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reading Ancillary Mercy--halfway mark

Note: I don't consider what I talk about spoilers, but if you want a completely virgin experience reading Ancillary Mercy, then save this entry for after you've read it.

I'm really, really loving what ann_leckie is doing with Ancillary Mercy. I'm about halfway through, and the two things I love most are the abundance of AI characters, with distinctive personalities, and the presence--hurray!--of another Presger translator, Zeiat. And what Ann is doing with both these is exploring personhood, both one's own and others'. At some points this is just terribly terribly moving (more on that when I've finished the book), and at other points hugely humorous, and that's another thing I really love about this book--the humor. The tension has been ramped up to Ancillary Justice levels, but there's laughter too, especially around Zeiat, but also from a surly AI, the ship Sphene.

About personhood. Consider Zeiat's confusion when she encounters Breq after the latter has been badly wounded:

"Fleet Captain," the Presger translator said, coming into the room, Five standing stiff and disapproving at the doorway. "I'm Presger Translator Zeiat." She bowed. And then sighed. "I was just getting used to the last fleet captain. I suppose I'll get used to you." She frowned. "Eventually."

"I'm still Fleet Captain Breq, Translator," I said.

Her frown cleared. "I suppose that's easier to remember. But it's a little odd, isn't it? You're pretty obviously not the same person. Fleet Captain Breq--the previous one, I mean--had two legs. Are you absolutely certain you're Fleet Captain Breq?"

"Quite certain, Translator."

This echoes their first conversation, when Zeiat wasn't sure of her own identity, but was persuaded of it by Breq.

Needless to say, mutual understanding when there are basic doubts such as this can be hard:

Translator Zeiat blinked. Sighed. "Oh, Fleet Captain. It's so very difficult talking to you sometimes. It seems like you understand things and then you say something that makes it obvious that no, you don't understand at all."

There's so much more--SO MUCH MORE--I'd like to share, but later. For now I'll just say that (so far) this is exactly the book I was hoping for--everything I wanted, plus surprises. THANK YOU ANN.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 3rd, 2015 01:47 pm (UTC)
:D I took heed of the warning, and haven't read what you've just written. Is this the first book in the series? If not, have you written about the others?
Nov. 3rd, 2015 01:50 pm (UTC)
This is that *last* of three books. The first is Ancillary Justice, a cracking good tale. I have a tag for it (ancillary justice)--I loved it. Ancillary Sword was the second in the series. It was good, but I didn't love it the way I loved the first. But this one, Ancillary Mercy, has my whole heart once again.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 3rd, 2015 03:36 pm (UTC)
I think *all* of us have wanted, in certain arguments or conversations, to say that last thing that Zeiat says!

(By last, I mean last thing that I've quoted here--I'm sure there'll be plenty more things that Zeiat says in the second half of the book that I could say similar about)

Edited at 2015-11-03 03:44 pm (UTC)
Nov. 4th, 2015 01:09 am (UTC)
I didn't read this entry but Gretch posted another song on Youtube.

Nov. 8th, 2015 02:44 am (UTC)
It sounds good!
Nov. 8th, 2015 04:36 am (UTC)
Perhaps this means an album release soon.

I think Atlas Lab is going to release their debut EP soon. They changed their logo on Twitter.

Have you seen this?
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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