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William's Book Blog

Mostly book reviews.  Very rarely I'll allow William Campbell Powell (author) to write a blog entry on publishing activity, but he's under orders to keep that stuff over on his Facebook page and on http://williamcampbellpowell.com

Currently reading

Fonda Lee
Fonda Lee
Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman
Zombie Elementary: The Real Story
Howard Whitehouse
Progress: 99 %
The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2)
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Progress: 6/504 pages
The Longest Week: What Really Happened During Jesus' Final Days
Nick Page
Progress: 43/310 pages

Ancillary Justice - hype or not?

Ancillary Justice - Ann Leckie

I'm about a third of the way through the audiobook.  Happy with the narrator (Adjoa Andoh) - clear, well modulated, range of accents - all of them plausible to my ear - so would definitely read another audiobook narrated by her.


The narrative alternates between two timelines, and after a really intriguing opening chapter in the present-ward timeline, seemed to languish a long time in the doldrums, especially in the past-ward line, world-building through the eyes of the narrator - the Ancillary of the title - who doesn't really understand humanity.


Nor, presented through her eyes, do I.  It is clear that the lines between genders have blurred, while at the same time becoming even more important, at least in the eyes of one of the cultures described.  I was expecting a big plot point, but it's dealt with as a throwaway.


So it's taken a long time to get to the "when it all changed" moment in the past-ward timeline, and that's been a test of patience over the first four hours of listening.  The present-ward timeline had been more action-oriented.  At the four hour mark, though, all the scene-setting was done, sympathies set up for the action, and the past-ward track revealed the potential for intrigue and double-crossing that had only been vaguely hinted at.


Good points: writing from a distributed point of view.  Lots of "how are you going to pull this lot together" strands.


Bad points: failure to develop the two timelines at the same pace - enduring one and craving the other.


Still, we're past the "bad" bit now.  I'm expecting good things from the rest, but nothing yet to indicate why this book is sweeping the boards, picking up so many awards.  For me, it's on course for 3.5 to 4.5 stars.