Monday, 14 September 2009



In charge of an old cargo spaceship, the Old Captain Orbus flees a violent and sadistic past, but he doesn't know that the lethal war drone, Sniper, is a stowaway, and that the past is rapidly catching up with him. His old enemy the Prador Vrell, mutated by the Spatterjay virus into something powerful and dangerous, has seized control of a Prador dreadnought, murdering its crew, and is now seeking to exact vengeance on those who tried to have him killed. Their courses inexorably converge in the Graveyard, the border realm lying between the Polity and the Prador Kingdom, a place filled with the ruins left by past genocides and interplanetary war. But this is the home of the Golgoloth, monster to a race of monsters, the place where a centuries-long cold war is being fought. Meanwhile, the terrifying Prador King is coming, prepared to do anything to ensure Vrell's death and keep certain deadly secrets buried ...and somewhere out there something that has annihilated civilizations is stirring from a slumber of five million years. The cold war is heating up, fast.


Many might think that Neal Asher spends way too much time in the same universe alongside creating and expanding it for future projects, yet the question has to be asked, what about the uninitiated. How do they get into it? What happens if they pick up the new novel having seen it displayed prominently and then get annoyed that is part of a series?

Well that worry is always a concern for any reader, yet here, in Neal’s latest offering the new as well as established readers can get a fair crack of the whip and enjoy the adventure presented within. Its as you’d expect from Neal, fun, fast paced and above all well developed. (Although that said the principle protagonist doesn’t stand out as much as he perhaps should do against the myriad of other cast members even though he originally appeared in the Voyage of Sable Keech.) Add to the mix a light romp in Asher’s universe and a chance to stop for tea and it’s a book that doesn’t require deep seated scientific understandings. Doing what it says on the tin, which to be honest is what I need at times, a book to relax and take comfort from instead of something that needs a PHD to understand as a number of more Hard Sci-Fi people seem to think you need.

No comments: