Book reviews / Science Fiction / Top picks

Book review: Ancillary Mercy

So this is the third in the series, following Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword and it is as excellent and delightful as the other two in the series.

It takes place in the same space station as Ancillary Sword but with a whole host of additional problems (including a showdown with Anaander Mianaai who is still really quite pissed off with our ancillary hero, Breq.

I adore Fleet Captain Breq. I love the introduction of Sphene and what happens with Station itself. I think the personality injected into ships, stations and Breq herself is so fantastic. They are more rounded characters than some characters you find in other sci-fi. You feel for them, you feel stressed for them and you want them to win against the tide of forces arrayed against them.

I also like the Presager, especially the translators. I guess it demonstrates how impossibly aliens could be. Whenever the Translator and Breq were having a conversation, us following along as readers, we think Breq knows the answer and then the Translator basically says ‘you know nothing.’ It is intriguing.

But I think what I like best about the series is the sense of justice that Breq exudes, what she fights for. That everyone needs to be treated equal as Radchaii, no matter what their circumstance. She’s unflinching (but oh so polite) in the face of people trying to undermine her based on their own prejudice (or perhaps alliance).

I absolutely adore the universe Ann Leckie created with this series and I think I’d probably squee very loudly if it ever got made into a television show or film or whatever. I just hope they’d maintain enough of the politeness and ceremony that makes the conversations so interesting and the accusations so round about. It is delightful.

If you haven’t read the series, I highly recommend them. Cumulatively they’re shorter than one book by Neal Stephenson and yet so unquestionably better.

5/5 stars (as usual and well deserved).

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