Ancillary Justice. By Anne Leckie. Orbit, 2013. 409 pages.
Winner of the Nebula, British Science Fiction, Locus, and Arthur C. Clarke awards, Ancillary Justice, the first book in the Imperial Radch series, is told from the perspective of One Esk, who once was Justice of Toren, a starship containing a network of thousands of ancillaries, or bodies used by the ship’s artificial intelligence. For the past twenty years, however, she has roamed the galaxy in one body, and is finally getting close to achieving her last remaining goal.
Through two knitted storylines, one in the present and the other twenty years prior, author Ann Leckie does the bulk of her world-building by giving readers the point of view of a ship initially foreign to the affairs of different races, politics, and gender. Justice of Toren, through her many ancillaries (but One Esk in particular) recalls it all, the result her present desire for justice. This space opera takes a slower pace than most, filled with reflective thoughts, rich dialogue, descriptive observations, and One Esk’s moving loyalty for her favorite Lieutenant, Awn.
Recommended for fans of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, Ancillary Justice is a thought-provoking science fiction novel which tackles issues of how race, politics, cultural ethnicity, gender, and humanity are defined.
Check it out at a library near you!