“A powerhouse cocktail of lurid violence, evocative world-building and typically grotesque monsters.”—SFX
The fast-paced adventures on the remote planet Spatterjay, a dangerous waterworld filled with lethal biology, continue in the sequel to The Skinner.
Sable Keech, a reification previously deceased for more than seven hundred years, is now a walking dead man, resurrected under mysterious circumstances that may have a lot to do with the virus native to the exotic but deadly remote ocean world Spatterjay. As word of his adventures (The Skinner) continue to spread, the planet has become a pilgrimage site for other reifs hoping to meet similar fates.
The allure of the virus—which promises something close to immortality, even if it comes at terrible biological cost—has brought other beings to the off-Polity world as well. An ancient hive mind may be after the poison “sprine” crucial to the virus’s immortality. Deep in the ocean, a vicious alien prador has awakened from a long, virus-induced coma. And Sniper, an AI assigned as the planet’s warden, finally receives his new drone shell. It's better than his old one, with powerful engines, more lethal weapons, and thicker armour. He's going to need them.
About the Author
Neal Asher is a science fiction writer whose work has been nominated for both the Philip K. Dick and the British Fantasy Society awards. He has published more than twenty books, many set within his “Polity” universe, including Gridlinked, The Skinner, and Dark Intelligence. He divides his time between Essex and a home in Crete.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Excellent read! Another great book by Neal Asher!
Very much a follow up to Skinner, this book is set some time after. There's a cult around Sable Keech who managed to be resurrected on Spatterjay, and various reifs want to replicate that (hence the title, they name the boat after him). All the former elements are there and developed, plus there's a wonderful new beat in the shape of a pissed off whelk.Prador, thralls and all, squabbling AIs the works. So, why only 3.5 stars? Although the changes were well worked and most of the story lines interesting to fascinating, there were places where it felt like you were being told the story lest you forget they were an element of the overall mix, and that pulled it down. I don't mind good author's tricks, but I don't like noticing them whilst I'm reading the book!
Asher returns to the world of Spatterjay in this sequal to 'The Skinner', but apart from making a few quid, I don't know why. I'm a big fan of Neal Asher, but I have to admit I was a bit dissapointed by this effort.I think the reason I couldn't really enjoy this novel is twofold, firstly, it is rather similar to the previous book set on Spatterjay, and second, I really couldn't get into the driving character, walking deadman Taylor Bloc.Asher still does some things brilliantly though, his never sated wildlife creations are fantastic, from the hammer whelks, the whirling prill and the humungous whelkus titanicus, this novel crawls with a multitude of hugely dangerous beasties. And as if the various forms of hungry death available on Spatterjay were not enough, someone has managed to import another of Asher's monstrous creations, a Hooder, onto the planet, let the blood and mayhem begin then.For me, the sequences with Spatterjays biofauna worked better than the plot itself, which picks up al the threads seen in the first book, Sniper gets a bigger drone body, dead people seek resurrection, Prador kill everything that crosses their alien path, Old Captains do, well, pretty much whatever they want to, who could stop them ?I loved the elongated chase sequence as the giant whelk seeks revenge for it's consumed brood, but Taylor Bloc's search for truth and viral rebirth wasn't as compelling.This is still a fair sf novel, but check out 'The Skinner', 'Gridlinked' and 'Line Of Polity' to read Asher at his best.