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The Departure (Owner Trilogy 1) [Paperback]

Neal Asher
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 4.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

12 April 2012 Owner Trilogy 1

The Argus Space Station looks down on a nightmarish Earth. And from this safe distance, the Committee enforces its despotic rule. There are too many people and too few resources, and they need twelve billion to die before Earth can be stabilised. So corruption is rife, people starve, and the poor are policed by mechanised overseers and identity-reader guns. Citizens already fear the brutal Inspectorate with its pain inducers. But to reach its goals, the Committee will unleash satellite laser weaponry, taking carnage to a new level.

This is the world Alan Saul wakes to, travelling in a crate destined for the Calais incinerator. How he got there he doesn’t know, but he remembers pain and his tormentor’s face. He also has company: Janus, a rogue intelligence inhabiting forbidden hardware in his skull. As Janus shows Saul an Earth stripped of hope, he resolves to annihilate the Committee and their regime. Once he’s discovered who he was, and killed his interrogator . . .

‘Full-tilt action sequences … Delivers plenty of thrills’ SFX

‘Fast, dramatic stuff … definitely not one for the faint hearted’

‘I had an absolute blast with this book … his work really does get better and better’ FalcataTimes blog

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The Departure (Owner Trilogy 1) + Zero Point (Owner Trilogy 2) + Jupiter War: An Owner Novel (Owner Trilogy 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330457616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330457613
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neal Asher lives sometimes in England, sometimes in Crete and mostly at a keyboard. Having over eighteen books published he has been accused of overproduction (despite spending far too much time ranting on his blog, cycling off fat, and drinking too much wine) but doesn't intend to slow down just yet.

Product Description

About the Author

Neal Asher was born in Billericay, Essex, and divides his time between here and Crete. His previous novels include the Agent Cormac series (Gridlinked +4), Spatterjay series (The Skinner +2), Polity series (Prador Moon +4) and The Owner trilogy (The Departure, Zero Point +1). He has also written The Gabble: And Other Stories

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, just different 9 Mar 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read a lot of disappointed reviewers' comments on this book before I bought it. I've read all of Neal Asher's 'Polity' novels which I have enjoyed immensely so bought it anyway but expected to come away hugely disappointed.

Well, I didn't. I thought it was a good story in its own right and echoed many themes used in 'Polity' novels from a different perspective and within a more familiar framework.

I think many people may have been disappointed by the fact that the main character, Alan Saul, is not particularly likeable and is portrayed as something of an 'anti-hero'. In many stories, a person/entity such as Saul would be the bad guy. However, as a long time reader of the Thomas Covenant stories, I can deal with the 'anti-hero' concept and didn't feel it was a problem.

There's also been a lot of comment about the amount of violence in the book. I think it is more bloody than other works of his but it's hardly venturing into Shaun Hutson territory. It's there but it's not covered in minute detail.

However, it's not perfect. I would have liked more character definition, even if it only made me dislike them more. A lot of the characters, including the main ones, felt a bit shallow. I'm also not entirely convinced about the basic plotline right now but, given this is the apparently the first of a series, I would assume that there's a bigger picture to be revealed and I'm certainly interested enough in what happens to buy the next instalment and find out.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a go 10 Oct 2012
Are we all reading the same book? Reading some of the negative reviews I wondered if perhaps The Departure had been re-written and re-issued prior to my purchasing a copy?

The Departure is very dark.

It really is.

Pretty distasteful in places, but the writing effectively paints a frankly disturbing picture of a society that has surrendered its scary freedoms to the safety of governmental dominance. It seems to me to be a critique of over-reliance on the state, something you can see happening in this country whatever the colours of the ruling party. I certainly didn't read it as a socialist bashing diatribe. In fact to me it reads more like a warning of how a society can fall into subservience to a fascist like governmental/corporate system. A society where things have gone horribly wrong largely through inaction and apathy rather than through subjugation by some overarching bond-like villain. What I think gets under your skin is the link Asher makes between this horrifying future and the actions (or lack thereof) of ordinary people (just like us) in the present day.

