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The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay 2) [Paperback]

Neal Asher
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Nov 2010 Spatterjay 2

Sable Keech is a walking dead man. Was he resurrected because he was infected by the Spatterjay virus, or it took place late in a tank of seawater? Taylor Bloc wants to know the truth. He also wants more – adulation, power, control – and will go to any lengths to achieve them.

An ancient hive mind has sent an agent to this uncertain world. Does it merely want to obtain the poison 'sprine' that is crucial to immortality? Erlin, still faced with the ennui of immortality, is interrupted by an angry whelkus titanicus, and begins a strange journey.

Deep in the ocean the Spatterjay virus has wrought a terrible change that will affect them all. Something long-dormant is breaking free. And Sniper, its Warden, finally receives his new drone shell. It's better than his old one: powerful engines, more lethal weapons, thicker armour. He's going to need them.

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Frequently Bought Together

The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay 2) + Orbus (Spatterjay 3) + The Skinner (Spatterjay 1)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; paperback / softback edition (5 Nov 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330521357
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330521352
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 247,914 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


'As well as...narrative energy, another of Asher's strengths lies in his world-creation...his detailed imagining of a demented ecology...' -- Interzone

'What's most striking about The Voyage of the Sable Keech is its sense of supreme story-telling confidence' -- Interzone

'a thrilling page-turner, but...also an unsettling reinvention of an already monstrous world...and a hell of a lot of fun.' -- Interzone --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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, Polity Agent, Hilldiggers, Prador Moon, Line War, Shadow of the Scorpion and Orbus.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from Neal Asher 16 Feb 2007
Following on from The Skinner and an off-shoot of Asher's 'Ian Cormac/Polity' series we are returned to the world of Spatterjay, where life on the planet is insanely vicious due to the regenerative effects of a common virus which gives those infected a massively increased resistance to pain and damage.

The Sable Keech of the title is a boat built for 'Reifications'. These 'Reifs' are people who have been killed but their bodies and minds held together by technology. The name of the boat refers to the only reification who ever successfully 'rose from the dead' through a combination of the Spatterjay virus and nanotechnology and whose re-animation has inspired a cult to follow in his footsteps.

Nothing is quite as it seems however: the WindCatchers getting 'auged' and waking up to the possibilities of their world, the re-appearance of a Prador adult, the robot drone Sniper getting his new (and fully militarised) drone body after 10 years as the planets AI warden and a coup amongst the Reifs and, of course the normal everyday issues of trying to survive on a planet where pretty much everything is lethal.

Neal Asher is one of the few British sci-fi writers that can be mentioned in the same name as Iain M Banks. He has a fluid writing style with a great sense of plot timing that makes for a gripping and exciting story set in an entirely believable possible future. If I have any issues with this book, it's the authors tendency to rely a little too much on the lifeforms of Spatterjay and other Polity planets at the expense of the developments of the main characters but that is really a minor gripe compared to the excellence of the book.

You will enjoy this book more if you have read the previous book [...], but this book is certainly good enough to stand on it's own. A definite 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but not gripping 4 Dec 2008
By Dancer
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not a bad book, but it is not an especially good one either. Asher has written some outstanding stuff, but I'm afraid that The Voyage just doesn't stand up to The Skinner or Gridlinked.

By placing the action in the same setting with the same characters, the book comes off as a bit twee. The eponymous Sable Keech has easily enough character to act as the principle in another work, but it would need to be away from Splatterjay to avoid retreading old ground.

Asher shows some real flare when he writes of Sniper, but allot of the action with the Hoopers was just too familiar to be really gripping.

It is the curse of a great author to be held to extremely demanding standards, but at the end of the day it would be another of his books that I would recommend to a friend, or to you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not One of His Best 29 Jan 2009
I am a big fan of Neil Asher's work but 'Sable Keech' is the poorest book he has written. Like other reviewers I think the book rehashs the ideas from the The Skinner and the characters just aren't fleshed out.

