I have to give the Ancillary series credit. For not being one of thousands of science fiction books dedicated to “epicness”. Epic space battles, raising of stakes, world ending decisions. Ancillary Mercy focuses on what it always has, the interpersonal and the intimate.
It’s a tale of two books. The first Ancillary almost feels hardly related to the next two in the novel. The Lord of the Radch has shown up, at least one portion of her, to assert control over Breq’s territory.
Obviously, Breq has other plans.
I rather enjoyed this novel, except for the aforementioned lack of epicness. Which I appreciate, doesn’t mean I don’t want it. The book leads to a discussion about the nature of AI consciousness, as anyone reading the series always expected it would.
The only downside is a very weird occurrence where a character, having just tried to assassinate someone, is let to live and also briefly, work. It’s so weird. I understand the circumstances, The Lord of the Radch is held hostage effectively by the station AI, butttttt her terms don’t include killing the woman who tried to kill her. I’d do everything in my power to see an assassin brought to justice. It is so odd that she goes to work and expects to go to work. What? Not even a jail? Why do you even get to work? Why would they let you out of sight??
Ancillary Mercy wraps up neatly. Too neatly. But that’s okay, it was a nice journey and I’m glad I took part.
3.5 out of 4 stars