Review: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie


The Justice of Toren was a colossal starship run by an artificial intelligence. That intelligence also linked thousands of human soldiers, each soldier’s mind completely run by the AI. These AI-run soldiers are known as ancillaries.

In an act of treachery, the Justice of Toren is destroyed, and the AI—now going by the name of Breq—is a single human body filled with unanswered questions and a burning desire for vengeance.

Ancillary Justice is the only novel ever to win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. Newspapers nationwide heaped praise on it.

And you know what? It’s a really good book. Clever, fun, inventive, occasionally shocking, and overall a great read with fascinating characters. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

However, I was disappointed because all that praise made me think was going to be one of the most amazing science fiction books ever written, and that my life would be fundamentally different after reading it. It was good, but it wasn’t that good.

So, just make sure your expectations are a little more realistic than mine were, and you’ll probably love Ancillary Justice.

Recommendation: Get it at the library. Then if you like it, buy it. There’s a good chance you’ll like it more than me (now that you’ve been warned) and will want the whole trilogy sitting on your shelf.

3 thoughts on “Review: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

  1. I loved it too: until the ending. Felt as if she’d run to the end of the allotted words so had to just wrap it up however she could. Even more so in book 2. Enjoyed it, loved the concept, but not ‘the best sci-fi’ book, and definitely not life-changing.

  2. Actually, one of the reasons I avidly read your reviews, Dan, is that I’ve learned to ignore the alleged distinction of a book winning an award. All too often book awards are politically-driven.

    I’ve encountered people who read only award-winning books, and I just can’t understand that mentality.

    I much prefer a reviewer who simply makes a case for the readability of a book, as you do with this blog.

  3. I started reading this but for some reason, I struggled with the gender side of it as I was never really confident in what character I was reading. I wanted to enjoy this and i think i’ll return to it at a later date, i think. A rare DNF for me on this one, i’m afraid.

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