Book reviews / Science Fiction

Book review: Ancestral Night

This book. What can I say. Well, I enjoyed the last couple hundred pages. Unfortunately it was 500 pages.

Broadly, it’s about some space salvagers where something goes wrong, and then hijinks ensue. But mostly it’s about feelings. ENDLESS PAGES OF FEELINGS.

I don’t mind feelings, I have lots of reviews where I HAVE ALL THE FEELS HAPPEN. But usually it’s because it is earned. The story and character development go hand in hand so at the end I’m a blubbering mess (see Gods of Jade and Shadow). But this was a book that just went into infinite, boring, detail about feelings.

I think the worst part is, that none of it was needed. I think I would have had more sympathy for the main character (Haimey) if I hadn’t been bored out of my fucking mind for the first 300 pages. She isn’t even the most interesting character! In my opinion the AI, Singer, is the most interesting character (aren’t they all?) Why couldn’t have it just turned into Haimey and Cheeirilaq (think like an enormous sentient space praying mantis) being all detective-y. Their relationship was fun and interesting. More of that. Less of 100 pages of Haimey and Space Pirate talking for literally forever.

And because we spend sooooo much tiiiimmmeee reliving one particular character’s trauma, all the science fiction-y bits just seem rushed and confused. And it’s complicated science-y fiction-y bits at the end with nano-particulate ships, supercomputers in space, space pirates, science-y fiction-y mystery fun. But rushed.

But you only get that reward by turning it into a hate read at about page 100. Also, I took an immediate dislike to Haimey, which is unfortunate as it’s told entirely in the first person from her perspective.

And because there was no story but just talk for ages, I started to get annoyed (irrationally) with the change in words (dia instead of day) that weren’t enough to be interesting but few enough just to be annoying. Usually I enjoy that sort of thing, but it just irked in this context.

It could have been shorter, is what I’m saying.

Might read some non-fiction for a bit.

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