I didn’t like this as much as the first book, I think. It has a completely different focus to the first book, a much more domestic one, and I was expecting something different the whole time. The focus is much more on society in the Radch, rather than the issues of identity that were at work in the first book with Breq’s separation from the Justice of Toren, and the Anaander Mianaai issue. It’s an exploration of more of the world than we saw in the first book, and I really liked that once I got into it.
It’s great seeing Breq back in the world of the Radch, a world that she is perfectly suited for, a world she knows exactly how to operate in. And it’s great seeing her begin to work against Anaander Mianaai and the way the Radch works, in a way that’s still consistent with the values of that world.
I really want Ancillary Mercy now. I’m not sure how I see the whole thing wrapping up, given the fact that this book didn’t really advance the larger plot much. I suppose the books can’t wrap up the civil war Breq’s stirring up, not so simply. We’ve got a small scale going on, especially with this book, and the civil war is going to be on a massive scale.
I guess we’ll have to see!