but to be honest if I want a book that will make me think deeply I’m not going to pick up sci-fi book. Quite frankly it felt gimmicky and I’m not sure how it helps with someone’s enjoyment of the book which is primarily why I read books, for enjoyment. Other people loved it and that’s cool but it wasn’t for me.
catburglar More than 1 year ago
Interesting and enjoyable; very well-written. Narrated in first person, but the protagonist often describes her other ancillaries in third person. All characters are evidently female, although some are referred to as male in some of the story’s languages. The story is enjoyably cerebral, possibly because much narrative is interleaved within the dialogue, and the narrative is the protagonist’s thoughts, told in first person, without italics.
TRFeller More than 1 year ago
This is last year’s Hugo, Arthur C. Clarke, and Nebula winner. The publisher did not make it available in last year’s Hugo Award packet, so I have only now gotten around to reading it. “Ancillary” refers to a human being whose mind has been wiped out and replaced with an artificial intelligence by the Radch, a galactic empire. Normally, all the ancillaries are slaves of a massive artificial intelligence located on a starship, but Breq’s starship, Justice of Toren, was destroyed and she is on a quest for vengeance. Chapters alternate between the time before the starship was destroyed and nineteen years later. This is the first book in her Imperial Radch series. This book is difficult to read, because the author does not use any masculine pronouns, such as “he” or “his”, although the reader eventually deduces that there are male characters. I found this gimmick to be distracting and irritating and think that it detracted from this otherwise excellent story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The premise was very original but it moved a bit slowly. I'll be reading the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I waited to pull the trigger on this book for quite a while, mostly due to some of the more negative or lukewarm reviews. I'm happy to say that I took the chance and got it. A lot of peoples' issues with it seem to be with the way sexual pronouns are used. For me, this was not an issue. It made things a bit confusing in the early going but is explained satisfactorily fairly soon and fits the story neatly. I read a couple reviews also complaining about the pace. I find this hard to understand. True, there isn't a lot of "action" through the first half or so of the book, but the story and the characters' backgrounds are built nicely and it moves along well, in my opinion. If you want a Star Wars book, read a Star Wars book. I have just purchased the second in the series, Ancillary Sword, and highly recommend this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JDBrink More than 1 year ago
This is a multi-award winning novel, and it's easy to see why. Leckie does an amazing job of creating a far-flung future empire with deep cultural details. Her main character is a very cool kind of Pinocchio, a character who was previously an AI with control over hundreds of bodies simultaneously who, through events surrounding a similar kind of duplicitous conspiracy, has now been reduced to but a single body. The plot of the book involves politics that reflect our own, with two forces that appear the same from the outside (are in fact the very same person with multiple bodies herself) waging a silent war against each other. (Sounds like the parties within the U.S. government, doesn't it?) It's an intelligent read with lots of cool SF aspects and steady character development. My only big criticism is the pacing of this novel. There were times in the middle and latter half of the book that I wanted to give up on it. It just wasn't moving forward at a rewarding pace and at times felt bogged down in the details and traveling. (And now that I say that, perhaps that makes it Tolkien-esque, which could be a high compliment, I suppose.) A thoroughly developed, original book, but I sometimes found it challenging to stay invested in the story. 3.75 to 4 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though somewhat confusing at times, the author deftly crafts a vision of a future where the dominant human culture is politically correct to the extreme. Gender is not only ambiguous in clothing/make up/body enhancements, it is no longer differentiated in language. Government and military jobs are filled using an aptitude test that everyone accepts. But not everything is as it seems...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago