Winner, 2014 Hugo Award

I am reviewing this book because the concept thrilled me: the default is FEMALE in Breq's world. Having waited almost 60 years for this, I enjoyed every minute. The writing is classic science fiction style: florid, obvious, planned for maximum dramatic impact. The book boasts a complex world, characters, and plot. Love the space that Breq inhabits-it feels as if the author knows more about the world that she is telling, very authentic. Tough getting used to the ancillary voice--"ancillary" is the name given to what we would call an android or artificially intelligent being. Breq is on a quest to revenge herself (?) for an act she committed against her will many years ago. Back then, she had 20 bodies as the consciousness of the Justice of Toren, a spaceship. Though she had much power, she had no will. The story balances between the present and the past, and that means the reader has no more idea of who to trust than Breq does in the historical part of the story telling. And here is the central conflict: external and internal. What makes a being human? Is it the ability to have favorites? To choose among those favorites? Or to forfeit your life for a greater good? You will find yourself devoted to Breq even as her "humanity" comes under question. Lovely story. Want to read of Breq again. *****

I remember when...

The Lantern BearersThe Lantern Bearers byRosemary Sutcliff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars  Why read this? Sutcliff's prose is dazzling, reminding me of the lush full books I read as a teen-historical, romance, adventure, it did not matter. They were not written for "young adults," but you do not have to be 18 to yearn for smooth, sure narration and authentic dialogue. Sutcliff never insulted me by limiting her vocabulary or stepping outside her narrative voice to make sure I understood a phrase, ritual or theme. And of course, it was about the birth of Britain, so I was happy.I do not mean to imply that the books so popular today among my teens are not well-written or nuanced, because they are. The Lantern Bearers' Aquila took me back to my long lazy days as a kid when I hid out in the woods and read as long as I wanted about kids that I could have been. I had no daytime TV choices, no video games or computer to distract me from story. And it was a wonderful time in my life. I learned to enjoy my solitude, I formed my personal code, and reading became a life l

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