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How does this content violate the Lulu Membership Agreement? From our Membership Agreement "Lulu is a place where people of all ages, backgrounds, experience, and professions can publish, sell, or buy creative content such as novels, memoirs, poetry, cookbooks, technical manuals, articles, photography books, children's books, calendars, and a host of other content that defies easy categorization. Address Address is required. I stressed when they got into bad situations.
I cheered when they overcame.
The Polity of Beasts.
And even though I predicted the ending early on, it still thrilled. Tell me, what other options have you ever had, and what options do you have now? Too many other distractions.
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Still, back t First of all Dirk, I must apologise that I don't get down to many reviews as I'm not on Goodreads too often. Still, back to your review. I'm always delighted to see five stars. You obviously were so impressed with this book and that's wonderful to see. I may as well try it and see if it has the same effect on me. My, your following description was splendid: Dirk Grobbelaar Thanks Lynne!
Dec 15, Lynne King Dirk wrote: I'll read it as soon as it arrives. It's a pity that I didn't read the first Dirk wrote: It's a pity that I didn't read the first book in this series but still I'll see how this one goes. The book does look intriguing to say the least! I'm really impressed by what Neal Asher has done with the series. I've read a few of his other novels by now but this one, even more than Prador Moon, captured my imagination best. Gridlinked had some good moments, but Line of Polity, overall, is the superior read. First thing I noticed was how deep and detailed the worldbuilding was.
I loved the whole mixture of the Theocracy, all the huge amounts of biotech and symbiotes that allowed the benighted locals live on the planet, and the idea that th I'm really impressed by what Neal Asher has done with the series. I loved the whole mixture of the Theocracy, all the huge amounts of biotech and symbiotes that allowed the benighted locals live on the planet, and the idea that there needed to be a real rebellious element established and kicking for the Polity to step in and knock the bad guys off the world.
Sound like America the Police Force, anyone? The idea that America is run by immense AIs is actually a sobering and enlightening idea compared to what we've got now. SO, back to the story. It's all great action! Some intrigue, a lot of rebellious insurgents we want to root for, Cormac mostly on the outside trying to force the issue and free the peoples down below, and plenty of surprises in between.
His friends are mightily interesting. And I might be able to swing a certain Dragon in that category as long as I use the term very broadly. Overall, I see tones and shades of Iain M. Banks and a number of other Space Opera authors, but interestingly enough, Asher seems to have better overall action sequences and focus than all the others I've read. Space Opera for Space Opera enthusiasts. Fewer politics, more blaze, a ton more varied tech and nearly singularity-level situations, especially with a certain mycelium.
Much better villain this time around. I can honestly say the stories are only getting better. His Polity universe is an interesting take on AI controlled future where things are good enough that there is no real threat of uprising while at the same time people are aware the fate of humanity now rests with machine governance. He has familiar and excellent tech, novel weapons but his real strength is alien characters and alien biology. The prequel to the polity series Prador Moon is my all time favourite action SF, an a 4.
The prequel to the polity series Prador Moon is my all time favourite action SF, an absolute tour de force of non stop pacing. The novella The Engineer Reconditioned is another great starting point with it's cinematic portrayal of the long dead race the Jain who will feature in this story. I definitely enjoyed this book more knowing all about the Jain.
I found the first novel in the Cormac series Gridlinked to be somewhat muddled and forgettable by comparison. It has been a year since I read Gridlinked but The Line of Polity reminded me of what I needed to know and got me right back into this series. This book has it all, a variety of alien entities and monsters Our first meetings with Gabbleducks and Hooders , an oppressed people struggling under a theocracy, future spy intrigue, interesting technology and biology - and lots and lots of carnage.
The only possible point of contention is that the character stuff is a little on the light side but I think that is more than made up for by the size of this story, frenetic pace and intriguing world Asher has created. Bring on the Brass Man! Jan 15, Jason rated it really liked it Shelves: I confess, that this type of sci fi is a guilty pleasure of mine, and as a result my review will probably be a bit biased. This is the second Cormac novel, and also the second Neal Asher novel that I have read. It does not quite live up to the level of Gridlinked, as their is much less character development in this one.
This book is extremely imaginative, in both the science involved, and the creatures and environment within. Not since I read the cheesy novel Fragment, by Warren Fahy, have I read such a vivid environment with incredible creatures, animals, and monsters, as well as fauna that is equally awesome and deadly.
There are far too many really cool made up beasts to mention, but suffice it say that this book almost plays out as a creature feature first, and a science fiction second. I was blown away. The really great stuff includes: Polity hybrids, Dracomen, Golem, and Cyborgs!!! Mad scientists, Angry agents, a Deadly Dragon, and a massive Dreadnought! Explosive non stop action, shoot outs, and space chases!
Political strife, religious madness, and some with a god complex! A grass plain that I would never want to cross!
