Book Review: Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie

Part of the book cover for Ancillary Mercy

This is a book review of Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie.

This is book three and currently the final novel in the ‘Imperial Radch’ series. Though I must admit, I would like to see a follow-up set some years later. It is a sci-fi book, which has a space station, spaceships and AI in the story. This book was originally on my Christmas wish-list for 2017, but then I noticed it in my local library in November! So, I decided to borrow the book from my library, instead of owning the book.

Part of the book cover for Ancillary Mercy
You shouldn’t bother reading this book unless you’ve read Ann’s previous novels in the trilogy. I quite like the book, so it might seem bizarre that I think the book isn’t action-packed enough and at times perhaps unnecessarily quirky and unbelievable. What this book does though, is stand out! To me, the trilogy feels unique and the characters have flaws, like real-life and come up against bureaucracy barriers and society issues, that at times feel all too familiar.

So what exactly is the book about? Well, as before the story follows Breq, who used to be an ancillary soldier of a warship. Breq is now a captain of a ship, which has it’s own AI and crew, who are still at Athoek Station, which will be familiar to those who read the previous book. As expected, Anaander Mianaai, the ruler of an empire plays a part, but I wish it had been greater and with more twists and turns. Perhaps an opportunity missed, but I think for good reason.

At times, it felt like the story was too stretched out, but the story did gradually build and I maintained interest in knowing what came next. I must admit, I’m struggling to write this review and I like the book! I enjoyed sitting down and taking moments to dive back into the story. Being British, I enjoyed the discussion about tea!

This book doesn’t offer some elements of what I usually like from a space opera book. However, this book got me thinking and even now, having finished the trilogy, I’m still reflecting on what I’ve read. It wasn’t a standout book for me, but I hope a fourth book is written, set many years later.

As I was just about to publish this review, I’ve noticed Ann released a book called ‘Provenance’, which is set in the same universe as this book, but isn’t a sequel.

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