Ancillary Mercy does a good job blending the larger overarching story and style of Ancillary Justice and the much closer to home sequel Ancillary Sword. The universe is still relatively limited to a pair of star systems plus the planet and station of Athoek.
For the most part, it’s a good mix and a much better sequel to Ancillary Justice than Ancillary Sword was. On the other hand, we still don’t get to really deal with any of the overarching story telling that we got at first. We meet a few new ancillaries, but they never really act as ancillaries. One of Anaander Mianaai shows up, but she’s almost comically out classed. There’s no real threat there. We meet a new Presger translator who is delightfully odd… to an extent that pushes past surreal all the way to unbelievable.