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The Departure (Owner series) Paperback – 12 Apr 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 157 customer reviews

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  • The Departure (Owner series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Reprints edition (12 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330457616
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330457613
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 199,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

The beginning of a new series from a master of space opera

About the Author

Neal Asher was born in Billericay, Essex, and divides his time between here and Crete. His previous novels include the Agent Cormac series (Gridlinked +4), Spatterjay series (The Skinner +2), Polity series (Prador Moon +4) and The Owner trilogy (The Departure, Zero Point +1). He has also written The Gabble: And Other Stories


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After reading the Agent Cormac series, I went straight on to the Owner series. Whoops. I ignored the negative reviews, but shouldn't have. I no longer buy Asher's books. In many ways the series has a lot to recommend it, but unsubtly infusing the whole thing is a clumsy political agenda and anger/dismissal of opposing views.

I don't mind opposing or strange views, I relish them. That's one of the reasons why I read science fiction. Part of that though is the challenge of engaging with the ideas and thinking through the implications etc. Sadly, as interesting as the sci-fi elements are, the political elements are sigh-worthy. Earnest, yet difficult to believe, like being stuck on hold for an hour and having to listen to a pre-recorded voice tell you every 30 seconds that your call is important.

It kinda works as satire though, so you may enjoy it more if you think of it that way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I could hardly put this down. I can't recall the last time when a book felt like a thrill ride. From what I could figure, the events in the book take place over the space of a few days, but because so much is happening it seems like it's all within about an afternoon. The brutal dystopian regime on earth feels nastily plausible, and the actions of the main character are very gratifying. However, his struggle against it is very personal. He's no hero of any sort. His amoral quest for vengeance strikes a blow against the ruling elite, but it's coincidental. I very much enjoyed the fact that the central character here is not a hero at all. He isn't good, he isn't pleasant. There's little to make him sympathetic at all, but you do warm to him in a way, because whatever his motivations are they ultimately have positive outcomes. Kind of.

Imagine the best car chase you ever saw in a movie. For me, that was what this book equated to. I really enjoyed it, with my heart in my mouth for half the time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love it, a visceral violent (but not needlessly so!) Well paced, the main protagonist is an interesting character. The story starts fast and only slows down near the end, which is not a negative. Looking forward to the next instalment!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Mr Asher is one of my favourite authors. Great characters, good science and a well told narrative. Not related to his polity novels but it's easy to see how this could have evolved from the owner series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's hard to give a damn about any of the characters in this book as they are so one-dimensional. The plot, such as it is, seems to have been written with a view to selling the computer game rights later on: there is way too much description of the scenery and the action and too little plot and character development. Sorry but I may be removing subsequent volumes (yes, it's yet another trilogy!!!) from my wish list.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read a lot of disappointed reviewers' comments on this book before I bought it. I've read all of Neal Asher's 'Polity' novels which I have enjoyed immensely so bought it anyway but expected to come away hugely disappointed.

Well, I didn't. I thought it was a good story in its own right and echoed many themes used in 'Polity' novels from a different perspective and within a more familiar framework.

I think many people may have been disappointed by the fact that the main character, Alan Saul, is not particularly likeable and is portrayed as something of an 'anti-hero'. In many stories, a person/entity such as Saul would be the bad guy. However, as a long time reader of the Thomas Covenant stories, I can deal with the 'anti-hero' concept and didn't feel it was a problem.

There's also been a lot of comment about the amount of violence in the book. I think it is more bloody than other works of his but it's hardly venturing into Shaun Hutson territory. It's there but it's not covered in minute detail.

However, it's not perfect. I would have liked more character definition, even if it only made me dislike them more. A lot of the characters, including the main ones, felt a bit shallow. I'm also not entirely convinced about the basic plotline right now but, given this is the apparently the first of a series, I would assume that there's a bigger picture to be revealed and I'm certainly interested enough in what happens to buy the next instalment and find out.
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By Chris VINE VOICE on 14 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
Not too bad for Asher; it's been a while since I read anything of his, and this is a decent return to form. You need to be prepared to stick with it, as, from the main character's experience, the story begins rather abruptly and the back-story is filled in later as you read through it (in media res, I believe). As a result, the first quarter of the book needs some patience as you figure out what's happening in a global sense throughout the book's "world". It's a good start to a trilogy, however, and the second title, "Zero Point", picks up right where the first ends.
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Format: Paperback
Are we all reading the same book? Reading some of the negative reviews I wondered if perhaps The Departure had been re-written and re-issued prior to my purchasing a copy?

The Departure is very dark.

It really is.

Pretty distasteful in places, but the writing effectively paints a frankly disturbing picture of a society that has surrendered its scary freedoms to the safety of governmental dominance. It seems to me to be a critique of over-reliance on the state, something you can see happening in this country whatever the colours of the ruling party. I certainly didn't read it as a socialist bashing diatribe. In fact to me it reads more like a warning of how a society can fall into subservience to a fascist like governmental/corporate system. A society where things have gone horribly wrong largely through inaction and apathy rather than through subjugation by some overarching bond-like villain. What I think gets under your skin is the link Asher makes between this horrifying future and the actions (or lack thereof) of ordinary people (just like us) in the present day.

As an opening book in a series I feel it sets the scene very clearly. It's quite different to the other works by Asher, which to my mind is a positive. It's an impressive author who can create totally separate immersive worlds and not rely on constantly going back to safe and reliable ground. I normally only read on the Metro on my journeys to and from work (about 15 minutes each way) so it takes me a while to finish a book. I found that I was so engrossed in this one that I had to read through it rather more quickly. Now I'm going to have to buy the second book on the kindle and then probably despair at how long it takes before the third book is ready, not that Asher is slow, heck I've waited for George R R Martin, but just because I'll really want to know how it works out.
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