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Ratings and Book Reviews (18 425 star ratings
18 reviews

Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 18 person found this review helpful

    18 people found this review helpful

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    Confusion is okay. Up to a certain point.

    I'm really on the fence about this ranking. I was reading this book with my friend Carrie, and she stopped about 50% of the way in. I found that stunning, given all the awards this book has received. When I was about 46% of the way through the book, I struggled to want to continue the book, but I did, and I'm glad I did, because I found the rest of the book interesting, if a little more confusing. I had gotten accustomed to being confused by some specific things. Look, I tell myself I love scifi, but this book worried me, because I began to think I truly did not like or appreciate true scifi. Other reviews on here make me feel a little better. I think the aspects I don't like the book aren't specific to scifi, but to good writing and fiction (or non-fiction) in general. For over half of this book, I read a chapter and found no desire to read the next one right away. Once the climax started up, I got interested and wanted to keep reading, but that's really pretty late. Of course, I think the ship/ancillary aspect is beyond cool. I also grew to understand and appreciate the different languages/different gender pronouns. It trips you up at first, but when you let it go and, really, stop noticing it, it's got an interesting effect. (And really, in the end, the biological sex of each person doesn't really matter. You know there are men and women, but who cares which character is which? Spoiler: no one's getting preggers here.) I think that's how it was for most of the book for me: I had to accept my confusion and lack of understanding and try to move on. Some things became clearer, while other things remained confusing but didn't seem too crucial. And there are some things that are typical in fiction that I generally dislike. The whole "so I told her the whole story" but didn't tell us because it wasn't time for the audience to know the whole story. Makes sense, but irritating, nonetheless. The rating really reflects my lack of engagement with the book. I mean, I can be confused and interested in a book. They aren't mutually exclusive concepts. But the interest wasn't there for what seemed like a really long time. I also found the language distant and less engaging (which apparently is part of the plan), and the only parts I liked were some of the dialogue near the end of the book. We'll see if I pick up the next one.
  • 12 person found this review helpful

    12 people found this review helpful

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    My favourite book this year

    I picked this book up based on a review I saw on the NPR website. I don't read a lot of sci-fi, but the premise sounded fascinating, and truth be told, I really liked the cover. This book is AMAZING. I have been raving about it to anyone who would listen (or was forced to), and will continue to do so. Ann Leckie has done a wonderful thing in writing this novel. The premise alone was cool, a main character who is not only an individual, but a group, and a warship? An AI with feelings? I wasn't sure how it would translate to text, would the character be interesting or engaging? Justice of Toren is likely one of the most fascinating characters I've read in a book in a long time. I read this book in a few days, and it was a struggle not to just drop everything and continue reading. Leckie experiments with a lot of things in this book, the language is probably the most noticeable and fascinating aspect of this book. The language of Radch uses female pronouns. Leckie successfully carries this through the whole book, and even addresses the various ways pronouns are used in other languages, through Justice of Toren, who often reminds herself that her usage must be accurate to avoid trouble. It's an impressive play on language usage in the book, and the perceptions of other languages to the non-native speaker. I could probably write a novel of my own to talk about how much I loved this book, but I'll leave it at this. This is easily the best book I've read in 2014.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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    Depth, beauty, intellectual.

    A delightful and intellectually challenging read,the story drops you in a world and takes you back and forth between times - but artfully, so artfully that by the time it wraps up you are left in wonder at how well-crafted the story was.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    Amazing characters

    Amazing story, deep characters and really the Scifi elements are secondary to the emotional connection you get with them. I can't wait to discover more of this world!
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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    After we lost Iain M Banks I assumed my days of reading decent transhuman AI were behind me. Thank goodness for Ann Leckie.

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