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The Line of Polity Paperback – 21 Mar 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (21 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033390365X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333903650
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,926,621 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

Review

This is undoubtedly Asher's best novel: a complex, multilayered story... -- John Courtenay Grimwood in Guardian (Review), May 2003

About the Author

Born and still living in Essex, Neal L. Asher started writing SF at the age of sixteen. Since then he has had numerous stories published in magazines and book form, including Runcible Tales, Mindgames: Fool's Mate, The Parasite, The Enginee, Gridlinked and The Skinner.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By C. Woodhead on 13 Dec 2003
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 2theD on 11 Oct 2011
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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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mandy Scott on 22 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Having just put down this book - and instantly lent it to someone else to enjoy - I have to say that it is an excellent, miss your stop on the tube, read.
If you like Peter Hamilton (and I read this back to back with Pandoro's box which was a mistake cos there is some conceptual overlap between the two) then you will deffo like this.
Its space opera on a grand scale with lots of real believable human (and plenty not so human) characters, hideous monsters and super duper gadgets. The plot is 007-esque with not a dull moment and the various plot strands tie in well to a satisfying crescendo.
It IS worth reading Gridlinked (its prequel) before this, as although Ascher does sufficient back tracking in the text of this to allow a 'cold' reader to keep up, I would think that you would miss large amounts of sub-text otherwise. Luckily that's good news for you, cos Gridlinked is equally excellent.
The bottom line? Dont delay, get it today.
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By John Galt on 21 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Recently finished this after asking for a recommendation of a book I could get my teeth into. It met my main criteria; Science Fiction, author I had read before and enjoyed and something that I could really get in to.
Firstly the artwork on the book is superb. Jon Sullivan has done a fantastic job and I hope that the next ones are as good.
There is little point in re-hashing the plot - it is done in most of the other reviews I have read of this book. Suffice to say the plot was good although I think you need to have recently read Gridlinked (if only I could find my copy - I know it is out there somewhere), the aliens were bizarre, sometimes a little over the top but all in all the whole book was fun, which any story should be.
My one concern was that some of it became a bit repetitive as you went through the book and sometime the battles probably could have been trimmed to keep the flow - but heck, what do I know, I am not a writer.
The only recommendation that stands out is that I have ordered the next three in the series to be delivered this week and warned my wife I am disappearing into a book fest!
A good read, throughly enjoyed.
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Format: Paperback
I read Gridlinked on a recommendation from a Banks fan. To be honest it didn't live up to expectations, but showed promise for sure: entertaining and a nice mix of AI/human interaction. I moved onto The Skinner and found it a nightmare to get into. However, once the story took off I loved it. This led me to The Line of Polity - wow - what a great read indeed! For me Asher has developed his universe nicely in this book by expanding the Polity universe to an interesting level: new technologies, better enemies, more intrigue into the touched-upon, mysterious characters and a nice spread of concurrent plot lines. Good structure. Banks it ain't, but I am certainly buying more Asher, there are questions that need answers - nice one.
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