Copyright 2006 by
I first read this on the 20th February 2007.
The Polity, the human civilisation across the occupied stars, has
brushed up against the Prador empire.
Now, on the border of the Prador Second Kingdom, the Polity
diplomats are waiting to finally meet face to face with the Prador themselves.
It is not perhaps the most successful meeting and the Polity falls into a
battle with this new alien race, the Prador. It is an inauspicious start:
not only is the war the result of the first meeting, but in the first battle,
the Polity is knocked to its knees. It is going to take time for the Polity to
gear up for all-out war with the Prador. In the meantime these malevolent,
cannibal aliens are torturing, eating and killing humans
with a horrific enjoyment.
Jebel "Ucap" Krong is there at the beginning. He has a terrible
motivation for revenge upon the Prador. Fortunately, he discovers that he is
particularly good at killing them.
Moria Salem, a career-oriented scientist, finds herself dragged into the war, thrust
into the centre of the battle, with her actions critical to the survival of the Polity.
And meanwhile the Prador in their massively powerful ships, chomp and tear their way
through the Polity.
Bring 'em on, Neal. Riveting stuff. This is as good and as fresh as "The Skinner" (which won
the SF Reviews Best Book of 2002 award),
Neal Asher has a created a superb space opera and executed it brilliantly well
in just 222 pages.
I loved the planetary AIs and the Golems, loved the nanotechnology, loved the Prador. Well, I didn't
love the Prador, I mean I wouldn't invite them home for breakfast after a night at
Geronimo's, but they are dastardly and repulsively enthralling aliens.
What's it got? Fabulously horrible aliens, brilliant AI's and courageous humans.
It's chock full of action, violence, humour and intelligence. In fact there's
action, violence, humour and intelligence all over the place, gobbets ripped from bodies,
thrown across rooms, slamming onto the walls and sliding stickily down to the floor.
Loaded on the 29th March 2007.