Ramble: 30-Days of Books #1

I love books. I love words.

And well I thought I’d share some of thoughts on books and words. Who knows maybe it will inspire me to get back to writing.

I came across a 30-day book challenge and thought I would walk through my responses and ask anyone reading to join in with a comment.

Day 1 and the first prompt is:
Title of the best book you have read in the last year

Define year as you will for this – I figure anytime between January 1st, 2019 and today is the “last year”. Time is an ambiguous concept unless you state calendar dates!
I will borrow some words from Wikipedia to start:
Best book I read in the last year was “Ancillary Mercy” (2015) written by Ann Leckie. It is the final novel in her “Imperial Radch” space opera trilogy, which began with Ancillary Justice (2013) and was followed by Ancillary Sword (2014).

I picked up the first book – Ancillary Justice out of boredom and the first book just grabbed me with cybernetic tentacles! The first book in the series received much praise and won many awards: the Hugo, Nebula, BSFA, Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards; plus many more nominations.
Ancillary Mercy concludes the story arc and leaves things open for future books (and I haven’t checked maybe that has already happened!)

The story arc follows the tale of a ship AI that uses modified humanoids as eyes and ears. The technology of the Radch relies on complex spaceships that are sentient AI systems. The AI on the ship “Justice of Toren” realizes that there is a conspiracy and in order to survive downloads as much of itself into a single host. And then great adventure follows!

I really enjoyed the voice of the main character and the way the story is told with things happening now; and then looping back to how we arrived here. The layering works well. I also enjoyed the “genderless” nature if the space society and that the only pronoun for humaoids are she/her. It made for a subtle change in perspective on my part on my expectation for characters and how they behaved.

I won’t spoil the story for anyone that hasn’t read the books. I will just say that in the end it becomes apparent that sometimes people – and ships – aren’t who you think they are!


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