SFF

A Memory Called Empire

Tor. Mar. 2019. 464p. ISBN 9781250186430. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250186454. SF
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OrangeReviewStarAmbassador Mahit Dzmare arrives at the City, center of the multisystem Teixcalaanli Empire, rushed, because her predecessor has been out of contact. Those in Mahit's position are set up with imago machines: tiny chips imbedded in their nervous systems that contain the memories and responses of the previous incumbents. However, Mahit's imago of the former ambassador is more than a decade old, and what's worse, the ambassador is now dead and her connection to even that outdated version disappears. Now floundering in an alien culture with only her studies and an assigned assistant to guide her, Mahit must discover the truth behind her colleague's death and the secrets of the last years of his life, as well as attempt to save her independent station from being absorbed by the Teixcalaan.
VERDICT Politics and personalities blend with an immersive setting and beautiful prose in a debut that weaves threads of identity, assimilation, technology, and culture to offer an exceedingly well-done sf political thriller.

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