Release Date: 05/09/11
Visible in the night sky the Argus Station, its twin smelting plants like glowing eyes, looks down on nightmare Earth. From Argus the Committee keep an oppressive control: citizens are watched by cams systems and political officers, it's a world inhabited by shepherds, reader guns, razor birds and the brutal Inspectorate with its white tiled cells and pain inducers.
Soon the Committee will have the power to edit human minds, but not yet, twelve billion human being need to die before Earth can be stabilized, but by turning large portions of Earth into concentration camps this is achievable, especially when the Argus satellite laser network comes fully online . . .
This is the world Alan Saul wakes to in his crate on the conveyor to the Calais incinerator. How he got there he does not know, but he does remember the pain and the face of his interrogator. Informed by Janus, through the hardware implanted in his skull, about the world as it is now Saul is determined to destroy it, just as soon as he has found out who he was, and killed his interrogator . . .
Neal Asher has been a favourite author of mine for quite some time, especially when I want a Sci-Fi fix, I love his work as it brings humour, the future and the human condition to the reader and wraps it all up in a kick ass story. Whilst this is a departure from his much loved Polity series what this novel does is bring more of the authors talents to the fore as we get to see a future not that dissimilar to what we currently live in where the rich get richer and the poor stay downtrodden. It’s a cleverly written title with a number perspectives, a different look to how colonisation would work and when mixed in with the authors cracking narrative alongside prose really does go for the jugular.
All in, I had an absolute blast with this book and if you haven’t tried Neal’s work before this would be a good place to start as it has a fairly familiar feel to the reader. Add to this the additional skills picked up from previous titles and his work really does get better and better. Great fun all in and a title that I really think should get some decent recognition.