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Hilldiggers (Polity Book 2) by [Asher, Neal]
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Hilldiggers (Polity Book 2) Reprints , Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in Polity (4 Book Series)

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Review

Asher has an axe to grind, but what a shiny, well-honed and beautifully weighted axe it is... He's on top of his game with this one and his confidence entwines a fibrous thread throughout the plot. Multiple narratives occurring in different timeframes, shifts between first-and third-person perspectives, a detailed and convincing description of planetary ecosystems...In lesser hands, a rambling wayward text could well result. What we have instead is a wonderfully rich and complex tale that happily flips between giving the mind something weighty to mull over and pleasing its baser, thrill-seeking desires... Asher's skill is making it all seem wild, wonderful, politically provoking and fresh. --.

The world of the AI-run Polity civilisation has been building to a ferocious level of complexity over Asher's past seven books, but Hilldiggers is an ideal jumping-on point, being relatively sefl-containted, packed full of intrugue, and - most importantly - one of his most ambitious and gripping novels yet...Hilldiggers is both inventive and expertly paced, navigating an incredibly complex story without losing any of the clarity or momentum...if there's a more enjoyable and provocative sci-fi action saga this year, we'll be seriously surprised. --.

One of his most enjoyable novels yet --Starburst

Death Ray

'An excellent tale to Asher's usual exhilarating action standards...'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1686 KB
  • Print Length: 492 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Reprints edition (21 Aug. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003DWC6PO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,346 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Boggy good zip it up and consider plebas my son list your complacency runs through and metamorphism ride roughshod over your gave!
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By Ed.F VINE VOICE on 7 Aug. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Deeply enjoyable, page turner with great characterisation from on of my favorite novelists, but it doesn't get 5 stars from me because I couldn't shake off my nagging concern that this book was shared just a little too many concepts with "Inversions" by Iain M Banks, which isn't that great a book. I know it's ridiculous but my "familiarity" with these narrative devices took the edge of the book for me, even though Asher treats the concepts he shares with Inversions, like the low(er) tech civilisation viewpoint, the hidden agent/observer in a more accessible manner than Banks did but I couldn't help shaking off the feeling of deja-vu as each shared concept clicked into view.
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Format: Paperback
Hilldiggers is an Asher novel which takes place in his unique Polity universe but does not follow the Cormac series or the Spatterjay series. Asher makes this novel distinctive by combining a good chunk of the Polity plot line with a savory chips from the Spatterjay line. The result is a rousing read for a seasoned Asher reader (this being my 10th Asher novel) but only for the first half. Throw in two planets with distinguishable race races, an ongoing war between them and a mischievous drone scouting the system... the first half is just a gem of a plot setting.

The book's synopsis sounds a little corny as `four exceptionally talented orphans' have been born through mysterious circumstances surrounding four `cosmic superstrings.' This initial cheesiness had me suppressing a gag reflex commonly experienced which reading synopses of self-published authors. While the ultimate motive for the conception is discussed, I found it a weak link in the plot chain.

The second half sees bad start when the protagonist Old Captain McCrooger begins to lose the Spatterjay virus and hence become weak, fragile. The weakening of the strong main character is a little demoralizing for the reader, as any Asher reader knows that the Old Captains are quirky, strong and a highlight in the Spatterjay series. The humanization of McCrooger is drawn out as he is injured over and over again without much direction.

Additionally, the predictable yet difficult to visualize space battle eventually takes place but doesn't seem as prominent as other battles in Asher's novels. The general plot direction is really predictable and no surprises were had except for a minor smile-worthy disclosure in the last two pages.

Hilldiggers is a good addition is the Polity universe with strong links with the Polity sub-plots but really tapers off in the last half to leave the reading unsatisfactory.
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Format: Hardcover
"Hilldiggers" is very much unlike other Asher's books. It is as if it's written by a different person. It's boring.

I love his "Skinner" and still re-read it every now and then; the "Voyage..." is almost just as good. His Cormac books are also finely written. This one, I could barely finish it. The plot is predictable, all characters are flat and the writing style is extremely boring: page after page of monotonous narrative, irrelevant details and dry dialogs. No sense of humor whatsoever, and in fact very little emotions at all.

Despite his obsession with details, Asher doesn't bother to be consistent with his prior Spatterjay books (one example: in both the "Skinner" and the "Voyage..." hoopers occasionally get dunked into the deadly Spatterjay sea and, while being eaten alive by various creatures, they do keep afloat like any normal human would. In "Hilldiggers", the Hooper character McCrooger is for some reason much denser than normal people and would instantly sink to the bottom). Not to mention the idea of sending the Hooper, twice-infected by conflicting viruses, to make first contact with a paranoid and warlike civilization... Not to mention the silly "tiger-on-the-ball" Tigger drone... Or the four obviously suspicious "worm children" so easily allowed to raise to the top of the society...

If you like Asher and don't want to be disappointed, stick to his earlier Spatterjay books and avoid this one.
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Format: Paperback
As with many others I've a fan and have all Mr Ashers books. I was expecting Csorian or Atheter object. I was expecting an expansion of the long running interconnectivity of all the books, be it Brass Man, Skinner or whatever, those tenuous links that expand upon the ancient races.

Instead I got Harald, who really did come across as a pantomime villain, like a B movie baddy. It started very well, I was hooked for 240 odd pages, but then it just rolled down hill with an interminable description (it seemed to me) of the aforementioned Harald positioning his ship in orbit to blow other ships out of space.

I know there was more to it, but it just wasn't enough, it lost it's direction and ended up just being a the book I read to stop me looking at the flight progress screen on the way back from Cyprus. And if I'm brutally honest, the effects of the Spatterjay virus in Orbus (unless it gets explained elsewhere) seem inconsistent with McGroogers secondary infection.

On the upside you could read to about page 240ish and be absolutely riveted. Everyone is allowed one stinker, for Stephen King it was the Cell, and for Mr Asher it is Hilldiggers.
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