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3.7 out of 5 stars42
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 26 August 2013
I really enjoyed this book, although if you look through the reviews you will see that it polarises opinion. It does have some sex scenes, but it is (in my opinion) hardly Penthouse Readers' Wives as one reviewer said - it is much closer to On Dublin Street with some sex scenes in a strong story setting.

There are some typos, and it also has quite a few paragraphs of descriptions of clothes which don't always advance the story (although the description of the 'Swarm Dress' was wonderfully imaginative).

So not quite perfect, but with a genuinely enjoyable story that makes you want to keep reading. There are plenty of possibilities for another book (or a series) and I'd certainly read it / them when published.
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on 12 October 2013
Aneka Jansen, kidnapped by aliens in 2011, is reborn as a cyborg a thousand years in the future, in an omnisexual utopian society where everyone seems to be having sex with each other...

A lot of reviewers complain about the amount of sex. Now, I'm hardly in a position to do so, but I would say that the problem is not the amount of sex so much as the amount of sex that doesn't really advance the plot or character development in any useful way, so it ends up reading like sex-story-sex-story-sex, a bit like watching TV and having the scheduled programme interrupted every fifteen minutes for five minutes of random sex. As a result, you end up wishing you could buy the DVD and watch it without the adverts...

It's fun rather than serious sci-fi; the tag-line could almost be:
Sex and the City - on a spaceship! Uncut and explicit!

On the other hand: Girls having sex! With each other! Sometimes more than two at a time!

On the other other hand: Cyborgs, like vampires, can wear stilettos with ease.

So, basically, Aneka Jansen is a seriously hot bisexy cyborg in stilettos having lots and lots of sex.

Anyway, Steel Beneath the Skin is - for the most part - a fun read which does get serious and dark in places, and there is a proper sci-fi story above and beyond all the sex. And while I feel the sex could have been dialled back without adversely affecting the story, it plays a key role in establishing a future, peaceful, utopian society of sexual freedom and gender equality, and thus defines the antithesis, an alternative society that is aggressive both politically and sexually.
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on 5 January 2014
As others have said, this book was a bit strange. It felt like someone had merged together a reasonably good sci-fi novel and some badly written soft-core pornography in a fairly random manner. The switch between the main story line and the dodgy sex was often quite sudden, and didn't really contribute much. My feeling is that people who want pornography would prefer less irrelevant plot in the middle, and people who want sci-fi would prefer less sex.

Since I was more interested in the sci-fi, I tended to flick through the more extended pornographic bits. I enjoyed the sci-fi bits enough to buy the other books in the series, which is why I gave this book 3 stars. For an adult, the sex is mostly inoffensive enough that it can be skipped if it doesn't appeal.

There was, however, one part that I think had the potential to seriously offend some people. One of the characters was, at one point, basically raped, and her solution to her subsequent fear of men was to organise an orgy composed mostly of women to get back into men slowly. I have to say that if I were a victim of real-life rape, the idea that the psychological trauma could be fixed by taking part in an orgy would be extremely offensive. Even as a man, and as someone who hasn't been raped, I find it to be in extremely poor taste.
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on 15 November 2014
Sadly I am unlikely to buy any more of these. The story is interesting and well written, but the utterly boring constant intrusion of peurile sex references destroys the book. By the way Niall, real sex isn't like that, it's a lot more interesting, since you obviously don't have any personal experience. What a waste of a good story....
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on 22 October 2015
Very enjoyable book. Liked it so much that I then continued till I had read all seven in the series, Shame there are aren’t any more as I’m not liable to read his other books as they are fantasy/magic based .
The basic concept of what the main female character “Aneka Jansen” is, is an excellent concept, the story arc across all the books is interesting, the technology is believable and the interplay between the characters is very good.
I didn’t mind the sex in them at all, after all they are primarily set on a world in the future where humans stock has been improved to a point where very few are ugly, they live very long lives, don’t usually commit to long term relationships or marriage and where sex in considered a major recreational activity. Which would be dream come true for many people!!!
I hope the author intends to write more SCI FI like this in the future
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on 29 November 2013
Science Fiction doesn't need tedious sex. Not much story. Gave up half way through. Seems to be setting the scene for a sort of nymphomaniacal female James Bond. Sci Fi was incidental.
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on 31 October 2013
I enjoyed reading this book very much but be warned unless you have the time to read all of it in one sitting don't start it
It's been a while since I have read a book with such a good mix of sci-fi and fantasy with a strong but sympathetic
character .Sorry if I sound like his literary agent but as someone who has been reading fantasy and Science Fiction for
many years, if I read something this good I will say so, and I understood the reference in the blog to Susan Cooper
whose books I found in a charity shop and read and enjoyed.
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on 21 November 2014
If I had read the reviews I probably would not have bought this book. The concept is interesting but let down by the execution.

The write is clear and easy to read. But like many readers, I found the huge number of sex scene irritating and adding nothing to the story. The characters are lacking some dimension and colour but to be honest I have read books with less good characters, so that can be lived with.

I have not finished the book yet and there is a pretty good chance I never will. I definitely won't be buying the sequels.
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on 19 February 2015
What an absolute hoot! I was expecting something a bit Asimov. What I got was a Cyborg version of Oh Wicked Wanda.
Where there was science fiction it was really quite good and the writing was largely free of the homophonic substitutions that so plague self-published fiction. There was the occasional "practise" rather than practice. but I'm just being very strict, because the author is a very naughty boy. However, the story contains a lot of "action" that is not really science and probably not fiction.
Tee Hee.
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on 5 February 2014
..................shame about the sex. I realise that our heros have sex, but some of the descriptions are a bit more detailed than I would have expected from a science fiction book.

I love the concept of the story, and I've bought (and read) the second and third books as well, so Niall Teasdale can undoubtably write a good story, but the sex just gets in the way of a good story, although it is being toned down in the second and third books. Niall, don't stop writing stories about Aneka Jansen - You write 'em I'll buy 'em.
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