This is a true science fiction novel filled with colossal starships, AIs that inhabit multiple bodies and of course an empire in need of saving or destroying. Leckie’s debut gives casual and hardcore sci-fi fans alike a wonderful read. As an AI who used to inhabit a starship and many secondary bodies, Breq is an endlessly fascinating character. Leckie also throws in side plots involving the Radchaai religion and the annexation of planets, which are just as compelling as Breq’s current journey.
Breq is both more and less than she seems. She is a warrior, a woman, yet also an AI — and she used to be a starship. An act of betrayal and treachery has taken her life away and now she has but one human body and one sole purpose in her dreary life: to get her revenge. In the midst of her journey she rescues starship captain Seivarden who used to pilot Breq more than 1,000 years ago. Why is Seivarden here now? Will she help or hurt Breq’s mission? (ORBIT, Oct., 416 pp., $15.00)