Imperial Radch #1
Purpose: Review, 100 Best Women authors of Fantasy/Science Fiction
A copy of this title was given to me, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book has won a lot of awards and I can understand why. It’s complicated. The world building is intricate. It bends the rules on gender norms and expectations. It is well written. A lot of work – hard work – went into this book.
But . . .
Yes, there’s a but. It wasn’t all that enjoyable, at least for me. Especially at the beginning. If I hadn’t followed my 100 page rule (read 100 pages before I DNF book) I wouldn’t have finished the book. The storyline is hard to follow so it’s hard to understand what’s going on. A character’s gender is ambiguous, and that just adds another layer of unnecessary complication. For example: Seivardeen is referred to as a female throughout most of the book. Occasionally, Breq is corrected or corrects itself that Seivardeen is male. What is the point of the confusion?
But . . .
Yes, another but. When I pushed through the first quarter of the book, once the past storyline and current storyline caught up to each other, it started to make sense. Once the story started to make sense, it became that much more enjoyable.
In the end this proved to be more political than I would have preferred. I wasn’t sure if I was going to continue with the rest of the trilogy until I got to the very end. I didn’t like it. I think in a way, Breq backed down against itself. Was it the right choice? I don’t know, but I won’t be sticking around to find out.