Translation State Review

DISCLAIMER: I did not complete the book and have stopped at the 80% mark.

Translation State by Ann Leckie is standalone novel in her popular Imperial Radch universe setting. I’m definitely in the minority here, as I had to quit at around 80% in. I don’t believe I’ve ever quit on a book that far in, but everything just got so tedious to read, especially the characters, that I just couldn’t stomach it. Furthermore, I didn’t care if the characters merged or not or whether they all get blown into space never to be seen again. The whole use of the pronouns is already irritating, but at least I understand the use for it in such a universe with so many range of species. The purposely misspelled pronouns used, however, is ridiculous, unnecessary and makes everything that much harder to read along and follow. WHY must you do this?!?! It serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever and adds nothing of value or emotion to the story.

We follow three characters: Enae, Reet and Qven. Things started off in an interesting enough manner but started to slip away towards the middle and later half of the story. I personally didn’t feel Enae was quite right. As someone who lived as she did her entire life within a mansion taking care of her grandma, somehow I feel it extremely unbelievable that she’d turn into a first-rate investigator overnight. Reet was just tolerable at first but got less interesting as the story progressed. Is he a schan, a human or a Translator? It doesn’t matter. He’s boring regardless of the outcome. Same goes for Qven. It was cute at first reading about him/her/it/they/them/e/he throughout his upbringing to be a potential Translator but like Reet, it ultimately fizzled out. The amount of self-pity displayed was too much towards the later half of the book.

80%. I think this is a new record for me. 20% more and I would have completed the book, but I just couldn’t do it.

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