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Fantastic inner journey with fast-paced alien-world action,
This review is from: The Technician (Polity 4) (Hardcover)
The Technician can be enjoyed as a standalone novel but you will get more out of it if you read the Cormac novels first. Visiting Masada again for me that have is a bit like coming home and I get to enjoy some of the characters from previous books. The Line of the Polity is the one with most Masada in it.
As usual with Neal's books this one also has an intriguing and well developed back story that tightly fits together with what happened before. I can understand why he went back to Masada. It is such a wonderful quirky place with huge hooder predators that can swallow a man or a minor car and gabbleducks walking around copying human talk but not making any sense; the whole world is wrapped in the mystery of a disappeared alien civilization called the Atheter. On top of this an oppressive theocracy was toppled by rebellion facilitated by the Dragon's destruction of their orbital lasers. Masada is also the homeworld of the Dracomen created when the Dragons crashed on the planet.
Amistad the war drone from Shadow of the Scorpion is back in charge of Atheter research as events set in motion by the Dragon once again threatens humanity. Amistad is one of my favorites. With him we get to follow a bit of personal growth and development, ai style.
I might be the only one but I thought it was hilarious when Blue, the only blue Dracowoman was introduced, I immediately thought; Neal your rascal, you sneaked in a Na'vi on us. The other explanation that came to mind was the blue pill from Matrix in reverse.
The plot centers on Jeremiah Tombs and his journey back to sanity. A theme he also used success with Mr Crane/The Brass Man. Tombs is not the only point of view or main character in this novel but I enjoyed him most because he changes the most. The characters are well developed with much more `meat' than in his early novels something I as a character person like and appreciate.
The Dragon's hidden agenda goes like a chain from Grindlinked to this one. That is a nice touch even if there is not much Dragon action in this one. It is more like a heritage.
The Technician is no doubt one of the best new novels I have read this year. It got a fantastic inner journey with fast-paced alien-world action. I am in awe of Neal Asher for this amazing feat of original writing. If you haven't read Neal before you might as well start with this one, you will not be sorry. Maybe I should add that Mr Asher is very fond of gigantic insects and might get a bit graphic in his descriptions.