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[personal profile] cahn
4/5. So I read Ancillary Mercy! And I really liked it, because it was awesome! I still think Ancillary Justice is the best, for a number of reasons, not least that AJ's set up in the best vintage SF-style to slowly reveal the worldbuilding, and by the time of AM we already know pretty much the important bits of worldbuilding.

I really, really loved how everything came together at the end. Like, two-thirds of the way through I started to think there was no way she could tie it all together. And then she did!

Also, Station is my Absolute Favorite. I especially loved the parts where Station just, you know, by-the-by happened to give out, oh, random pieces of information, perfectly innocent responses to queries you didn't actually make, that might be helpful! And, oh, yeah, don't know how that compromising interview happened to be broadcast through all local Radch space...

Although Tisarwat is a close second. She is totally going to be running things!

And Sphene, of course, is a delight. (Let me pause briefly here to note that I highly suspect Ann Leckie of being a fellow shiny-lover, because who else would have named a major character Sphene?) My favorite line is "You're not my cousin any more." HA.

A couple of minor quibbles:

-The first third of the book (in addition to the entire previous book) was setup for the second third, and I found it honestly quite slow. It didn't matter a whole lot to me, but it did take me quite a long time to get through it. Once I got through the first third, it was very fast.

-So one thing that kind of stuck out to me after reading Baru Cormorant was how... nice.. this book is. No one we like dies! (I guess a couple of the red-shirts minor not-terribly-sympathetic characters die, but that's about it.) Even any of the Anaander Mianaais! In fact, not only does no one die, but there's definitely this idea that everyone except for Anaander Mianaai takes for granted that Randomly Killing People Is Bad, which is sort of... weird? Since in AJ the whole idea was that Randomly Killing People Isn't Bad in the Radch?

That being said, I haven't been in the mood for super grim lately and I was really quite okay with that, even if it struck me as slightly... not in character for the Radch.

-Along the same lines, this book wasn't as bad as AS for Social Justice Wins the Day hijinks, but I did side-eye a little the part where Breq gives Seivarden an Intimate Relationships lecture. I mean... AJ!Breq didn't really strike me as an expert in that sort of thing? But on the other hand, I expect being a ship probably does make you an expert in intimate human relationships, after enough years of seeing your humans blunder through them.

([ profile] ricardienne, I am also dying to talk to you about this -- for one thing, I want to know what you think about all the the republic vs. dictatorship and colonialism stuff!)

Date: 2015-11-05 12:49 pm (UTC)
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekingferret
See, I think most of the time Leckie is fucking with everyone with her Social Justice Wins the Day hijinks... She knows most of her audience is on board for them, and so she puts them in the mouth of a broken shipmind to say that this kind of stuff sounds good but it doesn't actually work as well as you'd think it would in an ideal world. I loved that after that conversation, Seivarden apologizes to Ekalu in a way that is just as full of classist slurs as before.

Date: 2015-11-09 12:54 pm (UTC)
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
From: [personal profile] seekingferret
wouldn't she still be steeped in their culture enough to barely even notice stuff like farm workers getting oppressed?

That's Leckie's genius. Why does Breq care about this stuff? Why is she such an enlightened figure who cares about the oppressed? BECAUSE LIEUTENANT AWN CARED. Leckie says it like 50 times in Mercy, Ships don't love other Ships, they love their favorites.

Date: 2015-11-06 05:24 am (UTC)
ase: Book icon (Books 2)
From: [personal profile] ase
Wasn't this great? (Of course I think it's great. It's got everything I like in a space opera.)

It's surprising to me how many people have zeroed in on Sphene's reaction to the egg song as a favorite line. I love it too; I wasn't expecting so many people to agree with my feelings about it.

I am compelled to gently quibble with one minor quibble. :-)

Since in AJ the whole idea was that Randomly Killing People Isn't Bad in the Radch?

Not quite, I think? Killing non-citizens doesn't evoke outrage, especially during annexations; harm to citizens is a Big Deal.

I do agree on the niceness: not only does no one really die, AM goes out of its way to avoid killing the head of Security during Anaander Mianaai's visit to Athoek Station.


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