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The Line of Polity (Ian Cormac) Paperback – Unabridged, 19 Mar 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Paperback, Unabridged, 19 Mar 2004
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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (19 Mar. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330484354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330484350
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 10.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,010,306 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


This is undoubtedly Asher's best novel: a complex, multilayered story... -- John Courtenay Grimwood in Guardian (Review), May 2003 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Full-scale action SF by one of Britain's most popular new writers. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is the fifth Asher novel I've read, after the two Spatterjay novels, Prador Moon and Gridlinked. When spaced apart, the novels are a fun read as they typically include wry wit and gruesome battles. The Spatterjay novels also added detailed yet horrific planetary creature, a similar system which Asher employs in Line of Polity: wit, battles and fauna. But after reading the previous novels, the entire system is getting a bit repetitive with the endless battle scenes and homicidal native animals. Line of Polity doesn't stray far at all from Asher's signature plot and is actually quite evident towards the final 20% of the book when there are battles after endless battles all adding very little to the plot itself. A simplification would have been much appreciated to cut down on the amount of superfluous scenes. Asher is the type of battle writer who uses "a short-stock grenade-launcher for more intimate work."

The planet of Masada is where a good chunk of the book takes place, a place "you cannot draw a breath... even if its horrifying wildlife would let you." That's from the back cover of the novel... that's it, meaning not much info to go by before you buy the novel in the bookstore. A better, in book, quote about Masada is a place where "choices are limited to two - fight or die - and they are not mutually exclusive."

One more downside of the book is the villain Skellor. His name reminds me of Skeletor from the fames of He-man, Master of the Universe. Therefore, the name Skellor feels cheesy, as if it was ripped off from He-man. His presence in the novel is straight from the get-go and makes appearances all the way until the end, but what's seriously lacking is Skellor's motivation for being the villain rather than being part of the Polity.
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Format: Paperback
The Line of Polity is the second novel in Neal Asher's Cormac series, following on from events in Gridlinked. I read Gridlinked quite a while back and enjoyed it and I've also read plenty of other works by Asher that I've thoroughly enjoyed. I picked up the complete series some time ago but, for some reason that eludes me at present, never got around to reading the sequels. Well, despite the long gap between reading the first and second I jumped straight in wondering what exactly I'd be getting here - and boy did it not disappoint!

The action in The Line of Polity opens with Ian Cormac, Earth central Security agent, chasing down Skellor, a skilled yet rather evil scientist who is a dab hand at genetic manipulation to create some truly awful creatures. As Cormac and his team descend on the compound Skellor disappears leaving some very interesting things for ECS to discover. Meanwhile the outlink station of Miranda is destroyed by nanomycelium, a product all too familiar to Cormac, for it is Dragon that introduced this to the Polity during the events of Gridlinked. We've also got Masada, a strictly controlled Theocracy world on the edge of the Polity where the inhabitants are ruled with an iron fist by those in power in their orbital stations. Not only that, but Masada is a dangerous world where a human can't even breath without the aid of gear, where the local wildlife is as dangerous as anything you'd find, and where certain death awaits the workers should they step out of line. But the underground on Masada is trying to gain Polity intervention, something they can only do with a majority vote, and which is slowly being carried out by certain individuals and the underground movement that is desperately trying to push this through.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Its nice to see a modern day sci fi author doing something different, Richard Morgan, William Gibson and Neal Asher all have managed to bring genres together.
In The Line of Polity Asher builds a mixture of a futuristic spy thriller with an awesome imagination and charecterisation.
Ian Cormac, Earth Central Security is in pursuit of his old foe Dragon a confusing malicious intergalactic being. However as ever Cormac picks up a series of enemies who in typical elite spy style are almost beneath his notice. With the witty Gant and a team of powerful individuals the action is non stop.
But wait, theres a story here as well, a story that is very well told. The story of a rebellion against a Theocracy, a tale of a young girl seeking freedom from her environment and a young man coming to terms with a completely new world.
Sound a bit musshy for yah? Don't worry theres still plenty of gun fights, shuruken based decapitations and raging scifi to keep the biggest scifi nut happy.
Damn fine show!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Ashers Polity series is vivid and contemporary Sci Fi at the top of its game. Brilliant aliens, intelligent plotting and a great cast of good and not so sure good guys is makes for great reading. Plots unfold nicely and so far there has always been something mysterious left to keep you waiting for the next one. The last book, The Technician, wraps up one of these loose ends but creates more opportunities. I prefered Ashers earlier Line of Polity books because I like the way the characters were drawn to suit the plot. Sometimes offbeat, or just different they were plotted to suit the plots needs. There is a poor trend today to draw chracters to suit marketers demographics to appeal to wider audiences. There seemed to be some of this in the Technician for the first time (for me) and I found the characters just a bit less interesting. I like grumpy drones that will cheat you or even shoot you and that was one of the Ashers charms. The way odd characters with real but untolds backgrounds wander in and then bugger off. However Line of Polity is a great read. Its real science fiction, using intelligent speculation on where current science could go and this book introduces some wonderful alien creatures, that leave you wondering how they could have evolved in any eco system which is part of Ashers style in the Cormac/Polity series. Meanwhile the really nasty Jain Tech stuff emerges and is a seriously clever piece of technology thats very believable. The whole series just makes you want to know how all this stuff emerged and while you wonder that, Asher uses this hi tech stuff in some great action scenarious. Excellent read
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