Sunday, May 25, 2014
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
The first of this year’s Hugo-nominees. The first book of a new series by a new author. This was a pretty promising start. The plot is pretty complex and little backstory is explained at the beginning. The main character is an AI from a destroyed space ship, who is “wearing” an “ancillary” body, an “empty” human from a conquered world. She (for most part everyone is referred as “she” as the main language the characters speak doesn’t make the distinction – just like Finnish) rescues a former crew member who doesn’t realize that her savior is not human and her former ship. The ship is a mission to find something really unusual and rare. At the beginning, the chapters alternate with flashbacks. For some reason I much preferred the “current events” to the flashbacks. Even with the flashback only a modest amount of information of the world and its’ workings was presented – a lot was left for the sequels, and it seems the world will change significantly after the events in this book. The writing was pretty nice and enjoyable and the plot was interesting in spite of cold turkey method of exposition. There was surprisingly little about the ethical considerations about using ancillary body driven by AI:s for war fare even though the changing of that practice was one of the plot points. This will probably be pretty high on my ballot. Well, there is at least one, probably two nominees which will be below “no award” even before I have read them, just because I consider their nomination as an abomination.