Ancestral light by Elizabeth Bear

Disclosure, this book was sent for review, and Amazon links are affiliate links.

I grew up reading science fiction. Ursula K Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, James Blish, Asimov, Heinlein. My favourites were books where the characters were as important as the environment – I loved the Dorsai books and everything by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Over the years I’ve drifted away from SF to fantasy and YA, but I still like to dabble every now and then.

I confess the cover for Ancestral Light almost put me off it completely. But I’d expressed an interest and was on the blog tour and had my fingers crossed that I wasn’t going to be bored silly by some over populated space opera laced with science references I didn’t have a clue about.

Then I read this tweet

and suddenly I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

I am *loving* it so far.

I’m not done yet – the stinky head cold I’m suffering with means my eyes get tired really quickly, and this is a big book. So I’m reading a lot slower than I usually like to when I’m enjoying something, but hey, that means I get to savour it right? I can already tell that I’m going to be wandering off and finding everything else Elizabeth Bear has ever written, so that’s a pretty good sign.

What has hooked me? First off it’s the main characters. I love their voices, interaction, back story. I’m invested and have been since the first chapter. Then I’m intrigued by the galaxy building, complete with the historical overview notes. I like the little unfamiliar words dropped in to reinforce the distance from day to day – not so much that they jar, but enough to differentiate.

The pacing is good. We’ve got a lot of background to fill in, but the story is flowing along well as we learn. And I’m not even a little bit bored. So yup, definitely sold on this one. Check it out if SFF with character and humour is your kind of thing.

And don’t forget to have a look at the other blogs on the tour.

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