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The Eternal Prison Paperback – 4 Feb 2010

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The Eternal Prison + The Terminal State (Avery Cates 4) + The Final Evolution (Avery Cates 5)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (4 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841497053
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841497051
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 507,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Damn good fun (SFX)

Book Description

Avery Cates is running out of time in this action-packed slice of near-future noir.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Haydies on 23 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
Avery is back, and things are not going so well. As the third installment this is still a good book, maybe it doesn't have the pace of the Electric Church, and it's a little light on the `action' but it still very good, and once it gets going properly the last few hundred pages just fly by. Like the others I lost sleep over this book.

Jeff gets better with each new book, the story is quite a lot more detailed this time around which makes up for the slight drop in its break neck pace.

Over all, well worth the wait (UK publishing was much later then the US); But not quite as gripping.
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By David Cole on 11 May 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Whilst i do like the Avery Cates books it can get a bit repetative.
That said I like the Clint Eastwoodesque character and the apocalyptic setting of the story.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
As a huge fan of the previous novels by Jeff I really can't wait to get my hands on each instalment as it arrives. In short, my cats attack a bag of Jerky with less enthusiasm than me when this authors work arrives. So you can pretty much guess the result of the letter box flapping and this latest offering landing. Yep, everything else went on hold so I could get started.

What you get with Jeff's writing is a novel that not only keeps you glued but one that has so many twists and turns that you sometimes think that up is down and visa versa. The answers that are sought are pretty elusive and to top it off there's always some sort of hitch that just keep you glued to the next chapter to see what unfurls. Add to the mix a pretty addictive principle protagonist and a spartan style of story telling and its going to be something that just ticks all the boxes for me. A great read and one that means I really must have the next tale as soon as possible.
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By Hannah Gatley on 16 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great condition. Very happy
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 18 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Return to Form for Somers 28 Sept. 2009
By The Czar of Arkansas - Published on
Format: Paperback
While I thought that The Electric Church was one of the best recent science fiction works I've read, I felt that the follow-up book, The Digital Plague, was less than fulfilling. Jeff Somers has returned to form, however, in the third installment of the Avery Cates series, The Eternal Prison.

Avery Cates is back in The Eternal Prison, which takes place soon after end of the digital plague from the second book. The cops and the army are fighting it out for control of society. Cates, the anti-hero hitman, gets pinched by the cops and thrown into Chengara, a prison specially developed for "people of interest" like himself. Cates has to use all of his wits to stay alive, and staying alive means breaking out.

The action moves along briskly in The Eternal Prison and avoids most of the exposition that slowed down The Digital Plague. Cates always has a new set of associates, since being a Cates associate tends to dramatically reduce life expectancy, but some old familiar faces also are in the mix. The new characters are woven into the story well and are, for the most part, more interesting than most of the new faces from The Digital Plague.

Probably the best thing about this entry in the series, apart from Somers' pacing, are the changes in Avery Cates. He's famous, he's tough, but as things continue to slide downhill, Cates begins to wonder if fighting is even worth the bother, especially if things look like they'll turn out the same way in the end. Or, if he goes on, for what purpose? Cates works through the questions in Cates fashion, simply but directly, without Somers turning him into some fountain of metaphysical mess.

It's a great installment, a return to the tight pacing of The Electric Church, and the central character is revitalized as something more than a stereotype. The Eternal Prison is definitely worth your time and money.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Yet another entertaining addition to the Avery Cates saga! 4 Sept. 2009
By Z. R. Murray - Published on
Format: Paperback
As the third, and most recent, addition to the continuing Avery Cates serious The Eternal Prison doesn't dissappoint. If you haven't yet read the first two novels featuring Avery Cates, The Electric Chuch and The Digital Plague, I would suggest you pick them up first before tackeling the Eternal Prison. It's not exactly necessary that you've read the first two, but it will definitely make the experience as a whole more enjoyable.

The Eternal Prison picks up where The Digital Plague left off, as we once again follow Avery in his exploits as one of the systems most feared and well known gunners. As this story picks up we find Avery struggeling to carry on in a life where he has lost nearly everything he held dear, and nothing seems to be going the way he planned it. In all honesty the only thing he seems to have going for him this time around is a large amount of yen, though it takes a mountain of it to buy anything with all the termoil. It's funny because he's not so much afraid of getting killed as he is of having an unsatisfactory death after all he's been through.

