Ancestral Night

White Space #1

Elizabeth Bear

fiction lgbtqia+ science fiction
adventurous challenging slow-paced

499 pages | first published 2019

Haimey Dz thinks she knows what she wants.

She thinks she knows who she is.

She is wrong.

A routine salvage mission uncovers evidence of a terrible crime and relics of powerful ancient technology. Haimey and her small crew run afoul of pirates at the outer limits of the Milky Way, and find themselves on the run and in possession of universe-changing information.

When authorities prove corrupt, Haimey realizes that she is the only one who can protect her galaxy-spanning civilization from the implications of this ancient technology—and the revolutionaries who want to use it for terror and war. Her quest will take her careening from the event horizon of the supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s core to the infinite, empty spaces at its edge.

To save everything that matters, she will need to uncover the secrets of ancient intelligences lost to time—and her own lost secrets, which she will wish had remained hidden from her forever.

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adventurous 91%
dark 50%
mysterious 50%
emotional 25%
funny 25%
inspiring 25%
reflective 25%
challenging 16%
tense 16%
hopeful 8%
lighthearted 8%
sad 8%


slow 53%
medium 46%

Strong character development?

Yes: 63% | No: 27% | It's complicated: 9%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 80% | It's complicated: 20%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 90% | It's complicated: 9%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 58% | It's complicated: 25% | No: 16%

Average rating