I’ve completed the Ancillary series (Justice, Sword, and Mercy). They all clock in around 400 pages, which is a solid size for sci-fi I find. As with most series, the first book is the best of the bunch as the stakes are the clearest. The setting is hard to grasp in book number one, but it becomes more of a background in the 2nd and 3rd books.
While I already talked about the first one at length, I want to expand on the last two. Justice is set on a single station, so it feels more like the DS9 series as compared to the TNG before it. It deals with managing the station’s residents after years of neglect, and the politics therein. It’s more of a setup for the 3rd, truth be told.
Mercy is the final book and has a whole lot of hurry up and wait involved. It’s neat to see some military strategy in this, since it’s completely lacking in the first two, even though the entire setting is in the military. The dialogue is better here, where the writer seems to be more comfortable with her characters. The arch-villain is quite pathetic however, a shadow of herself from the first book. She gets trapped in a technicality and all the brilliance and planning she had completed for 2,000 years before this falls to pieces in mere moments.
I would have thought that the 2nd and 3rd books could have been combined to a single book. There’s a fair amount of cuts that could have been made to increase the pace and therefore the stakes. A trilogy in 2-parts, I guess.
I do want to say that it takes the concept of AI to a different level, where they appear to have more personality than the human characters. An extension of Gibson and Asimov to a believable place. Perhaps it’s my penchant for cold logic but the sheer amount of flaws found in every human as compared to the AI is quite staggering. The altruism is clearly opposed to the selfish behaviors, which drastically eliminates any shades of grey.
Overall, I’d recommend the first novel but suggest skipping the latter two.
My woes with USPS have ended! I received the package yesterday, without any notifications. It say in a warehouse for over a week without any progress, then in 6 hours was at my door. I think I’ve learned my lesson here and will instead use a company that ships internationally on a regular basis.
That said, the 30 washes I ordered all came in a small box. They are in small plastic bottles (20ml), similar in size to what you’d get eye drops in. The Testors washes are 15ml, and Citadel are 24ml, so I’m in a decent middle spot. Did I mention Secret Weapon washes are $3 compared to Citadel’s $9?
Now that I have all the paints I need, I’m going to start up my Trandoshan hunter miniatures. They have a fair amount of color to them, with a lot of texture – perfect for washes. Once those are done, all that’s left is the heroes and Darth. Should only be a few weeks to clear it all out.