Ancillary Justice


I opted for this book because it kept popping up in the places I went, all with praise. I had held off originally because the description didn’t quite grab me enough, I didn’t think there was much of a story there. Just goes to show that you should follow your instincts.

This is a space opera, with a story spanning many planets and the fate of not just an empire, but its billions of citizens. Some is told in flashback, while we follow the protagonist on her journey in the present day.

Hollywood, indeed much of the media, is of the opinion that people can’t focus for more than a few seconds at a time these days, that you need a rapid cut or an explosion to keep their eyes from drifting back to their phones. It’s not true. Engaging characters will always hold our attention and this book is filled with them.

Along with the wonderfully deep and rounded people goes a complex culture and well-drawn landscapes. That was enough to keep me listening, and it had to be, because not much happens for ninety percent of the book.

We’re drip fed tiny amounts of information as we try to understand what has led the main character on this journey and what the goal of it actually is. The occasional rumple at the start soon gives way to a long, drawn out traipse across the pages.

Without such excellent writing I wouldn’t have hung around and this book would have disappeared without trace. That’s high praise.

Adjoa Andoh does an excellent job of delivering both the story and of keeping the multitude of characters separate to help you distinguish what is going on.

Although I have opted for three stars, it’s more like 3.5. I really did like it, but I don’t think I’ll be buying the next book in the series, which is the ultimate review.

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Reviewed: 27th May 2015