Ann Leckie “Ancillary Sword” (Orbit, 2014)
For this second book in the series, Leckie sets aside many of the toys that she used in the first volume. Alien maguffins, distributed consciousness, etc take a back seat to a much smaller and quieter story.
Perhaps surprisingly, this is even better than the first book.
I was surprised at how emotional and empathetic a story starring a zombie controlled by an AI could be. At its core this is a soft and gentle story about how we treat others.
And as an ironic aside, for all the heat that Ancillary Justice has received this year, Ancillary Sword doubles down on the social justice issues. Colonialism and exploitation are at the core of the narrative.
What a wonderful book! I can’t wait until the next volume!