Sable Keech was a walking dead man, the only one to have been successfully resurrected by nanochanger. Did he succeed because he was infected by the Spatterjay virus, or because he came late to resurrection in a tank of sterilised seawater? Tracing the man's last-known journey, Taylor Bloc wants to know the truth. He also wants so much else - adulation, power, control - and will go to any lengths to get them.
An ancient hive-mind, almost incomprehensible to the human race, has sent an agent to Spatterjay. Does it simply want to obtain the lethal poison, Sprine? If so, Janer must find it and stop it. But meanwhile, deep in the ocean, the Spatterjay virus has wrought a terrible change on an unwelcome guest who has lain dormant for 10 years, and is now breaking free. Once again, the aftershocks of an ancient war will focus on this watery world.
I love sci-fi, especially if it's heavy on the sci... even strange-sci suits me just fine... as long as it seems even remotely plausible, and hopefully incorporates some kind of organic or nano component, it's good grist for the mill for me. After having heapin' helpin's of Peter F Hamilton I have at last found another literary hero in Neal Asher. This, the second of his Polity series I have read, is another stunning story full of all sorts of nifty plot elements that I found really attractive and absorbing.
I was quite taken with the revelation of the Prador species and their galactic civilisation of parasitic control, using organic 'thrall units' to enslave subject species, as well as the detailed ecology developed for the planet Spatterjay, with it's most unusual, and infamous, virus and super-toxin. This level of detail astounds me, as Neal has, in effect, created an entire universe down to an incredible level of detail.
Overall, without giving too much away, there isn't too much more I can say, other than: If you love sci-fi and haven't read any Asher before... you are missing out! Don't waste any time, go hit your local bookseller for a copy, and be sure to keep your eyes open in second hand bookshops for some of his earlier titles... I know i will be!
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