Published by Orbit on June 6, 2023
Genres: Science fiction
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About Translation State
Translation State, set in the Imperial Radch series, gives a deeper look at Presger Translators. Beings who were once human but who’ve been changed by the fearsome and mysterious Presger aliens to serve as their spokespeople with humans.
Told with multiple points of view, we see the lives of Qven, a juvenile Presger Translator, once destined for greatness, now trying to avoid elimination and behave optimally. Ree, adopted as an abandoned human infant, now thought to be the offspring of a runaway Presger Translator. His humanity is being debated and the decision could rock the foundation of the treaty between humanity and their allies and the Presger. And finally, Enae who lead a sheltered life of privilege as seir Grandmaman’s housekeeper but now’s been set the task of finding that long lost Presger Translator runaway. A puzzle no one expected Enae to solve.
My thoughts about Translation State
Ann Leckie is genius at creating a complex and complicated universe inhabited by humans, alien allies, bio mechs, sentient AIs, and alien threats. She’s added to the rich details of her Radch Empire – giving us political/ethnic factions who’ve been at odds for centuries, multiple political players, each with an agenda. Where one misstep could dissolve the carefully crafted peace of the treaty and plunge everyone into a devastating war.
Against this enormously intricate backdrop, she’s created three main characters whose stories and lives weave together. Exploring the definition of family and humanity. And she does it in what feels like a very intimate way, despite the high stakes of the story.
She even manages to add touches of humor. I loved when Ree introduces Qven to his favorite show about pirates – it had hints of Murderbot and its love for Sanctuary Moon.
This is a standalone book, although if you haven’t, you really should treat yourself and read the Ancillary trilogy that introduces the Radch Empire.
If you enjoy the Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, you’ll enjoy the Radch Empire series by Ann Leckie.
Thank you Orbit for the ARC.