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Ancillary Justice

The Imperial Radch series, Book 1
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
Series: The Imperial Radch, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
4 out of 5 stars (930 ratings)

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Summary

The record-breaking debut novel that won every major science fiction award in 2014, Ancillary Justice is the story of a warship trapped in a human body and her search for revenge. 

Ann Leckie is the first author to win the Arthur C. Clarke, the Nebula and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in the same year.

They made me kill thousands, but I only have one target now.

The Radch are conquerors to be feared - resist and they'll turn you into a 'corpse soldier' - one of an army of dead prisoners animated by a warship's AI mind. Whole planets are conquered by their own people.  

The colossal warship called The Justice of Toren has been destroyed - but one ship-possessed soldier has escaped the devastation. Used to controlling thousands of hands, thousands of mouths, The Justice now has only two hands, and one mouth with which to tell her tale.  

But one fragile, human body might just be enough to take revenge against those who destroyed her.

The Imperial Radch trilogy begins with Ancillary Justice, continues in Ancillary Sword and concludes with Ancillary Mercy

Also available now: Provenance is a stunning standalone adventure set in the same world as Ancillary Justice.

©2013 Ann Leckie (P)2014 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Thrilling, moving and awe-inspiring." (Guardian)

"Signals the arrival of a hard science fiction author who just might fill the gap left by Iain M. Banks. Ancillary Justice is a highly original novel...an intelligent slow-burner. Highly recommended." (Independent on Sunday)

"You will be truly astounded at how Leckie has fully fleshed out a universe and is asking and attempting to answer the difficult questions that many authors never even address in science fiction." (Buzzfeed)

"Unexpected, compelling and very cool - Ann Leckie nails it. I've never met a heroine like Breq before. I consider this a very good thing indeed." (John Scalzi, Hugo Award-winning author of Redshirts)

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interestingly feminist SciFi

That headline might do the novel more harm than good but I mean it in a totally inclusive engaged way, I'm male and the book feels written by a woman in command of her view of the future, a future just a dystopian as a million others but there's something really different here, I was believing, the world created is complete and different while being relatable... OK I'm not writing this well, just try it, it's really intelligent.

19 people found this helpful

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Excellent narrator

Sucks you in as it builds up to a great ending with a really classy hero/heroine.

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliant! A great story and characters

What made the experience of listening to Ancillary Justice the most enjoyable?

Narration was excellent, full of depth and really bought the characters to life. The story moved well and kept true to its central premise.

What did you like best about this story?

The plot is excellent, how the lead character deals with and explains her/its predicament is brilliant, really keeps you in, and surrounded by, the story.

What does Adjoa Andoh bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She understands the book extremely well, she uses the subtle intonations of her voice to perfectly build the characters and really helps you get a mental image of them.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Its not how I listen to audiobooks in general but I think it benefitted from occasional breaks to let the concepts sink in.

Any additional comments?

I'd recommend this and I can't wait for the sequel.

12 people found this helpful

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Left me divided but intrigued

I can't really decide if this is really rather brilliant or whether I have been taken in by the glowing reviews. Certainly the idea that the main character is a spaceship is compelling, and I really was quite won over by this singing warrior. My problem is that I did find the first three quarters of this story incredibly confusing, with characters occupying multiple bodies, and being referred to as both male and female. I found it only really started to make sense towards the end. I also thought there was a slight corniness to the story line but maybe I am just being cynical. One part of me wants to go on and listen to the rest of the series and another part thinks once is enough. I am full of admiration for the narrator who had to tackle some really tongue twisting names but did think some of her accents were distractingly peculiar.
If you are a lover of science fiction and are able to devote your complete attention to the story then I think you would find this rewarding.

5 people found this helpful

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Stick with it

Any additional comments?

Found this very confusing and irritating, but then listened again! Something I don't do very often.

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent narration

The story isn't the easiest to follow but the narrator's use of accents helps a great deal. She does a brilliant job with the complexity of the names, particularly the lesser. I'm not sure the book is up to all the hype -- I've read more exciting SF books but it's intriguing enough. Worth a listen.

10 people found this helpful

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space opera for beginners

Well, it was descibed as a space opera but rather lacks the depth and complexity of its peers that define the segment. Unfortunatetly the story did not grip and the associated narration was vaguely soporific leading to lapses in attention. An average story and reading.

8 people found this helpful

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Loved the book, impressed by fantastic reading

I’ve enjoyed reading the whole Ancilliary series and was curious to hear this version. I was absolutely captivated by the range and choice of accents and voice acting, and the handling of complex names and places. It has changed how I ‘hear’ the books and brought a whole new dimension to them. I’d highly recommend this audio book.

1 person found this helpful

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A struggle...

There is a lot to love about this book from its detailed world building to its unique premise and main character. However, this is not an easy book to get into as most of said world building, premise and character comes via very dence and often very lofty dialogue between characters as they talk about class, citizenship, faith, conquest, society and the past, present and future of it all. It will make your head spin and you will either be drawn or put off by this. Ann Leckie writes amazing dialogue but I've always been of the "don't-tell-me-show-me" school and Leckie most certainly is not. As a result, struggled through this and only finished out of sheer determination rather than enjoyment. Will need to look elsewhere for my next big sci-fi fix.

1 person found this helpful

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Confusing at first, but very intriguing

The first few chapters, well, 10 chapters are a bit confusing. It's like listening to someone tell you about their dreams. You're dropped into a scene, without really knowing how you got there or who the people are. Then, you're moved to a different scene for a bit, then back to the first, then to a different one... The first few chapters are overwhelmed with complex names and places, and histories and details about religion and gender. A lot of information to take in.

The trick, I found, is to let the first chapters just wash over you, and don't worry to much about the detail. Get the general gist of what is going on and enjoy the imagery.

At about chapter 11 or 12, things really start to move forward, and a clear plot is established. As it builds towards the end, there are some nice twists and turns and it is a very satisfying listen.

I found the whole premise to be really interesting. The idea that an AI can have thousands of ancillary bodies all linked together. Really cool idea.

1 person found this helpful

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  • P. Inamdar
  • 22-06-18

Wish the narration was clearer

Narration was very irritating. However story intrigued me and I bought it on Kindle. I am glad I did. Looking forward to reading next ones

2 people found this helpful

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  • Katie Freund
  • 27-01-16

Fantastic!

The sort of book you are excited to tell everyone you are reading. Complex and thought-provoking without sacrificing engaging plot. Could not stop listening. Narration was impeccable - great character voices and accents throughout. Added a sense of dry humour to the main character that really made her feel more "human". Highly recommended! I'm downloading the next one right now.

2 people found this helpful

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  • George
  • 23-02-15

Great exploration of AI ideas. Flat ending.

What did you love best about Ancillary Justice?

The idea of AI running facilities was great.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Orn, completely loyal to the end.

Which character – as performed by Adjoa Andoh – was your favorite?

Eskia (spelling). Great voice. So many African intonations.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-03-20

Overrated question mark

Half way through I quit. Voice acting is unclear sometimes and I did not find story interesting. This book got so many awards, perhaps it is better in written format.

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  • Kamil D.
  • 25-07-19

Riveting story, greatly told

This is an amazing story, very hard to not fall head over heels into. Narration is perfectly fitting to it.

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  • Tommi Uurtonen
  • 09-02-16

Large scale Sci-Fi.

Good story improving towards end. Can't wait taking on the next book in the series!

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  • Chatterbox
  • 17-02-15

Great story Great narrator

Really good narrator and an old school sci fi opera downloaded book 2 already!!!