• Ancillary Justice

  • By: Ann Leckie
  • Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (2,295 ratings)

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Ancillary Justice

By: Ann Leckie
Narrated by: Adjoa Andoh
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Publisher's Summary

The only novel ever to win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke awards and the first audiobook in Ann Leckie's New York Times best-selling trilogy.

On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. 

Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance. 

In the Ancillary world:

  1. Ancillary Justice
  2. Ancillary Sword
  3. Ancillary Mercy

For more from Ann Leckie, check out:

Provenance

©2013 Ann Leckie (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Featured Article: 12 of the Best Sci-Fi Series in Audio


From the furthest reaches of space to the microbiology of pandemics and gene manipulation, to the future implications of technology for societies similar to our own, science fiction is a fascinating genre that offers listeners a wide variety of ways to access its themes. In looking for the best sci-fi audiobook series, it can be difficult to know where to start due to the genre's sheer number of iterations and variations. But what these series have in common is an acute devotion to telling a good story, as well as fully building out the worlds therein. The writing is enhanced by the creative and impassioned narration.

What listeners say about Ancillary Justice

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not a great choice for audio

Just one of those scifi books that is so full of alien language and names that it is hard to keep track of the storyline in your ears. No shade to the story or performance, it's probably a lot better on the page.

44 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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So happy this was re-recorded with Adjoa Andoh

I love this book and series and the only thing that ever bugged me about the audio books was that the first book was from Recorded Books and had a different narrator. When I saw it was now being offered with narration by the incredible Adjoa Andoh, I didn't hesitate for a second and bought it again so I could have the entire series with the same amazing narrator. I can't wait to listen to it all again!

42 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Has some redeeming value, but is deeply flawed

The major complaint about this book—and the reason why I think it is undeserving of all its accolades (though perhaps still worth a read)—is the poor writing in the first third. Most of it is worldbuilding without context and characters lack interest or motivation. To but it simply, it is boring—novel and unique, sure, but boring nonetheless. Another major detractor is the gender fixation, because of course it is. For those unaware, the female gender is used for most characters in the context of the empire’s culture and becomes a point of confusion outside of it. Simply put, if an advanced culture chooses to ignore biological differences (hormone levels are monitored multiple times in the book, and those clearly differ men to women), there needs to be some sort of reason, which is not given. Second, any AI sufficient to do the things Justice does would not have issue determining gender; it would be a basic function in any rational programming. Finally, and perhaps the most critical problem, is that it is overtly confusing for no real gain—and that’s the problem: it serves no purpose other than flavor. After about third of the way through, the book picks up, however. The main plot of the book (warring factions among an entity which will be unspecified due to spoiler reasons) is interesting and the specific implementation of how multiple person AI works is through provoking. Overall, however, I would not recommend this book.

41 people found this helpful

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There is a reason this one has won so many accolades!

I'm not one to pay much attention to the "awards" any particular book has won (after all, awards are a dime a dozen), but damned if this one doesn't have a hell of a pedigree of accolades that actually mean something! Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice may not be completely unique, but it does combine a lot of interesting SciFi concepts into a new amalgamation that has something to say. Add in a tangible Jane Austen type influence to the character interactions and you've got something that stands out in modern science fiction. Although the story often comes off as kind of a lone space ronin out for justice, it's more or less framed a bit like a '70s grindhouse film (you did catch my earlier assertion that it's a bit of an amalgamation of stories). Over all I enjoyed the story, but I more so enjoyed the actual mechanics of the writing (it had much more of a mature audience feel to it than the typical modern SciFi fanboy writing that is often touted as great science fiction). As for the narration of Adjoa Andoh. I vacillated back-and-forth on it. At times her silky exotic voice was near pitch perfect for the character, but more often than not, Andoh's narration felt a bit flat to me. Although I may not find myself revisiting Radch Empire many times in the future, I did enjoy the trip while I was there!

37 people found this helpful

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I think I need to read this one

difficult to understand and follow in audio format while doing something other than sitting down and doing nothing stop listening. it's probably just me but I might have been better off reading this

34 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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2013 Must have been a slow year for Sci fi

I bought the book based on the number of awards it won. It's well written, but not exactly ground breaking. Its the evil British empire in space, and elitism is bad. I haven't seen such insightful and poignant social commentary since Star Wars and Harry Potter, respectively. The author does a good job portraying a culture that doesn't distinguish gender by refering to everyone with feminine articles, altgough it can be confusing in a few places. The sci fi setting itself is more of a background than an integral part of the story. The story could have been set in 19th century earth and work just as well in most regards. In fact, some features are more implausible because they as set in an interstellar empire rather than the British Empire, such as the 3,000 year stagnation in technology and culture. Overall not bad, worth a read, but I don't think it matches up favorably with other Nubula award winners.

19 people found this helpful

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Keeping information from the reader is boring

This book does not provide you with the necessary context at the start, resulting in annoyance and you putting the book down feeling like you wasted time. The book splits into two time-lines, the past and present day. Information that all the characters know is slowly revealed to you (who/what is the main character? How did s/he end up where s/he is?). All that is left to keep you reading is the curiosity about what is going on. This works in books where the character being followed also doesn't know all the information. In this case the characters know what is going on but you don't. I kept thinking "just tell me already what the heck is going on - you, the character know!", Googled a plot summary, was disappointed, and put the book down.

Also, the constant use of "she" at the beginning was annoying. If you want an ungendered pronoun it already exists: ze or they (yes, "they" does not need to be plural). Picking "she" just felt awkward and took me out of the story.

17 people found this helpful

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Good story, challenging narration

Good story. Loved it! However, I stopped listening and started reading whenever I couldn’t understand the narrator. This occurred too often, due to strange names, unknown vocabulary / concepts, and pronunciation. The narrator’s approach to the 1st person POV named Toren of Justice is excellent and easily understood, but she adopted a variety of extremely twangy, or squeaky, or nasally, or high-pitched voices for many of the secondary and tertiary characters. Hurt my ears. The only character that sounded pleasantly “normal” to me was a ship and her ancillary bodies! Lol. Excellent story.

13 people found this helpful

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Not my cup of tea

Not sure how this novel won the Hugo and Nebula awards - maybe because of how it tries to erase gender pronouns ??

12 people found this helpful

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Convoluted and difficult to follow

The first half plus of the story is difficult to follow. It improves over the second half of the story.

11 people found this helpful