Ancillary Justice has a really interesting and unique (to me) premise that caught my eye as the AI hype machine continues to hit new heights in the real world. The story is set in the far, far future, in a universe populated by humans, and ruled by a god-like ruler that has cloned itself millions of times, with each clone acting independently of all of the other millions of clones. In this world, military ships are powered by AI entities with thousands of different bodies, all controlled from an omniscient central intelligence. The AI can, at the same time, fight a battle in space, invade a planet, and make tea for the human captain. The idea is really neat, and the main character is an AI ship that has been severed from all of their other entities and left with a single human body to get revenge.
I think a lot about loneliness, and the detachment that modern life causes in so many folks, and I was really excited to read this book to see how some of the thoughts I’ve been wrestling with around isolation, identity, and community might evolve. Unfortunately, the ideas in the book were a lot stronger for me than the execution. The writing wasn’t that engaging and the story dragged on for me and got jumbled as it progressed. I will probably read the next book in the series because the premise is so interesting, but I was hoping for more with this one.