Series: Imperial Radch
Published: Oct, 1st 2013, Orbit
I’m a very visual reader. Everyone has a face in my head, everyone has a voice. When I first started reading this I was a bit put off by the gender neutrality. I had never realized how much merely the indication of a gender changes how you envision the characters. Perhaps that was the point. At anyrate, by the end of the book I hardly cared, although I still wondered what some characters looked like as they constantly evolved in my mind.
The story is well paced as it alternated between different settings and times. Having read all of Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series this year I was quite accustomed to the multiple story lines. This was equally well executed.
This new space opera introduced a number of novel concepts or well worn concepts made novel. It harkens somewhat to John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, to the recent Battlestar Galactica reboot, and, in some ways, at the same time, back to the ancient classics of intrigue.
The characters personas are well crafted and believable. The setting is both grand and intimate, and the story is enthralling. I would recommend this to more seasoned SciFi veterans than to the casual browser looking for something on the bus. A SciFi junky may have a hard time putting it down.
SDM Rating: ★★★★☆