Monday, November 16, 2015

Review:: Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie

Title: Ancillary Mercy
Author: Ann Leckie
Series: Imperial Radch, #3
Format: Trade Paperback
Rating: ★★★★☆

The first thing I thought when I started Ancillary Mercy was, "Wow, I need to re-read this entire series." As I continued through, I began to remember more, but the urge to do a complete re-read continued. I'm just constantly amazed at Leckie's ability to balance action and politics, tea time and cuddle time. Oh, and the ending gave me everything that I ever wanted, so yeah. SPOILERS.
Spoilers spoilers spoilers.

So, when I wrote my Ancillary Sword review, I likened the series to a love child of Ursula K. LeGuin's Hainish Cycle and Iain M. Bank's Culture Series. The biggest difference between the Radch and the Culture, though (well, ignore the whole "the Culture is also a post-scarcity utopia" thing) is their treatment of AI. In the Culture, AIs are people. They have the same rights. In this series, they're property.

So, I mentioned spoilers?

Anyway, so, we're dealing with the overarching Anaander is feuding with herself plot and one of the Anaanders that's not so Breq-friendly shows up and is like, "Hello, I am evil!" Station doesn't like this. Breq doesn't like this. ...pretty much nobody likes this.

Some awesome action happens, but it turns out Breq has to turn herself in to (and not into, as I originally typed) Anaander because she can't see any other way to stop the bleeding. And how does she get herself out of that predicament?

Make the argument that AIs are Significant beings to the Presger translator. And the Presger translator is like "WELL I WILL HAVE TO GO AND TALK ABOUT THIS."

Yes. AIs. People. Good heartfeels.

...that was rambling about the plot, not a review.

The writing is pretty. The pacing is good. It's slow in parts, but felt right at the moment. THERE WAS CUDDLING THAT WAS WONDERFUL. The themes are well-built. Not everything is dark-gritty simply because some of the themes Ann Leckie is dealing with are dark.

OKAY FINE. I AM FAILING AT WRITING A REVIEW. Just... go read the series. It makes me happy.

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