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Ancestral Night Reviews

Ancestral Night by Elizabeth Bear

Ancestral Night

Elizabeth Bear

3.80 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Saga Press
Publisher: Saga Press
Publication date: 5 Mar 2019
ISBN: 9781534402980

Haimey Dz thinks she knows what she wants.
She thinks she knows who she is.
She is wrong.

5 stars out of 5
24 Mar 2019

"awesome, awe-inspiring space opera"

Haimey DZ is an engineer on a salvage ship, the space tug Singer, which she shares with handsome pilot Connla Kurucz, an A.I. brain, and two cats...

Pursued across time and the outer limits of space by a sexy, ruthless pirate, and befriended by a sardonic, praying mantis the size of a horse, Haimey’s troubled past starts to catch up with her at warp speed. 

Gravity manipulation is a running theme in this awesome, awe-inspiring space opera. Fittingly, it shifts from weighty themes to lighter humour with dexterity, grace and crackling dialogue.

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
James Lovegrove
16 Mar 2019

" brims with heady concepts and sleek far-future hardware."

Elizabeth Bear is just as comfortable writing steampunk and fantasy as she is hard science fiction, and Ancestral Night, first half of a duology, brims with heady concepts and sleek far-future hardware. There is a mordant wit at work, not least in the characterisation of Singer, a spaceship AI. What lets the novel down somewhat are its congested pace and lengthy passages of moral philosophising.

3 stars out of 5
6 Mar 2019

"It’s got a plot rich in dramatic action plus debates on politics while also encompassing the vast alienation of outer space on an emotional level"

Despite that snag, I found the novel reasonably engaging and well-executed. It contains big objects and big ideas but predominantly skims their surfaces, giving enough complexity for an argument about social structures to evolve without chewing to the bone on those same concepts (though I do adore some good bone-chewing, in this metaphor). For a reader who is daunted by the brick-sized tomes of this sort of science fiction, Ancestral Night offers a potential starting point. It’s got a plot rich in dramatic action plus debates on politics while also encompassing the vast alienation of outer space on an emotional level.