Sorry to say that I pretty much bounce off Jones’ prose completely – I remember really enjoying the novella version of Bold As Love, but found both the extended version and White Queen rather tough reading. The same was true here: the identity confusion between several of the main characters confused me too, and I just wasn’t really sure what they were trying to achieve. No doubt this reflects my own concentrations levels more than the quality of the prose.
I’ll say one thing though: Jones had characters whose concept of gender was completely and pronoun-wrenchingly different from that of their human interlocutors more than twenty years before Ancillary Justice, as of course did Ursula Le Guin more than twenty-five years before that. Those of us who voted for it last year weren’t giving Ann Leckie cookies for a new idea, we were applauding a number of familiar tropes combined and given new and startling twists.