As an opening book in a series I feel it sets the scene very clearly. It's quite different to the other works by Asher, which to my mind is a positive. It's an impressive author who can create totally separate immersive worlds and not rely on constantly going back to safe and reliable ground. I normally only read on the Metro on my journeys to and from work (about 15 minutes each way) so it takes me a while to finish a book. I found that I was so engrossed in this one that I had to read through it rather more quickly. Now I'm going to have to buy the second book on the kindle and then probably despair at how long it takes before the third book is ready, not that Asher is slow, heck I've waited for George R R Martin, but just because I'll really want to know how it works out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian horror! 13 Nov 2013
A really enjoyable book and exactly the kind of work Mr Asher has been entertaining us with for a long time now. The build up does have its fair share of deus ex machina to get us to the concluding off world fire fights, but if you can live with that then the closing 150 or so pages are a ripping read. There are a lot of critical reviews and of the ones I checked out they all seemed to be concerned by the politics of the book- which is ridiculous. It just goes to show how dangerous these EU socialist bureaucrats really are when they start complaining about any potentially negative portrayal of themselves and ironically goes to justify the storyline (joke!).
Asher uses as background for the book's story a world with a centralist Global government which has spiralled out of control, in case you were wondering. Heavy connotations to the EU here.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dystopian? No Kidding! 27 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a longtime reader of Asher's excellent Polity series of science fiction novels, I was extremely interested to see what he'd do with an entirely new series. Well, the first installment in the Owner series is certainly a different beast in many ways, but the best tenets of Asher's writing still carry through.

In the novel, we enter Earth's dark future; the planet is hideously overpopulated, and under the inescapable thumb of a fascistic, all-powerful global government. Into this grim world comes a mysterious man, with no memory beyond the last three years, a knack for advanced technology and a plan to bring the whole rotten mess down...

It's certainly a bleaker, more cynical setting than the Polity books, and at times becomes almost a parody of hopeless future dystopias. But pretty much immediately the first action sequence kicks in, and we're treated to Asher's trademarks: funky technology, bad men, and horrible violence aimed at those bad men. Without ruining anything, the abilities the protagonist utilises to fulfill his goals help the book stand out from similar works, and the mystery of his past keeps you turning the pages.

If there ARE any real problems with the novel, they are a certain lack of sympathy for said protagonist; he remains fairly unlikable for the entire story, albeit for justifiable story reasons. Hopefully this will be rectified somewhat as the series continues. Also, a secondary plotline following a group of colonists on Mars is really interesting, and I thought could have benefited from more than a few short sections interspersed among the main story.

Still, this is a bold new universe from one of the punchiest sci-fi authors out there, and I found myself eager for the next installment as I reached the last page. Fans of his previous work could do worse than taking a punt on this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome = Read this or miss out!
I read many reviews that almost stoppped me buying this book. I rate Neal's other books very highly, this was different to his earlier works but in a really good way, refreshing,... Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. Ironside
4.0 out of 5 stars A Future to be avoided
With a thousand books being released all the time through digital means it is always great to read a quality author, and Neal Asher falls into this bracket. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nick Hillman
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit meh really
Neal Asher has never been a great writer, merely a good one striving to be great. With The Departure, Asher has seemingly accepted his lot in life, and his concern with trying to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ali
5.0 out of 5 stars Politicians v Machine Man
It's a long time since I read a Neal Asher book. Mainly because our local library only stocked one copy. Read more
Published 4 months ago by David Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Asher at his best
Very good read indead. Hope the rest are as good.
More words required apparently? I'd forgot why I don't leave reviews on amazon!
Published 4 months ago by Les Simpson
3.0 out of 5 stars O.K. but not the Neal Asher I like
Are you sure it's not co-written by Nigel Farage? Paranoia rules, but in this future obviously too late. Democrats Awake!
Published 6 months ago by Newly old Geezer
5.0 out of 5 stars The bloodiest
Gripping story all the way through. Interesting science and a frightening vision of the future. Looking forward to Zero Point.
Published 6 months ago by Sundodger
3.0 out of 5 stars Your basic shoot 'em up
It's hard to give a damn about any of the characters in this book as they are so one-dimensional. The plot, such as it is, seems to have been written with a view to selling the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by 70s Guy
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this our future
The story is predicable but i still like the way Asher has painted a credible glimpse into one possible future. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Simon Harris
3.0 out of 5 stars If I'd Cared About Anyone In The Book I'd Have Liked This More
This book rattles along at a good pace, the world building in it is convincing and the action scenes are very cinematic. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Patching
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