Release Date: 03/09/10
The Theocracy has been dead for twenty years, and the Polity rules on Masada. But the Tidy Squad consists of rebels who cannot accept the new order. Their hate for surviving theocrats is undiminished, and the iconic Jeremiah Tombs is at the top of their hitlist. Escaping his sanatorium Tombs is pushed into painful confrontation with reality he has avoided since the rebellion. His insanity has been left uncured, because the near mythical hooder called the Technician that attacked him all those years ago, did something to his mind even the AIs fail to understand. Tombs might possess information about the suicide of an entire alien race. The war drone Amistad, whose job it is to bring this information to light, recruits Lief Grant, an ex-rebel Commander, to protect Tombs, along with the black AI Penny Royal, who everyone thought was dead. The amphidapt Chanter, who has studied the bone sculptures the Technician makes with the remains of its prey, might be useful too. Meanwhile, in deep space, the mechanism the Atheter used to reduce themselves to animals, stirs from slumber and begins to power-up its weapons.
Neal Asher is one of those Science Fiction authors that I really enjoy landing. Not that I expect to get the guy himself on my doormat but I know that when a tale from him arrives that I’m going to get a story that I absolutely love. You get some great characters (some old friends return) and the author knows how to weave alongside interweave plots and subplots with great dialogue and some beautiful examples of pace. It’s definitely one of the Neal’s best, it was not only entertaining but one that was hard to put down and if an author can pick you up when you’re feeling down and not in the mood then you know that this story is well worth the cost. A great addition to the series and one that will open future exploration that fans as well as new readers will hopefully enjoy.