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The Departure (Owner Trilogy 1) [Paperback]

Neal Asher
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & 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’ SFFWorld.com

‘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: The Owner series: Book Three (Owner Trilogy 3)
Price For All Three: 18.17

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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: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,308 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.

http://theskinner.blogspot.com/
http://freespace.virgin.net/n.asher/

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
30 of 32 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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a go 10 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Departure in more ways than one... 5 Sep 2011
By M. Yon
Format:Hardcover
Neal's latest novel is a departure of sorts: away from his Polity series, and the start of a new series, but a place he has written of before. The Departure is the first of The Owner novels, though Neal's story collection The Engineer (and its later revised version, The Engineer Reconditioned) tell three stories of the Owner Universe.

Whilst the short stories tell of events much later, The Departure sets up the basics in the origin of the stories. Set in the 22nd century, Earth is being run by a global authority known as the Committee. Its enforcers, the Inspectorate, rule a rapidly growing population with ruthless efficiency, often involving torture and death. The general populace are controlled by human enforcers and robot Shepherds, a Wellsian type machine that can both capture and shred people.

Things in this dystopia are generally not good. A too-large population using too many of its finite resources without the luxury of expansion means that life for many is arduous. The idea that `Power Corrupts' is important here, and there's clearly something rotten in the socio-political structures of the 22nd century. The world government administrators live in luxury, whilst the ZA (Zero Asset) people, who contribute nothing to the economy, exist on a bare minimum with limited health care and facilities.

To this we have Alan Saul, assisted by an artificial intelligence named Janus. Having being tortured by the Inspectorate, his past is a mystery and much of Alan's past is unknown to him, or at least fragmentarily remembered at best. His mission objective is to bring down the corrupt organisation. He helps who he thinks is his torturer/interrogator, Hannah Neumann, but actually finds that they are former lovers and colleagues.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
Very enjoyable, kept me sucked in and wanting to find out what happened next. I shall be buying the follow up right after sending this review.
Published 17 days ago by Colinberg
2.0 out of 5 stars Mr Nasty
This is a tough book. It's full if vitriol and anger with unlikeable, uncertain, mean characters that are fodder for Asher's trademark ultraviolence. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
A great book. Can't wait for next in series. A chilling near future that sounds all to possible of what might be in store for us.
Published 1 month ago by Mr R S J Bernath
4.0 out of 5 stars Dystopic, dystopic, dystopic...
Asher's tales rarely 'pull punches' --Think 'Spatterjay' & co-- but 'Departure' is remarkably grim. I had to put the book aside after a dozen pages, wait until my shivers... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nik
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, excellent plot.
This is my first Asher book - and yes, it is dark and dystopic but it was excellent - and has caused me to purchase all Neal's other books. Read more
Published 2 months ago by P. Fenton
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read. Enjoyed it very much.
As a lover of science fiction I found this one gripping in the extreme. The idea of a man interfacing with a computer using implants in his brain was an exciting thought. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Michaela Twigg
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 6 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 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
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 7 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 7 months ago by David Walsh
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