CBR13Bingo – New Series
You’d have to tell me if my perception of this book is correct, but I read this book as an outsider looking into human culture as an empire and seeing it from this perspective. It’s the future, and it’s maybe a future version of earth or a future of humanity. We are following a new ambassador making her way to the head of this empire from her native Lsel station, a non-planetary, science-heavy but small civilization. This new arrival loves the empire as a subject but is also fully aware that the empire is attempting to subsume and suborned her small community. She has been chosen for plenty of reasons, not the least of which is a compatibility to the technology that all ambassadors must share, a cerebral implant that saves the minds and memories and consciousnesses of the previous possessor. She is also arriving because the previous ambassador has been murdered.
She arrives, meets her liaison, and gets started with both the mystery solving and the adventure. Bombs, kidnapping etc go from there. While there’s lots of philosophy and discussions, there’s a lot of action as well.
It took me a few minutes of listening to this audiobook to understand exactly what was happening. This is because in the opening, we are not only dealing with a new world and context, but a main character who has a secondary voice in their head. This experience is a little discombobulating to say the least. Even though the mechanism is different, the experience is similar to how Jadzia Dax works in Deep Space Nine or Penric in the Lois McMaster Bujold series. This goes away for most of the book for plot reasons, and comes back late for different plot reasons, but it takes some time to get used to. There are times in this novel where it feels pretty trope laden, but more so, it feels like you can feel specific influences (or in some cases, some influences of influences). There’s some Iain Banks, Ann Leckie, Lois McMaster Bujold, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Jack Vance, and plenty of others here.