The book is only for the serious fan and should be avoided by any new reader to Mr Asher's work, who should start with Gridlinked, The Skinner or Cowl
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neal just gets better 17 Mar 2006
I can't quite lay my finger on what exactly makes Mr. Asher's stuff flow so smoothly, or how he seems to create such a fantastic futuristic but dead real seeming world.
Voyage, despite my promises to read it slowly, is one of those books that just swiftly changes your priorities for you. Neal has mastered the art of switching focus between plots and sub-plots, main characters and minor to such a degree, that he switches plots at the exact right moment to hold up momentum for the plot being switched from and cleanly into the next.
it's art.
voyage comes as a follow up to the classic "the skinner" which i suggest you read first, though, he does a brilliant job of making the book stand on it's on, with just the right amount of back story.
the world is Spatterjay, where a virus left to it's own devices for untold time, has produced immortality in it's hosts.
combine this with a dark past with human slave trade with an alien race known as Prador, and mysterious Hive minds jockeying for possession of Sprine, the one substance known to kill the Spatterjay virus, and it's host, and it virtual chaos, as a ship full of "reifs" attempt to re-create the voyage of Sable Keech, the own known reif to successfully come back from the dead.
seems like this would be to busy of a storyline, but asher weaves it together in a style i personally have grown to love.
five stars isn't enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vibrant 5 star experience 4 Oct 2007
Both a well written book and excellent sf, it is set in the far future on the planet of Spatterjay, which is described in unusually rich and entertaining detail. As a true master storyteller the author draws us effortlessly into his complex world replete with a plethora of original ideas.

Perhaps its greatest merit is that it remains so highly entertaining throughout, in spite of being above average length, with a surprisingly large number of likable characters (my favourite being an AI drone - an idea Asher thanks I.M.Banks for).

This is my first Asher book but definitely not my last.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My 100-word book review 18 April 2006
If you enjoyed The Skinner, you will love this latest excursion to the insanely dangerous waterworld of Spatterjay. I really had a good time with this book! It has all the elements I like about Asher's Polity stories, including his sheer creative exuberance. Viruses, hive minds, voracious monsters, exotic weapons, giant whelks, this has it all! Complexly plotted, fast-moving, bursting with action, swarming with extremely nasty alien life forms and featuring some ace futuristic military tech, this is a novel which will immensely please Asher's existing fans and will get him plenty of new fans too. Acquire this book now!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good author
love neil asher's work, hard sf with great story lines. 4 stars because I have enjoyed his other books a little more, but still a great read. recommended
Published 7 months ago by Mr. J. K. Whitehead
5.0 out of 5 stars a superb read
One of my all time favourite writers his imagination is wonderfully detailed. My favourite character is sniper we could all do with one of those
Published 8 months ago by Simon Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Another awesome book from Neal (Yes - I am a big fan) Thrilling action, the weird and wonderful world of Spatterjay, enough tech to make you drool...... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Richie Jarvis
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth buying
If you like thought-provoking far-future SF then just buy anything by Neil Asher.
I haven't read a dud one yet.
Buy them all (no, I am NOT on commission! Read more
Published 17 months ago by GK
4.0 out of 5 stars Wierd
Dont know what goes on in Mr Asher's head but if you like hard core SF plus great writing this is for you.
Published 19 months ago by James Edwards
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent premise, well told
I thoroughly enjoy this whole world that Asher has created. Great characters and an amazing habitat brought to vivid, dangerous life.
Published 19 months ago by Timraven
4.0 out of 5 stars The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay 2)
The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay 2)
ordered to complete series, reasonably involving and entertaining, maybe a little difficult to initially become absorbed.
Published 20 months ago by user
3.0 out of 5 stars dull
Maybe me and this book got off on the wrong foot a little, I mean by the time I got to reading it I had read the third spatterjay novel Orbus (highly underrated) and this meant... Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2012 by action sci-fi
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start, fast finish
This sequel to Asher's The Skinner took, I thought, a while longer to get going than it's predecessor - but it was worth the wait. Read more
Published on 20 Mar 2012 by Steve D
4.0 out of 5 stars Exhalirating!
A very good read, I enjoy the drones and the stange form life of this planet, the emotions and the whole story. If you like SF this is the kind of author to read!
Published on 12 Feb 2012 by gersariel
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