Saturday, June 23, 2018

Book Review: 'Provenance' by Ann Leckie

Set in the same universe as the Imperial Radch trilogy, 'Provenance' by Ann Leckie is a mixed bag of a book, blending in different story elements; prison break, political intrigue, sibling rivalry, and even murder mystery to name a few, and as a result, it keeps the story entertaining right until the end.

The book focuses on Ingray Aughskold, the adopted daughter of Netano Aughskold, a powerful high ranking political figure, and her attempt to break out a political prisoner and use them to gain favour within her foster family. But things immediately don't go the way she'd planned and she's soon drawn into a dispute between alien species, interplanetary politics and family drama.

I liked Ingray. She's smart, resourceful and could be determined at times. But as well as making some good decisions, she's also very prone to making some bad ones at times too, which in turn plays on her anxiety, which also sometimes has her on the brink of bursting into tears. She's a very likeable character, bringing her own complexities and imperfections, making her seem more grounded and realistic.

I also liked the world building, the twists and turns in the plot, as well as the cast of different characters we meet throughout. The gender fluidity of the Imperial Radch series is present and works very well with the small group of characters, adding another layer of depth to the already impressive world building.

I listened to the audiobook version, and really enjoyed the narration by Adjoa Andoh. She brought the characters to life, giving each their own distinctive voice and personality. And it's no wonder that her narration performance won the 2018 Audie Award for best Science Fiction audiobook.

'Provenance' is more of a romp than full on Space Opera, but it's a fun, engaging and entertaining read, a standalone set in another corner in Ann Leckie's Radch universe. Well worth picking up!