(First published on Audible.com, 3/9/19)
Long a fan of Bear’s intricately detailed and moving short stories, I felt a new surge of intrigue and power in the plot and characters of her latest novel. In a complex and exciting universe of many alien species and AIs, Bear’s most amazing accomplishment is her analysis of the deep motivations and emotions that are ultimately most human.
Despite lifelong trauma and pain, our protagonist confronts the most ancient aspects of her mind and psyche to define and redefine the current self she chooses to be. The philosophical questions are fascinating. I will definitely listen to _Ancestral Night_ again, as I was so immersed in the suspenseful execution that I need to consider the deeper societal implications with a second reading. Fascinating.