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The Technician (Polity 4) [Hardcover]

Neal Asher
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Aug 2010 Polity 4

The Theocracy has been dead for twenty years, and the Polity rules on Masada. But the Tidy Squad consists of rebels who cannot accept the new order. Their hate for surviving theocrats is undiminished, and the iconic Jeremiah Tombs is at the top of their hitlist.

Escaping his sanatorium Tombs is pushed into painful confrontation with reality he has avoided since the rebellion. His insanity has been left uncured, because the near mythical hooder called the Technician that attacked him all those years ago, did something to his mind even the AIs fail to understand. Tombs might possess information about the suicide of an entire alien race.

The war drone Amistad, whose job it is to bring this information to light, recruits Lief Grant, an ex-rebel Commander, to protect Tombs, along with the black AI Penny Royal, who everyone thought was dead. The amphidapt Chanter, who has studied the bone sculptures the Technician makes with the remains of its prey, might be useful too.

Meanwhile, in deep space, the mechanism the Atheter used to reduce themselves to animals, stirs from slumber and begins to power-up its weapons.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Tor (20 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230708749
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230708747
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,784 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 full-length novels are Gridlinked, The Skinner, The Line of Polity, Cowl, Brass Man, The Voyage of the Sable Keech, Polity Agent, Hilldiggers, Prador Moon, Line War, Shadow of the Scorpion and Orbus.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
87 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 13 Sep 2010
Format:Kindle Edition
This review is for readers who are unfamiliar with Neal Asher's work because...let's face it. If you're already a fan of his work, you're not reading this review because you're already reading the book! And when you're done you'll be all disappointed because you now have to wait for the next one.

So for readers who have not read any of Asher's work before, I have to say...Don't buy this book. Wait! What? Sorry, but while this book is great, it's not the book you want to start with. Technically, you can, as it's not *really* a sequel, but the events in this book take place after events in previous books and many characters from previous books are referenced. And more to the point...this book ties together many loose ends, so if you read this book and like it (which you will), you'll want to go back and read his earlier books. And you'll be missing out a lot since this book is somewhat "spoilerific".

So stop here and go read his earlier Polity books. Specifically, the "Cormac" series, starting with Gridlinked. [...]
You won't be sorry.

And when you're done with those (and this book), pick up the "SpatterJay" series. And then his stand-alone's. And then the short story collections. And then re-read them all again, while marveling at the universe he has created. And then wait anxiously and impatiently for his next book.

But when you've become a raving Neal Asher fan, don't blame me because remember...I told you not to buy the book.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not the usual Asher... 30 Aug 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a big fan of Neal Asher, I was very much looking forward to a new Polity novel. Those familiar with the previous books will find the setting familiar (Masada), and will be interested to find out more about Amistad (the war drone that featured in Shadow of the Scorpion). The book also follows-up matters introduced in previous Polity novels, as well as some of Asher's short stories about the gabbleducks and the fate of the Atheter. However, I did find this particular novel less compelling than some of the earlier Polity novels. The pacing is much slower than we are accustomed to from Asher, and his typical pyrotechnics only appear towards the end. One of the things perhaps missing for me was also Asher's trademark irreverant humour - The Technician is rather sombre is tone, without the comic relief that he usually provides in the form of witty asides or amusing characters (such as Sniper and Thirteen from the Spatterjay novels). This is by no means a bad novel, and will undoubtedly be enjoyed by fans of the Polity universe. However, it's not Asher's best to my mind...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars All colour of socks in a tumble dryer 9 April 2012
I fell for the reviews on the back cover. I didn't notice they were from Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph or I might have saved myself a few dull afternoons chugging through this.
It's too long, the characters are childishly simplistic, not a lot of it makes sense, it resorts to hard sci-fi to try and drive the plot but fails monumentally (Greg Egan does it a whole lot better. Much, much better), and it is inhabited by some of the dumbest artificial intelligence personalities you can imagine.
On that point, imagine a scenario: giant dangerous (but unintelligent) beasties densely roaming an area. You are a large, dangerous artificial being equipped with no end of exotic made up technologies like force fields and various weapons that would entertain a teenager for weeks, and in addition you are overwhelmingly intelligent. You are trying to ensure the safety of a few people unlucky enough to be in the midst of it all. Said beasties cannot fly and they cannot burrow. You can move as fast or faster than them. You have endless tricks. You may be able to fly, surely you are able to dig. At the very least you could pick up these people in one of your magical force fields and naff off at speed. What to do? Obviously, you engage them with purely physical strength in what amounts to an arm wrestle.
If you want intelligent AIs, read Iain Banks. You won't find them here.
There's no real moral dilemma either. When it comes down to it Tombs the Proctor, in a position of authority in a very brutal political system, turns out to be a Jolly Nice Chap after all and not in the least fond of hurting anyone. No, too easy.
Anyway, it certainly had enough oddities to make it interesting as a one-off but it's an avalanche of colourful but ill-linked and ill-explained ideas that won't bring me back for any more by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asher - brilliant, as usual 4 Jun 2011
By temple3
Yet again, Asher has produced another stonking novel from the universe of humans, adepts and AIs he creates. Frankly, Mr. Asher can't write them fast enough for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 1 Jun 2012
By Cherry
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
to start with i like Asher anyway - and have read most of his previous books. With this one - i think you would have needed to have read something previous to understand his style of writing.
good story, usual range of interesting characters and action.
the only thing is i felt half-way through he lost interest and needed to finish it - at the end it felt there were a lot of loose ends - what happened to Blue? Where was Dragon now? Where were people really going at the end, what did they learn from the whole episode? how did the war drone feel? What was his role after the end? What happened to the captain of the battleship?

Will this storyline continue?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripped from the first page to the last
I read this book for the first time when it was released. Now, years later as i re-read all Neal Ashers books, I've been unable to put it down. Read more
Published 2 months ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars Gabbleduck Tastic
Oh i love this novel and how Asher draws out the story over many years. I don't want to spoil it, but the spectrum of characters, detail of the story, scale of some of the events... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Simon Harris
3.0 out of 5 stars Ponderous, laboured and not up to usual standard
I have always enjoyed Asher's books but this one lacks the vitality of his earlier works. Amistad was a better character when more of an irresponsible devil-may-care war machine... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Stephen M. Frost
5.0 out of 5 stars Neal Asher at his best
This is just so good. It is such a great story, excellently told and I love the way he links in with themes from other novels allowing you to build a whole Neal Asher universe in... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mr. Mark A. Laborda
5.0 out of 5 stars Gruesome thrills
Neal Asher does brilliant Aliens, Brilliant tech and Galaxy spanning wars. Violent and sometimes disturbing but always leaves you wanting more. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book but slow to start
I found "The Technician" enjoyable ... to me, it seemed a slow start, it didn't have the instant "grab factor" that the previous Asher book had (which were all Ian Cormac stories),... Read more
Published on 25 May 2012 by Dr. Stephen Culshaw
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing in it for me
This novel seemed to have no point other than to present one sequence after another of horrible violence and death, on the largest possible stage. Read more
Published on 7 May 2012 by PlayerPianoPlayer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This is Neal Asher at his very best. The story fires on all cylinders and will keep you hooked until the very last sentence. Read more
Published on 3 Feb 2012 by Mick Sharpe
5.0 out of 5 stars An awesome Polity novel delivering everything I wanted
The Technician is Neal Asher's latest novel and marks the completion of my resolution to get up to date on all of his releases. Read more
Published on 29 Mar 2011 by Mark Chitty
4.0 out of 5 stars A really good read
More of a review of the whole series of Polity books and their spin offs than this book in particular. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2011 by Halfy
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