Ancillary Justice (review)

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Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

I really wanted to like Ancillary Justice (2013) (Kindle, Paperback, Audio) by Ann Leckie, but, alas, it was not to be. Let me rewind. I picked up the audio version of Ancillary Justice in early September of 2014. I had heard that it had won a Hugo, Nebula, and an Arthur C. Clarke Award and was curious about a novel that had won all three awards previously noted in one year by a debut author. Very impressive indeed. I was also intrigued by the idea of an AI main character that was a fragment of its original self. I started listening. And listening. I wondered what all the fuss was about. Honestly, if Ancillary Justice hadn’t won the awards it did and I hadn’t been listening to an audiobook, I wouldn’t have made it past the first few chapters. Why had this book won so many awards? I was bored, but I persevered, hoping that I would stumble across a plot or find some reason to care about the main character. Or any character, frankly. The writing was good, at least a sentence and paragraph level, but it lacked the ability to engage me. I should note that I enjoyed the challenge of the non-gender pronouns. Ann Leckie handled the challenging issue of translating a non-gendered language into the gender-encumbered English form. The most interesting part of Ancillary Justice was the worldbuilding, and that was tepid at best. I reluctantly laid it aside and pursued other reading material.

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