One of the most delightful aspects of Ann Leckie’s writing is the way that seemingly minor details in her fiction have extraordinary significance on much larger scales. In Leckie’s literary worldview, the smallest things often make the biggest difference ... Thematic emphasis—the way that small details (like a character’s obsession with trashy adventure serials) can ultimately shape and influence the largest possible events (such as the fall of an empire)—is one of the hallmarks of Leckie’s work. Her recurring argument is that minor details, events, actions, and influences are never truly minor: everything has consequence, even if it is not immediately visible.
Identity, personhood, and the nature of power are themes that recur throughout Leckie’s work. They’re vividly present here ... Less sweeping in its narrative scope than the Imperial Radch trilogy ... Leckie is never less than thought-provoking, and her work is always entertaining. Translation State is a fascinating, compelling novel from an accomplished writer at the top of her game. I fully expect to see it as an awards contender in due course.