In the end the Eternal Prison is a fast-paced story that creates a perfect mix of action and even a few unexpected plot twists, though looking back there were plenty of hints. It can be a bit confusing as you first start, but just give it time and have faith in Somers writing skills. By the end of the novel all will be made clear and it's definitely a ride worth taking!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Eternal Prison 23 Aug. 2010
By R. Shaffer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This being the 3rd installment of the Avery Cates series I was a bit worried about not having read any of the other Avery Cates books. "The Eternal Prison" stands on it's own but there are references to characters and events of the past. So reading them in order may be a good idea but not necessary.

Jeff Somers creates a future world where humans are still corrupt and violent and fighting for power, and technology has advanced with scary realism. Where people get their brains digitized and uploaded into avatars and humans get augments to became part machine.

Avery Cates is a gunner (gun for hire), he's great character that you can't help but like and pull for, he's a survivor. In a fight you would want him on your side (and he is usually in a fight).

Jeff Somers is an intelligent and entertaining writer that will keep you flipping pages. I will be reading the rest of the Cates series and I recommend that you do too.

The only note of caution would be language, there is a lot of foul language but the characters would be less real without it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Back on the Rail- though wobbly 7 July 2010
By graphik_persona - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read the prior two books in the series and really enjoyed the first book, The Electric Church, while I felt the second, Digital Plague, seemed like a re-hashing of The EC. So I guess you could say I had a little bit riding on the third book, that is, whether or not I would continue with the series based on this book.

In all, I'm going to have to give this book a thoroughly less-than okay read. The things about the first novel, EC, that I liked so well were its originality, pace, and frankly, book-cover. This novel, unlike the second, displayed Somers' creativity again, with quirky characters, not gigantic originals, but interesting none-the-less. For example (*spoilers*): the Ruberto & Marin dynamic, the tin-can Cates, tattooed love-interest whom I think is Avery's first, and the Russian Techie (as opposed to the softer needle-nosed Americana style). These were intriguing characters, not necessarily developed, by interesting.

What this installment lacks compared to the first is pace and coherence. The novel drags at many points and where Somers excels in terse dialog, he's much less skilled with scene descriptions which he used alot both here and in digital plague. He also seems to have almost no geekish interest in the machinery, i.e. hovers etc, that he writes about, giving a lack of tech-speak to the novel's feel; a draw-back for a cyber-punk. The first half of the book is also split between "time-lines" *wink* which makes it difficult to follow, and having read the first two books quite some time before this one, I was lost on the whole SSF mythos- to be honest I'm still unclear on what the System is or the Civilian Army.

So, the novel addded some new creativity to the mix and moved the Cates-universe along. Though more background would help, now knowing that this is the ultimate point of the series; the exerpts at the end of the books for instance (though Digital Plague dragged at the end of its exerpt) are great, and offer alot of flavor to the world. Somers should add more of these, maybe spruced throughout the book. All-in-all not a great cyberpunk, but definetly some needed wind beneath Cates wings. Did it give me reason to continue with series? Yes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well s--t, that's f--king strange. 29 Oct. 2009
By Matthew Castelli - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The titular phrase of this review leaves the reader with a sense of foreboding, yet curiosity, about what is yet to come for Avery Cates, and for the world (and society) as a whole.

There are enough reviews about the plot that I won't repeat them here but rather add my thoughts about Avery Cates, and Jeff Somers, and the series as a whole.

Jeff Somers is not afraid to damage his character. Avery Cates, the anti-hero human, has been through his own personal hell and changes as a result. His wounds from one story aren't "magically healed" in the next. The start of each installment isn't with Somers hitting "the big reset button" for his characters but rather builds on what's transpired up to that point, while at the same time revealing layers of complexity for his characters, and not just Cates. Some of the recurring characters, like Marko (the techie) have some added depth in the latest installment (The Eternal Prison). Even some of the "bad" guys, e.g., Dick Marin, show to have some depth and elements of humanity (such as it is) as well.

The Digital Plague was set up as the a transition between The Electric Church and The Eternal Prison and as one other reviewer commented, there was a lot of exposition. But after reading The Eternal Prison it can be seen that exposition was necessary. Jeff Somers has shown no fear in destroying the world he built in The Electric Church. The Digital Plague served as first warning that the status quo will be shredded in this new world, and one can almost picture Jeff Somers doing so with a slight knowing smirk on his face - and his protagonist, the aforementioned anti-hero Avery Cates is all the better for it. Avery Cates has a tendency to do things "the hard way" and Jeff Somers sits back and rather than dictate the story, he lets the characters dictate the story.

Stephen King wrote in his book "On Writing" to (paraphrasing here) "write what you know" and "build the story, add your characters, and see how they respond to your world". Jeff Somers has done both quite well and he has demonstrated he is not afraid to take chances and we have what could have been just a good story become a great story as a result.
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