Copyright 2001 by
I first read this on the 24th January 2003 and most recently on the 19th July 2003.
On the planet Cheyne III Separatist terrorists are fighting against the rule
of Polity, the benevolent interstellar government. These separatists are
well financed, well armed and particularly vicious. Arian Pelter and his
sister Angeline lead the rebels, and John Stanton, a experienced mercenary
provides professional support.
Ian Cormac is a top agent of Earth Central Security, He has infiltrating
the Separatist network on this planet. Now he commences its break-up, beginning
with the murder of Pelter's sister.
However, he has to cut short the wrapping up of this case due to an urgent
order to travel through the runcible stargate to Samarkand.
His mission is to investigate the shocking murder of that world's entire population.
This very rapidly leads him to an unwanted, and very violent, association with the
Dragon, a ancient, giant and immensely powerful alien.
Meanwhile, Adrian Pelter has not forgiven Cormac's murder of his sister. The terrorist leader,
injured and deranged, is now pursuing Cormac with vengeance in his heart and murder
in his eye.
Neal Asher's second novel "THE SKINNER" won the SF Reviews Best Book of 2002 award.
I was expecting great things from "GRIDLINKED", his first novel, and read this book at the beginning
of 2003 with some degree of excitement. I enjoyed the book, but felt it was weaker
than "THE SKINNER". I inexcusably failed to put the review together at that time.
Forcing myself to reread the book a mere six months later, I found I enjoyed it
rather more. Now I am no longer certain that "THE SKINNER" is better.
"GRIDLINKED" is on its way to becoming a favourite book, the
sort of book you reread time and again, so familiar with the
story that you know precisely what will happen next and knowing you are
going to get just as excited as every time before.
It's great. Neal Asher has packed this book full of drama, humour and excitement.
There's violence, torture, robots ripped apart, bodies mutilated,
big guns, space battles, anti-matter explosions and monstrous aliens, super-strong
androids and super-smart AIs. There is a four-hundred-year old Japanese dude.
There is a sexy space pilotess and her bad boy lover, tough as nails but good as gold
inside, of course. There are even gigantic alien pseudopodia trying to claw a
spaceship out of the sky
And above all this is ice-cold Ian Cormac, straitlaced and straightfaced hero par
excellence. He is going up against some really evil monsters. He's no longer
augmented; he's been stripped of his direct neural link
to the interstellar computer grid. He's down to his own brain; his own two hands
and feet. Plus, of course, he's got the full support of Earth Central, top troops and
some very heavy weaponry to back him up.
Now at last I can read "LINE OF POLITY".
Loaded on the 1st August 2003.