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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from Neal Asher
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...
Published on 16 Feb 2007 by Martin Anderson

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not One of His Best
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
Published on 29 Jan 2009 by Amazon Customer


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great book from Neal Asher, 16 Feb 2007
By 
Martin Anderson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but not gripping, 4 Dec 2008
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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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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neal just gets better, 17 Mar 2006
By 
Kirby W. Ubben "Enoch Root" (Iowa USA) - See all my reviews
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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
By 
Cornelius Driessen (Spain) - See all my reviews
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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
By 
A. J. Cull (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay) (Paperback)
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another 5 Stars for Spatterjay's tourist industry, 19 Mar 2006
By 
M J Ashe (Somerset, England) - See all my reviews
This is Neal Asher at his best, with a page-turning second sojourn to Spatterjay and it's lively fauna. Not only has Asher included and developed everything that was so unique and exhillarating about 'Skinner', but he has managed to come up with yet more classic ideas and characters to add piquancy to the multilayered plot.
On a normal day on Spatterjay, life is very interesting. During the course of this novel, life on Spatterjay gets positively invigorating!
This is one of those rare books that makes you want to start reading it over again as soon as you've finished. I couldn't recommend it more strongly.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good author, 27 Feb 2014
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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
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5.0 out of 5 stars a superb read, 18 Feb 2014
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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
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!, 9 Feb 2014
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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......

What more do you want?
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The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay)
The Voyage of the Sable Keech (Spatterjay) by Neal Asher (Paperback - 17 Feb 2006)
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