Sunday, October 12, 2014

Review: Ancillary Sword

Ancillary Sword
by Ann Leckie

Format: Paperback, 354 pages
Publisher: Orbit
Cover Design: John Harris
Release Date: October 7, 2014
ISBN-13: 978-0316246651

Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship. Once a weapon of conquest controlling thousands of minds, now she has only a single body and serves the emperor.

With a new ship and a troublesome crew, Breq is ordered to go to the only place in the galaxy she would a agree to go: to Athoek Station to protect the family of a lieutenant she once knew - a lieutenant she murdered in cold blood.

The sequel to the multiple award-winning Ancillary Justice is a smaller story with a simpler, more straightforward plot, but it’s no less enjoyable for that.  The much-remarked upon use of gender pronouns in the first book is of course still used in this book, but it was either more toned or perhaps I was used to it this time so I hardly noticed it.  The “villain” that was revealed in the first book is also much less present in this book, as is the whole bit about distributed consciousness. 

So what is this book about?  It has much less space opera and is much more about politics and social divisions.  When Breq arrives at Athoek Station, she has a dramatic effect on the political balance of power, both on the station and on the planet the station orbits.  There is a good deal of examination of conquest, colonization, and militarization, and the consequences thereof. 

I didn't mind the differences in Ancillary Sword and really enjoyed the book.  I eagerly look forward to the next book in the series.  Strongly recommended.

Rating: 8/10.


Maria said...

I Didn't know you were actively reviewing again. I haven't checked in a while. That cozy you are reading has a giant plot hole in it...

Maria P. said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this a lot, I was wondering what you thought about it. It's one of the books I'm really looking forward to reading.

Benjamin said...

Maria, yep, I started the blog again this past August, though I've only really started reviewing again about now.

Thanks for the warning on the cozy. I'm only partway through it at the moment.

Maria P., you're welcome. It's a little different from the first book, but definitely worth reading.