Formerly an ancillary body of a warship called Justice of Toren, Breq – an AI in a human body – has been cut off from the rest of herself and pursue her dangerous mission alone. Alternating storylines show how Breq came to be separated from Justice of Toren and, alternately, her self-imposed mission reaching a head nearly 20 years later.
After reading ANCILLARY JUSTICE last year, I fell in love with what I found the most engaging sci-fi novel I’d read since DUNE. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, I was most fascinated by the perspective shifting between the alternating storylines. In the “past” timeline, Justice of Toren‘s point of view is incredibly inclusive, and though it’s told in first person, the storytelling feels closer to omniscient, as the ship’s almost all-knowing AI perceives and dispels all sorts of information about the humans on board. In the “present” timeline, it shifts to a significantly more narrow perspective, as Breq is cut off from all the tools once held at her disposal.
Normally, I’m not a space opera sort of reader, but any truly engaging book will pull me in, and ANCILLARY JUSTICE is an incredibly engaging read – one that makes the reader do some work, but be happy about doing so in the end.
Several members of the book club, including Lillie and Joan, agreed that ANCILLARY JUSTICE was “smart” sci-fi – “I didn’t feel like I was being spoon-fed.” Most agreed the world was rich and carefully crafted, and the different locations Breq visited all showed up in different people’s favorites.
Katie thought one major theme in the book was the idea of truth changing over time; others appreciated the way the Radchaai sucked in other religions to create a constantly evolving religion.
Each person in the club mentioned enjoying ANCILLARY JUSTICE and many look forward to its sequel, ANCILLARY SWORD, out October 2014.
April 2014 Title: SAINTS by Gene Luen Yang
During the Boxer Rebellion, Four-Girl finds a place and a name in the Chinese Christian community and learns through visitations from Joan of Arc. But China is becoming a dangerous place for Christians, and soon she must decide what her faith truly means to her.
What did you think of ANCILLARY JUSTICE?