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
If you like:
Queer ladies with terrible taste in romantic partners
SPACE MANTIS COP
Big Not So Dumb Objects
This one is for you. https://t.co/fvYtwwl6wy
— Elizabeth Bear (@matociquala) March 6, 2019
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.