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Ratings and Book Reviews (19 467 star ratings
19 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
467
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 19 person found this review helpful

    19 people found this review helpful

    19 of 19 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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    Truly original

    A truly original book ina field where originality is rare. Loved this trilogy.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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    Great story, not much action.

    Great read, interesting and imaginative. Unique and well written. Sometimes confusing, not as much action as I expected.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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    A book I tried to like

    First, the good parts. The story had a detailed setting, many interesting concepts, and raised many ethical questions. The author incorporated A.I. and ancillaries fabulously into the narrative, and I especially enjoyed the parts during the protagonist's flashbacks where Leckie described how it might feel to have one's consciousness split over multiple bodies. The worldbuilding was creative and deserving of praise. That said, the writing made it a very, very slow read. It's not because the language is confusing -- you get used to it. Rather, the way the book was written bored me out of my mind. While the author demonstrates, several times, that she is capable of "show and not tell", over the majority of the book she still preferred to "tell" rather than "show". An example of this (with minor spoilers) is that throughout the book the protagonist repeatedly talks to other characters about "the incident on the planet Garsedd". The shooting of the officers involved in that incident was supposed to be the pivotal moment that not only caused the main conflict, but also caused the Radch Empire's citizens to begin to question their leader. Yet, never outside the protagonist's dialogue do you really get to see that type of impact. It's like the book is trying to trick you into thinking the world has a deep and rich history, but then you see through the trick immediately because the history doesn't affect anyone other than exactly three out of many characters in the story. There were some points where the book was good, but overall it was just a very frustrating experience. It felt like the author was trying too hard to be mysterious when she really didn't need to be. To be honest, I would've preferred it if there was just an info-dump in the beginning. The author would've had so much more space to expand and enrich upon the world she created that way.
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