Ancillary Justice

Imperial Radch #1

Paperback, 416 pages

English language

Published Oct. 29, 2013 by Orbit.

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4 stars (10 reviews)

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.

8 editions

Review of 'Ancillary Justice' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

J’ai eu du mal à me mettre dedans, les règles grammaticales sur le genre étant non seulement confusante mais désagréable (j’ai eu l’occasion de lire un livre où tout était genré au féminin « elle pleut », « la bébé », mais ce n’est pas pareil).
Après quelques chapitres (et ayant appris que la version originale était aussi « perturbante » et que ce n’était pas une aberration de traduction), j’ai enfin profité du livre.
Une histoire complexe et très bien ficelée, originale, que j’ai trouvé très rafraîchissante.

Very good

4 stars

There's a lot of death and destruction happening throughout the book and the Radch is quite an evil Empire. Nevertheless, the two main characters grew on me quickly. Great world-building but done in a restrained manner. The story itself is quite the wild ride. It also stands on its own, despite being the first book in a trilogy.

Amazing exploration of transhuman and alien themes

5 stars

Leckie's novel explores so many different worlds and how the worlds see each other that it provides interesting insights into what makes something alien. The transhumanist space ship AI as a first-person character also asks questions about what it means to be alive. One of the central themes of a society with a genderless pronoun also forces the reader to consider if gender matters in this future world, while also examining why certain characters are expected to have a specified gender.

Review of 'Ancillary Justice' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

What a slow burner this book is. By the time you realize how really really good it is, you're more than halfway done, so it definitely requires patience.

The first-person narrator is Breq, who felt a bit like a prototype for our beloved Murderbot from the Martha Wells series. Breq is an ancillary, a human body controlled by the AI of a ship, in this case the Justice of Toren. Only Breq's ship no longer exists, so instead of having hundreds of bodies and eyes and all that comes with being the body of a ship, there's just her, on her mission to kill the Lord of the Radch, the leader of the Empire of Radch.

Along the way she gets stuck with Seivarden, one of her former officers who's struggling with substance abuse after waking up a 1000 years after her ship was destroyed.

In order to understand this …

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  • Fiction
  • Science fiction
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Intergalactic war
  • Space fiction
  • Tea
  • Cloning
  • Linguistics
  • LGBT+
  • Military