The stuff that was not so great: Not nearly enough time with our main hero Cormac. No further backstory on Cormac. Too many alternative POV's, actually made it difficult to follow at times. The book is so incredibly frenetic that you are left feeling strung out and exhausted. A tad too long! Well, with the dramatic changes between these first two Asher novels I can safely say that I am now a huge fan.
Asher is not afraid to write big, and it pays off for those of us that are a fan of the genre. I had fun reading this book and look forward to the next. Jan 19, Stephen rated it really liked it Shelves: Excellent sequel to the amazing Gridlinked and the second book in the Ian Cormac series. Set in the far future where an extremely advanced group of AIs "directs" i. Add to this a mysterious god-like alien bio-construct known only as "Dragon" and the remnants of a 4. Add to this a mysterious god-like alien bio-construct known only as "Dragon" and the remnants of a extremely powerful, highly advanced alien race referred to by the Polity as the Jain and you have the basic framework of Asher's Polity universe.
At the same time, a genius "separatist" biophysicist has found a piece of Jain technology and has found a way to use it to devastating effect. The story is excellent, the world-building both the technology and alien lifeforms is mind-boggling and the writing is top notch. The ONLY reason I do not give this installment a solid 5 stars or more is because at pages there were a few times when I thought the story slowed and dragged. At pages, this is easily 5 stars. As it is, this is still a must read for fans of high level space opera.
Over six years ago, I read Shadow of the Scorpion , but to be honest, I remember exactly nothing of it. My review indicates I thought it was a decent enough but obviously forgettable book.
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I was a little worried, it being the second book in a fairly intricate space opera series, that I would have some trouble. Although the beginning was fairly confusing, as the plot sprawled out into its many facets and Asher flitted between the viewpoints of his ensemble cast, I found myself coming to like the layers of storytelling he provides. The Polity is a fascinating universe. I find this subtle shift in the role of AI in science fiction very interesting. Robots originated, of course, as slaves and workers who would help automate the boring or dangerous parts of human labour.
As they became metaphors for slaves, and as computers became more and more capable, they took on more morally complex and, often, sinister roles in our stories. Now that pendulum is swinging back around: Much of The Line of Polity focuses on what separates artificial intelligence from human intelligence.
In between there is a dazzling array of entities that are not quite human, not quite AI: Beyond that spectrum lies the realm of alien intelligences: Dragon, of course, and its progeny, Scar and the dracomen; the Maker mentioned but unseen in this book ; and the Jain whoever or whatever they are. Through each of these characters, Asher can interrogate the various effects of technology and augmentation on their thoughts, actions, and beliefs.
Despite his sanguine disposition towards AIs, Asher often seems to come down harder on augmented humans. Cormac, our hero, having once been linked too closely to an AI, now prides himself in being totally unaugmented. Granted, he does this by appealing to that last inkling of humanity within the Skellor being—if Skellor had gone full-on alien, then perhaps he would no longer have the need for vengeance that Cormac exploits.
Any time humans start augmenting themselves, the results are questionable at best, disastrous at worst. Skellor is the obvious example, as the Jain technology or just the Jain? He goes from absorbing the technology and using it to give himself new abilities to absorbing and integrating himself into a subverted Polity ship. Eventually even he becomes aware of the pitfalls of succumbing to its insatiable need for growth.
By the end, though, Skellor creates the conditions for his own downfall: I was intrigued when this seemed to happen on a smaller scale on Masada. Towards the end, just before Skellor approaches, it seems like the Hierarch has delusions of apotheosis. His ability to connect to the Dracocorp augs worn by his troops and issue direct commands gives him a rush; he starts imagining the Theocracy as a single mind—his—acting as one. And all this reminds me of a recurring idea expressed throughout science fiction and occasionally fantasy. I encountered it in The Magicians , when Penny explains why the gods are not what we might expect, and where magic comes from.
The Polity of Beasts
Basically, the more power anyone has, the more obvious the next step becomes. We see that with Skellor: As the Jain corrupts him, Skellor becomes more capable … but increasingly he focuses on one goal, one outcome. He makes decisions almost automatically, because each action seems obvious at the time. Contrast this with Cormac, who has almost no power aside from what allies he brings to the table, and who must scramble to form plan after plan as the previous plan falls by the wayside.
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When the book is not ruminating on such heady philosophical ideas, it is a strong action story. While I enjoyed all the various perspectives, including a look through the eyes of the antagonists, there were moments during the ground battle on Masada that I had to wonder why we were following some of the minor characters. Feb 17, Lee rated it really liked it Shelves: The second Cormac book in the series takes us to a whole new level of 'other' entities. As you can see from the description above it is all a tad out there. Whilst I did enjoy this one, it didn't grip me as much as book one, but I still would say that it was a throughly good read.
We didn Outlink station Miranda has been destroyed by a nanomycelium and the very nature of this sabotage suggests that the alien bioconstruct Dragon - a creature as untrustworthy as it is gigantic - is somehow involved. When the animals in a certain forest decide to institute among themselves a democratic government in the hope of improving their lives, they soon find themselves worse off than ever as the pandering animals who have been elected to office begin indulging their greed and lust for power.
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